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44% of Canadians feel their careers would suffer if they revealed mental health issues: report

Half of managers said they drank more in February than they did in October, before the second wave

Nearly half of Canadians feel that their career options would be limited if their employers knew about their mental health issues, a recent report from Morneau Shepell has found.

The report, released Tuesday (March 23), measures mental health of working Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as the 11th month of the crisis continued to take its toll.

It found that 44 per cent of Canadians surveyed believed their careers would suffer if their bosses knew about their mental health. These employees were also found to have the lowest mental health of all groups surveyed, as well as being the least productive at work.

But the bosses may be struggling too, the report found. Half of managers believed their careers would be at risk if they revealed their mental health struggles and 42 per cent said they would feel more negatively about themselves if they had mental health issues. Half of managers also said they drank more in February, when the third wave was on its way, than they did in October, before the second wave.

Overall alcohol use increased among younger and older working Canadians alike during the pandemic, but at different times.

People under the age of 40 were twice as likely to report an uptick in their drinking during the first wave of the pandemic compared to the second wave. Parents were twice as likely as childfree people to drink more during the second and third waves of the pandemic.

Overall mental health has gone up and down for many Canadians throughout the pandemic. Canadians saw a big drop in their mental health in April of last year, as the full force of COVID-19 hit. It then increased somewhat until July and fluctuated throughout the summer before dropping to its lowest point in December. Since the new year, it has lifted slightly.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, 23 per cent of employees think that their employer will struggle and one per cent believe they will go out of business.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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