Survey: Canadians concerned that revealing mental issues can impact career

By: Vincenzo Morello
A new report published finds that that Canadians are concerned that revealing mental health issues will impact their workplace and personal relationships.
According to a survey from Morneau Shepell published today, 44 per cent of Canadian respondents believe that their career options would be limited if their employer was aware that they had a mental health issue. Among that group, 50 per cent of respondents who were managers expected that their career would be impacted if they reported a mental health issue and 39 per cent of respondents who were not managers believed it would be an issue as well.
“If organizations had any question as to whether implementing a holistic mental health strategy would benefit employees, we hope our data makes this clear,” Paula Allen, the senior vice president of research and total wellbeing at Morneau Shepell, said in a statement. “It’s evident that while employees may not reveal they are struggling with their mental health, many are struggling in silence and coping in ways that do more harm than good.”
According to Morneau Shepell’s report, 14 per cent of respondents had increased their alcohol consumption early in the pandemic and 52 per cent of respondents said that they have maintained the same level of alcohol consumption in recent months when compared to early in the pandemic. Nine per cent of respondents reported that their level of alcohol consumption had increased since the fall when compared to the early days of the pandemic.
“Through these times of prolonged uncertainty and isolation, organizations have an added responsibility to pay close attention to their team members’ needs and watch for indicators of worsening mental strain, to ensure employees are set up for success both within and outside of the workplace,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer of Morneau Shepell.
Morneau Shepell is a provider of HR services that is focused on giving solutions for its clients to support the mental, physical, social and wellbeing of their people. It’s latest Mental Health Index report comes from survey data which was collected from Jan. 15 to Jan. 25 with 3,000 respondents in Canada. The data was compared against benchmark data collected from surveys in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Morneau Shepell’s report also revealed a negative mental health score among Canadian for 11 months in a row.
According to the company’s report, the Mental Health Index score for February 2021 was nearly identical to the score it was in April 2020.
“The extreme isolation and loneliness that we reported in recent months is having a direct impact on Canadians’ mental wellbeing, with many people feeling the same level of depression that was reported almost one year ago when it was at its lowest point,” Liptrap said.
“Uncertainty about immunization timelines has left Canadians questioning when they will be able to return to the routines they had in place before the pandemic,” he added.