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Work and home stressors primary sources of stress for Canadians: study

July 22, 2022
By Talent Canada


Recent study by LifeWorks shows a decline in Mental Health Index in Canadian workers, citing an all-time low since January 2022. (nenetus/Adobe Stock)

Canadian workers cite work and home stressors as primary sources of stress, according to the monthly Mental Health Index by LifeWorks released Thursday, July 21.

Impact of personal and work stressors

Seventy-seven per cent of the respondents indicate that personal and/or work stressors are their primary sources of stress, resulting in a variety of negative impacts to overall wellbeing, such as difficulty in sleeping (31 per cent), inability to relax (28 per cent), and emotional changes such as anxiety and depression (27 per cent).

The overall Mental Health Index for June is at 64.1 points out of a hundred, declining from 64.9 points in May.

“We focus a lot on work issues as a source of stress, but it is important to note that personal issues are equally impactful,” said LifeWorks President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Liptrap, with

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“While many organizations have marked the recent months as a return to a semblance of normalcy, it is clear we are not out of the woods just yet,” said Liptrap, pointing out that the LifeWorks has not seen a mental health score this low since January. “[This] signals that conversations surrounding employee wellbeing and support should be continuing to ramp up, not slow down.”

Employers can make a difference

Of the 26 per cent of Canadian workers citing work as their primary source of stress, 25 per cent indicated that the volume of work impacted their response, while 14 per cent cited performance demands, and 12 per cent cited lack of support as the leading sources.

Relatively, 44 per cent of the respondents who felt their mental wellbeing was supported by their employer during the pandemic have among the highest mental health scores, with seven points higher than the national average, and nearly 15 points higher than those who did not feel their mental health was supported by their employer.

The employees who felt supported cited the top two actions their employers were offering flexibility (51 per cent) and promoting mental health services and resources (41 per cent).

Moving forward

“The data makes it clear that those who feel that their mental health is supported by their employer are in a better place. Work is an essential part of life and the support that employers can provide help people deal with all issues – both personal and work related,” said LifeWorks Global Leader and Senior Vice President, Research and Total Wellbeing, Paula Allen.

Among the top actions taken by employers to support employee mental health include flexible work, services and resources for mental health, and days off for mental health care.

“There are two parts to this opportunity,” Allen added. “One is the workplace experience where people benefit from flexibility, psychological safety, and a sense of belonging. The other is providing resources for individuals and their families, including offering, and promoting an employee and family assistance program and related programs and benefits. Both types of support are critical.”

The full Canadian LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here.


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