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Overcoming Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace & Supporting Employees

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday January 11, 2022

Updated : Thursday October 6, 2022

Canada’s mental health crisis has worsened under the COVID-19 pandemic, which is something experts believe Canadians and their employers will need to deal with for many years to come. During these times, working Canadians will be looking to their employers’ benefits plans for solutions. 

To support Canadians and equip workplaces with the resources and tools they need to safeguard their mental health, we need to have a frank conversation about mental health stigma. 

Mental Health Stigma 

Despite the growing mental health crisis in Canada, stigma around mental health remains strong. This stigma creates an uphill battle and leads to negative outcomes and inaccurate perceptions. 

One of the most common mental health stigmas is that mental health problems are not common, or that those struggling simply need to “try harder”. In truth, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health challenges in a year. Of those, only 1 in 3 seek treatment or aid, further contributing to their isolation.

Mental Illness Awareness and the Overall Mental Health of Canadians

Mental Health Stigma is Harmful 

Not only is mental health stigma pervasive within Canada, it is also quite harmful to overall mental health efforts. Mental health stigma can lead to: 

Employers who are serious about protecting and supporting employees’ mental health will need to be able to recognize its harmful effects, but also work to lessen mental health stigma within their workplace. 

How Employers Can Combat Mental Health Stigma 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 

One of the most impactful things employers can do to support employees’ mental health is offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs offer support, resources, and service to employees struggling with life’s challenges through professional counselling, and more. 

Learn more about EAPs and how they support employees and improve mental health!

How an EAP Improves Mental Health