Employees affected by workplace mental health


Workplace mental health: a major challenge, if we are to believe studies conducted on the subject. The latest, conducted by Ipsos Reid, reports that 7 Canadian employees out of 10 expressed concern about psychological health and safety at work.


In the space of several weeks, Ipsos Reid has published two surveys focusing on the importance to be given to psychological health in the workplace. The two surveys were ordered by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. While the first reveals that 22% of Canadian employees report that they suffer from depression, the second reports today that 71% of employees say they are affected directly or indirectly by psychological health and safety at work. 


Signs of improvement

The concern is partially explained by the greater visibility given by the media to these questions. The survey also reveals that 14% of employees surveyed do not find their workplace psychologically safe and healthy. The result may seem high but it represents a decrease of 20% compared to three years ago and suggests that employers and managers may be better trained and prepared to address to these problems in the field.

The survey also notes that more employees feel physically safe (20%) than psychologically safe (33%). This is evidence that mental health plays a significant part in employees’ concerns about their workplace. Employers will sooner or later have to take this into account, if they haven’t already. To help them, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada should soon be drafted. It should provide guidance for employees for best practices and contribute to mitigating risk in this area.

Available resources
A number of measures are often undertaken within the company, such as taking into account mental health problems with employees, training managers, risk prevention, access to psychological treatments and even creating a culture of mental health. These are some of the examples given in the Psychological Health and Safety Guide for Employers published earlier this year by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
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