More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of Canadian employees face a moderate (45 per cent) to high (32 per cent) mental-health risk, according to LifeWorks Inc.’s latest mental-health index.

The survey’s respondents reported an overall mental-health score of 64.9, down slightly from 65.1 in September. Apart from financial risk (70.2), all mental-health scores declined from September to October, with anxiety (58), isolation (60.9) and work productivity (62.1) hovering at their lowest points for six consecutive months. The score for depression dropped from 63.5 in September to 62.9.

The majority (83 per cent) of respondents said they care about their work and this group had the most favourable mental-health score (66.9), two points higher than the national average, whereas those who felt the opposite or were unsure (17 per cent) had mental-health scores more than eight points below the national average.

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When choosing an employer, a third (34 per cent) of respondents said benefits and services offered for health and well-being is the most important consideration, followed by flexibility (28 per cent), the type of role (18 per cent) and the organization’s reputation for a positive workplace culture (14 per cent). Notably, the survey found working parents are 50 per cent more likely than non-parents to consider flexibility as a key factor when choosing an employer.

Two-fifths (41 per cent) of respondents said higher pay would most encourage them to put in more effort at work, while managers were 50 per cent more likely than non-managers to cite additional flexibility as a factor that encourages them to put in more effort.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents said nothing would encourage them to put in more effort at work, with respondents aged 50 and older nearly four-times more likely than those aged 40 and younger to express this belief.

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