With our mental health strained and workplace arrangements changing, it’s time for an in-depth look at what’s needed to improve matters.
Everything is connected. It is not enough, as Premier Doug Ford sometimes seems to think, to throw up a few “Open For Business” signs at the Ontario border, note the 300,000 or so job vacancies in the province, then look no farther at what is an ongoing crisis in mental health and ongoing revolution in the way people work.
A recent report by Lifeworks, which generates a monthly mental health index, said Canadian workers are experiencing increasing strain. Their mental health in June was at its lowest levels since the height of the Omicron wave in January and they are feeling equally stressed at work as they are in their personal lives.
As workers return to offices under the pandemic’s latest wave, and the cost-of-living soars, experts warn that not enough is being done to protect employees from mental burnout.
The report said a third of Canadians have a high mental-health risk and that women consistently have significantly lower mental-health scores than men. Even when the consequences are not acute, stress levels are producing difficulty sleeping, inability to relax and emotional issues such as anxiety and depression, the report said.
Moreover, two-thirds of Canadians believe that those with mental-health conditions are treated differently by employers.
Stephen Liptrap, president of Lifeworks, said the report suggests that “conversations surrounding worker well-being and support should be continuing to ramp up, not slow down.”