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Mental health : Canadians do not have recourse to the resources

by

Charles Mathieu

24th of September 2019 11:31

Photo : Freepik

A large number of canadian workers affected by a mental health problem will not have recourse to the resources offered by their employer or by the State, reveal a number of surveys published by RBC Insurance and Sun Life Financial.

“Canadians fear the repercussions if they admit they suffer from a mental illness, which may prevent him from getting the help they need,” said Maria Winslow, senior director general, life and health insurance, with RBC Insurance. However, a mental health problem untreated can have serious consequences, such as loss of a job and financial difficulties, especially if the person does not have adequate coverage. “

A different form of disability

The survey conducted by RBC shows that 53 % of Canadians surveyed consider depression as a form of disability. In regards to the anxiety, the proportion is 41 %. This is an increase of 6 % and 5 % respectively, when compared to the previous year.

“It is encouraging to see that Canadians make the link between mental illness and disability, most likely due to the work of information and the openness of those who are willing to share their personal difficulties “, said Maria Winslow.

60 % do not use available resources

However, 75 % of Canadians surveyed by RBC admit that they would be reluctant or would not agree to suffer from a mental illness to a colleague or a boss.

This reluctance comes also reduce the number of workers taking advantage of the resources that are available to them. Sun Life Financial reports that seeking help remains difficult for Canadians suffering from a mental health problem.

The Barometer survey Sun Life 2019 highlights the fact that 60 % of those do not have recourse to the benefits programs offered by their employer and 78% have not made use of government resources.

Note that after the survey of the Sun Life, 59 % of workers surveyed have already experienced a mental health problem.

“This is to talk to someone or to navigate the health system, there is help available to get the care you need — and get it fast. Take the first step is never easy, but given the increase in mental health problems, it is crucial that Canadians maximize the use of the tools available to do their work. Often, employees do not know the extent of the resources at their disposal, whether it be to maintain their mental health in everyday life or help them through a difficult period, ” says Dave Jones, senior vice-president, group benefits at Sun Life financial Canada.

The stigma in question

According to the results obtained by RBC Insurance, the stigma of mental illness would be one of the main reasons for this reluctance. “It is evident that the perception of stigma still exists, preventing some people to speak up and ask for help “, said Maria Winslow.

In fact, ” the belief that the public stigmatizes mental health issues “, ” not wanting to be treated differently “, “not wanting to be judged” and ” fear of negative consequences, such as losing their job “, are the main reasons given by the workers concerning the fact of entrusting the task to their colleagues or their boss.

“We all have a role to play in supporting the well-being and mental health of Canadians. As an employer, we need to create a work environment that is open to the employees and ensure that they feel supported when they are experiencing a problem, said Jacques Goulet, president of Sun Life Canada. Together, we can break down barriers and open the door to better communication when someone is suffering from a mental health problem. There is help available. Nobody should have to face alone such a challenge. “

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