As workers' mental health declines, what are top 3 stressors at work?

'While many organizations have marked the recent months as a return to normalcy, we are not out of the woods yet'

As workers' mental health declines, what are top 3 stressors at work?

The need for Canadian employers to continue their support of workers’ mental health is clearly important, according to a new survey.

Canada’s Mental Health Index score for June 2022 is 64.1 points out of 100, declining from May’s score of 64.9 points, according to LifeWork’s survey of 3,000 respondents in Canada, conducted June 3 to 13, 2022.

“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,” says Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of LifeWorks.

“We have not seen a collective mental health score this low since January, which signals that conversations surrounding employee wellbeing and support should be continuing to ramp up, not slow down.”

Professional and personal

Three-quarters (74 per cent) of Canadians report feel some impact of personal or work stress, and while 26 per cent say work stressors are their primary source of stress, another 26 per cent cite say the same about personal stressors, finds LifeWorks.

Those that report work stressors as their primary source of stress cite volume of work (25 per cent), performance demands (14 per cent) and lack of support (12 per cent) as the leading sources.

Meanwhile, those that report personal stressors as their primary source of stress cite difficulties sleeping (31 per cent), an inability to relax (28 per cent), and emotional changes such as anxiety and depression (27 per cent).

“We focus a lot on work issues as a source of stress, but it is important to note that personal issues are equally impactful,” says Liptrap.

Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) of journalists and media workers are suffering from anxiety and 46 per cent go through depression, according to a previous report.

Workplace support

Employees who felt their mental health was supported by their employer during the pandemic have a mental health score more than seven points higher than the national average and nearly 15 points higher than those who did not feel their mental health was supported.

The top two actions employers took to support workers’ mental health were offering flexibility (51 per cent) and promoting mental health services and resources (41 per cent), according to the report.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of 13- to 34-year-olds and 69 per cent of 35- to 44-year-olds are prepared to leave their current employer for another that is offering better benefits, reports RBC Insurance.

Here are some pointers in ensuring that employers are supporting workers’ mental health, according to Steven Aldana, CEO of WellSteps, an employee wellness solutions company:

  • Employees should be encouraged to take breaks during the day to help manage stress.
  • Employees should be able to conveniently change work hours when needed.
  • Employees need to communicate with managers and co-workers.
  • Employees need support in a team atmosphere to better manage stress.
  • Supervisors should be available to help and advise when needed.
  • Programs or tools should be made available to help employees manage stress.
  • Employees want and need job security.
  • Employees need a pleasant and safe working environment to reduce workplace stress.

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