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Nearly half of Canadians are more sensitive to stress than before the pandemic

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Nearly half of Canadians are more sensitive to stress than before the pandemic

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals 46 per cent of Canadians are feeling an increased sensitivity to stress

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ that showed the 46 per cent of Canadians feeling more sensitive to stress have a mental health score nearly 10 points below the national average. Additionally, 49 per cent of Canadian employees have noticed their colleagues also appear to be more sensitive to stress than pre-pandemic.

The Index found that Canadian workers are still under strain with a mental health score lower than the pre-pandemic benchmark of 0.0 for the 25th consecutive month.

  • The Mental Health Index™ score for April 2022 is -10.0, a half point improvement from March’s score of -10.5.

Many Canadians are expressing more stress sensitivity concerns about themselves and their colleagues, compared to pre-pandemic

  • Forty-nine per cent of working Canadians have noticed their colleagues are more sensitive to stress, with 46 per cent indicating the same for themselves and 22 per cent unsure.
  • Respondents younger than 40 are 50 per cent more likely to feel an increased sensitivity to stress than those older than 50.
  • Canadians with a reduced salary or fewer hours are more than 30 per cent more likely to feel sensitive to stress compared to before the pandemic.
  • Seventeen per cent of Canadians struggling with stress or their mental health are unlikely to reach out for professional help.

Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap

“Our research is showing a modest mental health improvement among Canadians this month, with many feeling comfortable enough to reach out for professional help when they need it. While this is encouraging to see, stressors inside and outside of the workplace continue to make it challenging for individuals to manage their wellbeing in a healthy way. It is important for employers to recognize there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to how employees are feeling, and that providing ongoing communication and support is critical to ensure employee mental health remains a top priority.”

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

“Canadians have been experiencing nonstop changes and uncertainties for over two years, and time has not made it any easier to navigate the ongoing turbulence. In fact, long-term strain is actually driving the increased sensitivity to stress. Additionally, while life has begun to return to a sense of normalcy for some, many are carrying the heavy weight of stressful world events on their shoulders. As these occurrences continue to impact peoples’ mental health, it will create an even more unpredictable landscape for individuals and the economy. Employers should be aware that a return to pre-pandemic routines does not mean a return to pre-pandemic mental health. Now is not the time to ease back on the focus on mental health supports and services, and in fact, the opposite is true.”

The full Canadian LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impacts of the pandemic on Canadians’ mental health, the most important factors for Canadians when choosing a mental health professional and the conflict in Ukraine. To receive LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ every month, subscribe here.

About the Mental Health Index™

The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey in English and French from April 7 to 22, 2022 with 3,000 respondents in Canada. All respondents reside in Canada and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks

LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.


Heather MacDonald

Jennifer Farr
Kaiser & Partners

Source: LifeWorks