Morneau Shepell, a provider of total wellbeing, mental health and digital mental health services, this week released its monthly Mental Health Index report, showing a consistent negative mental health score in Canada for the third consecutive month.
The findings show that while most of the country is entering new phases of reopening, Canadians continue to struggle with uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and need employer support now more than ever.
The Mental Health Index score is -11. The score measures the improvement or decline in mental health from the pre-2020 benchmark of 75. This month’s overall score is one point higher than the score last month.
The index also tracks sub-scores against the benchmark, measuring the risk of anxiety (-12.9), depression (-12.7), work productivity (-12.1), optimism (-12.0) and isolation (-11.6). While the sub-scores remain low, there has been a modest improvement across these areas when compared to the prior month.
“As the country enters new phases of reopening and restrictions begin to ease, it’s important to remain focused on the mental health of Canadians and recognize that mental wellbeing requires the same attention and action as physical health,” said Stephen Liptrap, Morneau Shepell president and CEO.
“The long-term impact of continued low levels of mental health is not only a concern for individuals, but also for organizations and governments due to higher health and disability costs and the negative impact on individuals’ participation in the economy. It has been great to see organizations and governments expand mental health support in recent months, but our Mental Health Index™ tells us there is still more to do.”
More than one-third (34%) of respondents indicated that their employer has been supporting employee mental health inconsistently, poorly or very poorly during the pandemic. Mental Health Index™ scores for this group were -17.2 for those who indicated that mental health was supported inconsistently, -17.7 for those who indicated poor support and -26.3 for very poor support. This compares to -10.4 for those who stated mental health was supported somewhat well and -1.0 for very well.
“Canadians have experienced consistent negative impacts to their mental health since the start of the pandemic. This is continuing as people go back to work and new stressors emerge,” said Paula Allen, senior vice president of research, analytics and innovation.
“The reopening of the economy is a welcome and positive change for some, but for many others, re-entering the workplace is bringing up new uncertainties related to their safety and security. There is also more concern that things may never return to what we previously had and there is a lack of clarity about what work, and life will be like.
“Employers need to continue to promote their wellbeing plan and resources for employees to seek support, while also looking for opportunities to show employees that their mental health is valued.”
Further information is available at http://www.morneaushepell.com/