Nearly one-half (47 per cent) of working Canadians find their job and their place of employment the most stressful part of their day, according to a recent survey by Ipsos Reid.
Two in 10 (16 per cent) of working Canadians (excluding self-employed workers) find their place of work a “frequent” (11 per cent) or an “ongoing” (five per cent) source of feelings of depression, anxiety or other mental illness.
The survey also found 14 per cent of workers say their job or place of work causes these feelings “several times a year,” while another 33 per cent experience them “infrequently,” according to respondents of the survey, which was conducted on behalf of Partners for Mental Health, a national charitable organization looking to change the perception of mental health and mental illness in Canada.
Four in ten (37 per cent) working Canadians say their work or place of work has “never been the source of feelings of depression, anxiety or other mental illness.”
While Canadians of all ages and both genders are equally as likely to say that their work impacts them in this way at least frequently, men (42 per cent) are more likely than women (33 per cent) to say their work never impacts them in this way, as are working Canadians aged 55 and older (44 per cent) compared to those aged 35 to 54 (38 per cent) or younger workers (29 per cent).
"Even though 44 per cent of (older) workers say they have or have had mental health issues, people are still not talking openly about it in the workplace,” says Jeff Moat, president of Partners for Mental Health. “This has to change for the sake of business and the long-term health of all employees."
As one’s income increases, so too does one’s propensity to agree that work is the most stressful part of their day, the survey says. Workers in British Columbia (50 per cent) are most likely to say work is the most stressful part of their day, followed by those living in Ontario (48 per cent), Alberta (47 per cent), Quebec (45 per cent), Atlantic Canada (43 per cent) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (40 per cent).
The data also reveals there still appears to be a lingering stigma against mental illness in the workplace. One in three (35 per cent) would be “likely” to have an open discussion with their boss about their mental health or illness. Two in three (65 per cent) would not be likely to have an open discussion with their boss about their mental illness. Ontario residents (71 per cent) are most inclined to say they wouldn’t be likely to discuss an issue like this with their employer, followed by those working in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (68 per cent), Alberta (67 per cent), British Columbia (66 per cent), Quebec (58 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (55 per cent).
The online poll was conducted between April 18 and 24 with a sample of 1,058 working Canadians.
In order to help drive change, Partners for Mental Health has launched the Not Myself Today campaign, which is designed to educate and engage Canadians on the issues of mental health in the workplace.