More than one in five Canadian employees report depression: Manager intervention improving but more support needed, Ipsos Reid finds

High resolution Infographic: Depression in the workplace

Managing Mental Health Matters is a practical resource to help managers respond when mental health may be a factor

WINNIPEG, Oct. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - More than one in five (22 per cent) of Canadian employees report  they are currently suffering depression (14 per cent diagnosed) while an additional 16 per cent report having experienced depression previously, according to the latest national Ipsos Reid survey tracking depression in the workplace. Further, 84 per cent of managers and supervisors continue to believe it is part of their job to intervene when an employee is showing signs of depression, comparable to 2007 findings. Both surveys were commissioned and funded by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace to help define and respond to mental health issues in the workplace.

"The really good news is that more managers have received training in how to intervene. In 2007, only one in five had received any training on how to intervene with emotionally distressed employees; now one third do," says Mary Ann Baynton (photo), Program Director for the Centre. "This speaks to increased awareness and availability of resources."

"We're not there yet, though. Nearly two thirds of managers are still seeking better training to address this type of situation. They are asking for more support and flexibility from upper-level management and Human Resources. Employers may feel they don't have the resources to respond, and this is where free online training like Managing Mental Health Matters can help," she says.

Managing Mental Health Matters is a practical resource to help managers respond to accommodation, return to work, conflict or performance issues when mental health may be a factor.

"Survey results indicate that employers are perceived to be less accommodating of those experiencing mental health-related issues compared to those with physical health-related issues," says Mike Schwartz, Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits for Great-West Life and Executive Director of the Centre. "The consensus appears to be that it is easier for workplaces to deal with physical disabilities than with mental health conditions – perhaps because employers may not be aware of available resources to help them do so, or because employees are less likely to self-identify as needing support."

One free resource employers may share with employees as part of a workplace wellness approach is Working Through It™, a video-based online program intended to reach people who may be struggling with mental health issues at work. It was developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Moods Disorder Association of Ontario.

More information about free resources and survey results are available on the Centre's website at

About the survey
The Ipsos Reid survey on depression in the workplace is the latest national survey on workplace mental health commissioned and funded by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. It builds on an earlier 2007 Ipsos Reid survey on depression in the workplace as well as a 2009 survey on psychological health and safety in the workplace. New to this year's survey is an assessment of managers and supervisors in terms of their abilities to manage their emotions across a number of key areas and domains. Further results are expected to be released shortly.

A total of 6,624 surveys were completed online, including 4,307 among non-management employees and 2,317 surveys among managers and supervisors. Among the largest of their kind in Canada, these surveys helped define workplace mental health issues facing employers and employees across major industry sectors in Canada and have led to the development of free resources.

About the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
Established in 2007, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace is a leading source of practical ideas, tools and resources designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. Focused specifically on the workplace, the Centre is working to increase awareness and understanding, and to help employers take concrete steps to foster a psychologically healthy and safe workplace and manage employee mental health issues. All of the Centre's tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, and at no charge at

Working Through It is a trademark of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, a joint venture, and is used with permission.

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and design are registered trademarks of The Great-West Life Assurance Company.

As an Imagine Caring Company, Great-West Life is proud to support the resources developed through the Centre through its national corporate citizenship program, Stronger Communities Together™.

Image with caption: "Infographic: Depression in the workplace (CNW Group/Great-West Life Assurance Company)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Great-West Life Assurance Company

For further information:

For more information or to reach a spokesperson for the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, Great-West Life or Ipsos Reid, contact: 

Marlene Klassen, APR
Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services, Great-West Life

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890