Half (50 per cent) of small- and medium-sized employers are having trouble coping with mental-health challenges after two years of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and group insurance provider Nexim Canada.

It found two-thirds (66 per cent) of employers are close to burning out, citing pressures such as managing employees’ mental-health needs, staffing issues, reduced consumer spending and growing debt. More than half (54 per cent) said their employees are struggling with mental-health challenges, compared to 35 per cent in 2020.

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And while almost two-fifths (37 per cent) of employers said they’re accessing mental-health information for their employees, just 27 per cent are seeking support for themselves.

“Business owners who are still struggling to reopen fully or return to normal revenues tend to be closest to burning out,” said Corinne Pohlmann, senior vice-president of national affairs at the CFIB, in a press release. “In addition, business owners are struggling to take care of themselves while looking after their staff. There are limited mental-health and wellness programs aimed at smaller businesses, making it harder for them to access resources that might help.”

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