The Conference Board of Canada has released research highlighting that organizations are increasing coverage for psychological services in an effort to better support employee mental health and meet the evolving needs of employees. This research is the first released by The Conference Board of Canada’s Workplace Mental Health Research Centre. 

“Health benefits plans are the first line of defence in organizations’ health and wellness initiatives, and we’ve seen how investments in workplace mental health bring benefits well beyond productivity,” said Dr. Susan Black, president and CEO, The Conference Board of Canada. “As organizations plan for the future, they need to enhance understanding of employees’ current and emerging needs to determine how they can best support initiatives aimed at future-proofing their mental health strategy.”

While some studies have found the mental health of Canadians was already at risk, the recent pandemic highlighted the importance of mental health and wellness and created an unprecedented demand for mental health supports. Additional efforts will be required to meet the emerging mental health needs of Canadians, with employers playing a critical role. The Conference Board of Canada’s research found that many organizations have expanded their suite of health and wellness initiatives for employees to better transition through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is vitally important to help Canadian organizations understand the evolving needs of our employees and how best to meet them,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO, Desjardins Group. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with The Conference Board of Canada as the co-founder of the Workplace Mental Health Research Centre. The findings in this study will help employers create healthier workplaces and further support the mental wellbeing of their employees.”

“The increase in need for mental health services from employees may no longer fit a traditional one-size-fits-all approach,” said Erin Mills, Director, Human Capital and Workplace Health at The Conference Board of Canada. “Roughly one-third of organizations ask their employees what they would like included in their mental health and wellness initiatives. Many organizations are unclear of how their mental health and well-being initiatives meet the needs of employees, and how these initiatives connect to their equity and inclusion efforts.”

“Mental health is one of the key health issues of our time,” said Dave Jones, President, Sun Life Health. “Supporting employees with their mental health is more important than ever. We’re thrilled to be part of the Workplace Mental Health Research Centre, helping to build resilient organizations where employees thrive.”

“This important research has highlighted the opportunity for organizations to do better by seeking input from their employees to ensure the benefits available are meeting their needs,” said Michal Juul Sørensen, vice president & general manager, Lundbeck Canada. “We’re proud to play a role in this research supporting the brain health of all Canadians.”

The Workplace Mental Health Research Centre works with founding members Desjardins Insurance, Sun Life Financial and Lundbeck Canada on research related to workplace absenteeism and future-proofing investments in mental health as well as additional pressing topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Source: Conference Board of Canada