Mental health counselling popular with Canadians: report

But employees cite barriers of cost, time commitment: survey

Mental health counselling popular with Canadians: report

More Canadians are prioritizing their mental health this year compared to the previous year, according to a survey.

Overall, 72 per cent of Canadians say taking care of their mental health has become a priority, up from 68 per cent last year.

This is especially the case for those aged 18-34 (87 per cent), found American Express Canada.

Over half (53 per cent) of workers in Canada are having a negative feeling about work, while nearly one-third (30 per cent) of these workers feel tired and overworked, according to a separate report.

How popular is mental health counselling?

One thing that is proving popular among Canadians is free and on-site mental health counselling, according to Amex’s survey.

More than half (54 per cent) of Canadians say they would be more likely to use counselling services if their workplace offered them on-site and at no cost. 

This number jumps to 73 per cent for those aged 18-34.

However, 63 per cent of respondents say their workplaces do not offer free on-site counselling services.

What are the barriers to accessing counselling services?

Accessing mental health counselling has not been easy for Canadians, finds Amex, and the following are their top obstacles:

  • out-of-pocket expenses (37 per cent)
  • time commitment (32 per cent)
  • the process of finding a counsellor (22 per cent
  • stigma (16 per cent)

Despite these barriers, 62 per cent of Canadians say there has been no change to their workplaces’ mental health offerings, and only 17 per cent say they have increased.

Nearly nine in 10 (89 per cent) of Canadian professionals say their personal wellbeing has become a “top priority”, and 60 per cent think employers should be doing more to preserve employee wellbeing, according to a previous report.

What are the benefits of mental health counselling services?

Providing on-site mental health counselling for workers can be beneficial to employers, according to Janessa Tan, who was previously with digital mental health company ThoughtFull. These benefits include the following:

  1. It reduces long-term costs on employers.
  2. It improves workforce productivity.
  3. It creates a workplace safety net.
  4. It destigmatizes mental health conversations.

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