Many employers not offering mental health resources

Almost one in five workers who spoke about declining mental health received no help at all

Many employers not offering mental health resources

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Canada are not providing many mental health supports to their workers.

Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of employees say their employer does not offer any such resources to workers, while 39 per cent say they have at least one type of mental health resource from their company, found a Capterra report.

This is the case even though 36 per cent of workers say mental health is a high priority for employers while another 39 per cent claim it is a moderate priority.

“The lack of resources shown by the majority of SMEs shouldn’t be interpreted as a lack of importance of these resources, however. Companies looking to maximize employee engagement on the topic of mental health will find offering resources can be an effective way to achieve this,” says Capterra, a marketplace vendor.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of employers say they have enhanced their wellbeing proposition. Yet, just 51 per cent of employees say that their employer is more focused on their total wellbeing, according to a previous study.

Speaking up about mental health

Addressing personal issues such as mental health in the workplace can be delicate, even for companies who prioritize this type of support, found Capterra’s survey of 1,100 Canadians in January.

In fact, just 30 per cent feel “somewhat” to “very uncomfortable” raising the topic in their company, and only 18 per cent have discussed their mental struggles with their employer since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Also, few workers have spoken up about their mental wellbeing at work. While 42 per cent never did claim they have no mental health issues to report, many are struggling to speak up because they do not feel comfortable discussing it with their employer (26 per cent) or because they weren’t asked (12 per cent).

Sixteen per cent of those who spoke to their employer about their declining mental health received no help at all, according to the report.

“Supporting employees’ mental health and wellness in the workplace may seem like an abstract concept. Practically speaking, it means offering wellness programs in companies,” says Capterra.

Thirty-five per cent of Canadians are feeling burned out, according to a separate report, and 48 per cent are more stressed to start 2022 than they were during the first lockdowns in 2020, according to another report.

“For mental health, 2022 and beyond will be critical: as the world grapples with huge challenges, investing in better mental health needs to be part of the solutions,” says Sarah Kline, CEO and co-founder of United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH).

“From ending the COVID-19 pandemic to building back the economy; from improving our environment to reforming healthcare for the future: In all cases, integrating mental health will accelerate progress towards solutions and ensure a more resilient future for everyone.”

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