A study by the Conference Board of Canada has found that despite the fact mental health issues are a top reason for disability leave at Canadian companies, a majority of employers have yet to implement mental health strategies to deal with the problem.
The study found that employers in the health and education sectors were the most likely to have mental health strategies in place, while employers in natural resources and arts, entertainment and recreation performed the worst.
“Employers are increasingly turning their attention towards supporting mental health,” said Louise Chénier, Manager, Workplace Health and Wellness Research. “While many employers have mental health initiatives in place, a majority of them often lack a proactive mental health strategy that addresses the workplace risks that could negatively impact their employees’ health and wellness”.
Findings included in the report include:
Only 39 per cent of Canada’s employers have a mental health strategy in place;
Employers in the public sector were significantly more likely (47 per cent) than organizations in the private sector (33 per cent) to have indicated implementing a mental health strategy in their workplace;
A little over 30 per cent of employers cited a lack of knowledge on how to address mental health as a reason for not having implemented a mental health strategy.
The most-cited reasons for not implementing a mental health strategy were limited financial resources, human resources, or time (56 per cent), a lack of knowledge on how to address mental health (32 per cent), the fact mental health strategies are not a legal or legislative requirements (23 per cent), or mental health is not an issue in their workplace (31 per cent).