Canadian employees suffering from mental-health issues aren’t accessing support through their workplace benefits, according to new data from Sun Life Canada.

The data found 59 per cent of working Canadians said they’ve experienced a mental-health issue, an increase from 52 per cent in 2017. Among this group, 60 per cent said they aren’t accessing support through their workplace benefits and 78 per cent also haven’t used government-funded services.

Read: New online tool offers mental-health help in a box

“We all have a role to play in supporting mental health in Canada,” said Jacques Goulet, president of Sun Life Canada, in a press release. “As an employer, it’s about creating a safe environment for your employees and ensuring they feel supported throughout their mental-health journey. Together, we can break down barriers and open the door for communication for someone experiencing a mental-health condition. Help is out there. No one should face these challenges on their own.”

The data also found two out of three millennials have reported dealing with a mental-health issue at some point in their life. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of that group said they spoke to loved ones about it.

However, when it comes to finding mental-health support, millennials are the least likely (39 per cent) to seek help from health professionals; 61 per cent haven’t used their workplace mental-health benefits and 76 per cent also haven’t used government-funded services.

Read: What you don’t know about your employee assistance program

“Taking the first step is never easy, but with mental-health issues on the rise, it’s crucial for Canadians to maximize the tools offered by their workplace,” said Dave Jones, senior vice-president of group benefits at Sun Life Canada. “Employees often don’t realize that their employer has resources available to help them, whether it be to maintain their mental health on a day-to-day basis or during a difficult time.”

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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