Recent data estimates that as many as 59% of Canadian workers have experienced a mental health issue. In a different survey conducted by Morneau Shepell, data showed that 60% of Canadian employees polled claim they would leave their current employer if they were offered less money but better support for personal well-being. This trend was seen even among the 51% who reported high financial stress.

The good news: employers are leveraging the workplace to better support their people’s mental health, and those actions are paying off.  On Bell Let’s Talk Day, CivicAction reported that after three years, 1,525 employers from across Canada have the actions to better support the mental health of as many as 3.1 million employees through its free MindsMatter/ SoutienBienÊtre assessment.

“MindsMatter has helped neutralize the excuses for employers to take action,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “We’ve created an on-ramp and accelerated more supportive workplace culture and practices across Canada.”

CivicAction released its final results as it hands MindsMatter over to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to continue to offer as a free assessment at https://mindsmatter.openingminds.ca.

“When it comes to mental health at work, no one is starting from scratch. That’s why MindsMatter is a great tool for organizations to take the pulse on what’s working and where the gaps are,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. “We’re thrilled to be adding MindsMatter to our suite of resources, and we commend CivicAction for creating a tool that’s as simple as it is effective. With an online survey that can be completed in less than five minutes, there is no reason MindsMatter can’t be the first step every employer takes towards building a psychologically healthier workforce.”

But results from the assessment show there’s more to do. Less than 1 in 5 participants report having a system in place to know if these actions are making a difference.

“Employers are increasingly paying attention to their people’s mental well-being—whether it’s increasing health benefits, training, flexible work hours, or lunch-time meditation,” said Paula Allen, SVP, Morneau Shepell and Co-Chair of CivicAction’s Mental Health in the Workplace Champions Council. “But for workplaces to be truly supportive over the long term, you need to measure impact.”

Of MindsMatter participants who had completed an action since taking the assessment, the vast majority saw positive change. In a 2019 survey, 91% reported their workplace was giving mental health greater priority, 85% reported they’re more comfortable discussing mental health issues, and 85% said there’s more awareness of workplace supports available.

“With numbers like these, and new reports and resources from Deloitte and CAMH, there’s never been a more compelling case for workplace mental health,” said Rupert Duchesne, Director, Mattamy Asset Management and Co-Chair of CivicAction’s Mental Health in the Workplace Champions Council. “With a more empowered, supported, and high-performing employee team, employers get direct economic benefits, which both fuels growth in the economy and improves peoples’ lives.”

To learn more about CivicAction’s work through MindsMatter, its impact and stories of organizations taking action, please visit https://www.civicaction.ca/mindsmatter.

Key findings from CivicAction’s MindsMatter assessment show a positive trend:

  • 80% of participants say their workplace provides an Employee and Family Assistance Program or other supports for mental well-being, up from 72% in 2017.
  • 56% say they’ve taken measures to reduce work-induced stress, increasing from 46% in 2017.
  • 33% say senior leadership has publicly demonstrated their commitment to mental health in the workplace, up from 26% in 2017.

Other findings remained the same from 2016-2019, with an average:

  • 67% saying their workplace is supportive of people when they are taking a mental health leave or returning to work.
  • 57% saying senior leadership showed visible commitment to workplace mental health.
  • 42% saying their organization has offered training to employees related to mental health, with 37% saying managers have participated in mental health training.

Source: Cision
Financial Post