Quebec workers reluctant to discuss mental health at work: Conference Board

More education, communication to combat stigma needed
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/17/2011

Quebec workers are less comfortable discussing mental health issues in the workplace than their cross-country counterparts, according to a recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada. Twenty-one per cent of Quebec workers are comfortable sharing their mental health issues with colleagues compared to 28 per cent of Canadians as a whole.

"These findings show the need for increased education and communication to combat the stigma, misinformation and apprehension surrounding mental health in the workplace," said Claudine Ducharme, director of health solutions consulting services at Morneau Shepell.

According to the survey, 29 per cent of Quebec workers have experienced a mental health-related illness, compared to 32 per cent for Canada.

"Employers must create a psychologically safe and healthy workplace. A good place to start is with a strong, demonstrated and visible commitment by senior management that can identify problems, make the assessment, and control psychological hazards and risks," said Ducharme.

Other key survey findings:

•Fifty-one per cent of Quebec respondents reported that their organization offers supportive programs, services or benefits that address their mental health needs, compared to 58 per cent nationally.

•Eighteen per cent of Quebec respondents said they received workplace information about mental health in the past year, compared to 22 per cent nationally.

•Fifty-seven per cent of Quebec respondents reported that managers are held accountable for addressing workplace issues that negatively affect the mental well-being of their employees, compared to 51 per cent nationally.

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