QUEBEC, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - The findings from a national survey on
mental health issues reveal subtle differences in Quebec workplaces
compared to the country as a whole.
The Conference Board of Canada's 2011 survey on mental health found that
mental health is a significant national business issue - one that
requires the attention of organizations. Although Canadian employers
have taken steps to remove stigmas associated with mental health
issues, misinformation, fear and prejudice remain far too prevalent in
The situation in Quebec is similar to the national picture with some
nuanced differences. Quebec workers are somewhat more reticent than
workers nationally to share mental health problems with their
Forty-one per cent of Quebec respondents said they would be comfortable
having a conversation with a co-worker about that worker's mental
health, as compared to almost half of respondents nationally. One in
five Quebec workers (21 per cent) felt they would be comfortable
discussing their own mental health with co-workers, compared to 28 per
cent of respondents nationally. Quebec workers said they would be as
comfortable discussing a mental health issue with their immediate
supervisor as workers nationally.
One area where Quebec workplaces exceed the national average is in
holding managers accountable for workplace mental health issues. In
Quebec, 57 per cent agreed that managers are held accountable for
addressing workplace issues that may negatively impact the mental
well-being of employees as compared to 51 per cent nationally.
"Quebec has long been a leader in addressing the issue of psychological
harassment in the workplace," said Louise Chénier, a Research Associate
at the Conference Board who specializes in workplace health and
wellness. "In 2002, labour standards were amended in Quebec to
recognize that employers have a responsibility to create a
harassment-free workplace for their employees. At the time, Québec was
the only government in North America to recognize this very real
Fewer Quebecers reported having personal experience with a mental health
issue. In Quebec, 29 per cent said they had experienced a mental health
issue in the past, and seven per cent said they had an issue at
present. Nationally, 32 per cent of respondents said they had previous
personal experience with a mental health issue and 12 per cent said
they were experiencing it at present.
The survey also asked workers and managers whether their organizations
had supports in place to deal with mental health or workplace
accommodations for employees with both mental and physical
disabilities. Forty per cent of Quebec respondents said their
organization has accommodations in the workplace for employees with
mental and physical disabilities, compared to 48 per cent nationally.
And half of Quebec respondents said their organizations offer
supportive programs, services, or benefits that address their mental
health needs, slightly below the corresponding national result.
The national findings are based on a January 2011 survey of 1,010
individuals currently employed on either a part-time or full-time
basis. The research is supplemented with a total of 30 follow-up
in-depth interviews. The Quebec results are based on the responses of
233 Quebec managers and employees from the survey. A fact sheet with
the Quebec results is available (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/Libraries/PUBLIC_PDFS/FactSheet_MentallyHealthyWrkplcs.sflb).
The results will be discussed in two Conference Board of Canada
webinars: (paying subscribers only):
The report, Building Mentally Healthy Workplaces: Perspectives of Canadian Workers
and Front-Line Managers (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=4287) provides a national perspective on Canadians' work environment and the
degree to which it supports their mental well-being. For this study the
definition of a mental health issue was very broad and included:
excessive stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, addictions and
substance abuse, mania, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, among
The report identifies four areas where organizations can take action.
Focusing on education and communication to reduce fear, stigma and
discrimination in the workplace;
Ensuring the organizational culture is conducive to supporting
employees' mental health;
Encouraging senior executives to show demonstrable leadership around
mental health; and
Building managers' capacity to support employees by providing the tools
and training required in their role.
The study was sponsored by Bell Canada, Manulife Financial, Morneau
Shepell, Canada Post Corporation, and TD Bank Group. Additional
financial support received from Morneau Shepell made the production of
the French report possible. The report is available at www.e-library.ca.
Image with caption: "Conference Board of Canada Publishes Findings on Mental Health Issues in Quebec Workplaces (CNW Group/CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111108_C3665_PHOTO_EN_6251.jpg
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448