With a growing awareness of the critical link between mental health and overall well-being, workplaces are recognizing the importance of providing meaningful support to employees and the value it brings to organizations. Given that individuals spend a significant portion of their life working, employers play a crucial role in supporting their mental health.

Teladoc Health Canada, a long-standing provider of virtual health care services, recently commissioned Modus Research to conduct a mental health survey of over 1,600 Canadians. The survey provides a detailed examination of the unique needs of Canadians and the ongoing challenges they face in accessing Mental Health support. This study not only highlights the urgent need for robust mental health resources, but also offers strategic insights for employers to better support their workforce.

Key highlights: 71% of Canadians would remain with employers who fully meet their mental health needs 

The survey uncovered systemic barriers in the mental health care journey, with difficulty in accessing care, varying confidence in the quality of care, and disparities in receiving care standing out as the most prevalent issues. Alarmingly, a significant 78% of those who attempted to access mental health support described the process of navigating the health care system as “somewhat or very difficult.”

“The study illustrates that while awareness of mental health issues has increased, substantial gaps in actual support remain. It’s not just about resource availability; it’s about cultivating an environment where employees feel safe and supported in seeking the care they need,” said Joby McKenzie PhD, Managing Director of Teladoc Health Canada.

Demonstrating the full strength of a supportive environment, 71% of study participants indicated a greater likelihood of remaining with an employer who fully supports their mental health needs.

“Recognizing that everyone’s health care needs are unique, we collaborate with employers to offer Mental Health services, from digital self-help and virtual therapy to Employee and Family Assistance Program and Mental Health Navigator, which provides personalized guidance to help employees navigate Canada’s complex mental health system,” McKenzie says.

Majority lack confidence in mental health diagnoses 

Over half of the survey respondents (53%) reported difficulty finding a professional who could effectively help them, highlighting a significant gap in accessible and effective mental health support. Similarly, only 28% of participants who received mental health care felt highly confident in their diagnosis. Reflecting a lack of confidence, 43% of respondents expressed interest in obtaining a second opinion on their mental health treatment plan or diagnosis. These findings underscore the urgent need for better mental health support and resources.

“Despite a reduction in mental health stigma, significant gaps in accessing mental health care persist. Employees may be more willing to seek help from their employers, but the support they receive must be comprehensive and effective. Mental health significantly impacts productivity and quality of life, making it imperative for employers to simplify access to medically reliable resources and create a supportive environment,” added Dr. Karolina Filipowska, Deputy Medical Director at Teladoc Health Canada.

The impact of virtual care

The study also emphasizes the transformative potential of virtual care solutions in helping to address mental health support gaps. Virtual care offers accessible, flexible, and confidential options for employees who may otherwise hesitate to seek help.

“Virtual care revolutionizes mental health support,” McKenzie added. “It removes many traditional barriers such as stigma and accessibility, providing a private and convenient way for employees to get the care they need.”

Teladoc Health Canada’s survey highlights the pressing need for improved mental health support in workplaces. By embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion principles, enhancing communication, and integrating virtual care solutions, employers can effectively address the mental health needs of their diverse workforce, fostering a supportive and productive work environment.

For more information about Teladoc Health Canada and their mental health solutions, visit https://www.teladochealth.ca/expert-care/mental-health/

Sponsored By: