Close to half (45 per cent) of Canadians say the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, according to LifeWorks Inc.’s latest mental-health index.
Although Canadians’ overall mental-health score increased to negative 10 in April from negative 10.5 in March, respondents reported lower scores in terms of work productivity (negative 11.5 from negative 10.7), isolation (negative 10.8 from negative 10.4) and financial risk (2.7 from 4.0). Respondents who’ve been feeling the strain on their mental health as a result of the continuing public health crisis had one of the lowest mental-health scores (negative 18.9).
Respondents without emergency savings were twice as likely to report the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health and they continue to experience a lower mental-health score than the overall group (negative 31.1). By contrast, individuals with emergency savings had a mental-health score of negative 0.4.
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In addition, some of the lowest mental-health scores were reported by respondents who saw their salaries reduced over the last month (negative 18.6) and those working fewer hours (negative 18.3), compared to those with no change to their salaries or hours (negative 9.3) or those not currently employed (negative 9.2). Managers also reported a lower mental-health score than non-managers (negative 10.8 and negative 9.5, respectively).
Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents said they’re feeling more sensitive to stress now than before the pandemic and this group reported a mental-health score of negative 19.8. Respondents aged 40 and younger were 50 per cent more likely than their older counterparts to feel more sensitive to stress over this span of time. And individuals employed with reduced salary or fewer hours were more than 30 per cent more likely to feel more sensitive to stress now than they did before the pandemic hit.
Half (49 per cent) of respondents said they’ve noticed their colleagues are also more sensitive to stress now than prior to the pandemic and this group had a mental-health score of negative 14.4. The highest mental-health score (3.8) was reported by the 32 per cent who said they don’t feel more sensitive to stress now than they did prior to the pandemic.
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When asked how likely they’d be to reach out for professional help if they were struggling with stress or a mental-health issue, more than half (56 per cent) said they’d likely reach out and this group reported a mental-health score of negative 8.3. However, nearly one in five (17 per cent) said the opposite, reporting a mental-health score of negative 14.3.