A new survey from Sun Life has revealed that while many Canadian companies are considering what the future of work looks like in a post-pandemic world, mental health needs to be a bigger part of that plan – especially when a considerable number of Canadian employees have left their jobs due to lack of support.
According to the survey, 62% of Canadian workforce respondents said that emotional, mental and physical fatigue is the top issue affecting them negatively. However, mental health is still not a safe workplace topic, Sun Life found. A third (37%) of the respondents said that they feel unsafe to talk about mental health at work. Reasons why include lack of trust in their employer (55%), embarrassment (50%) and fear of discrimination (40%).
Sun Life also found that 11% of respondents have left their job due to lack of employer mental health support. Another 10% said that are considering leaving their job for the same reason. In addition, only 22% of respondents indicated that their CEO or manager had talked about mental health in the last 12 months.
The survey recommended three simple actions for companies to curb the mental health crisis: review your company’s mental health benefits; take advantage of free resources on mental health; and commit to talking about mental health at work.
“Companies across the country are considering their future of work plans, but Canadians have said – loud and clear – it’s the future of our workforce we must consider,” said Sun Life Canada president Jacques Goulet. “After 18 months of this pandemic, we continue to be in a mental health crisis, yet employees are still not getting the support they need at work.”
Goulet added that as a CEO, he will continue to re-convene with his fellow executives and C-suite forum to raise the issue.
“If there was ever a time for Canadian leaders to renew their organization’s vision and approach to employee mental health, it’s now,” he said.