46% of Canadians report higher stress sensitivity compared to pre-pandemic

For more than two years, Canadians have been subjected to change and uncertainty, and the situation has not got any easier

46% of Canadians report higher stress sensitivity compared to pre-pandemic

LifeWorks has issued the latest edition of its monthly Mental Health Index, revealing that nearly half of Canadians are feeling more sensitive to stress.

According to the survey, 46% of Canadians who are more susceptible to stress had a mental health score approximately ten points lower than the national average.

The leading provider of digital and in-person complete wellness solutions adds that 49% of Canadian workers have noticed that their colleagues appear to get stressed more easily now than before the outbreak.

For the 25th month in a row, the Index indicated that Canadian employees are under stress, with a mental health index score below 10 points below the pre-pandemic baseline of 0.0, though that was half a point improvement from the -10.5 mark in March.

The report also shows that in comparison to pre-pandemic levels of stress sensitivity, many Canadians are expressing concerns about themselves and their coworkers.

Forty-nine per cent of working Canadians have noticed their coworkers are more sensitive to stress, with 46% saying the same for themselves and 22% saying they are unsure.

Respondents under the age of 40 are 50% more likely than those over the age of 50 to experience heightened sensitivity to stress.

When compared to before the epidemic, Canadians who are receiving lower pay or work fewer hours are more than 30% more likely to be stressed.

Seventeen per cent of Canadians who are stressed or struggling with mental health issues are reluctant to seek professional treatment.

Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer, said in a comment, “Our research is showing a modest mental health improvement among Canadians this month, with many feeling comfortable enough to reach out for professional help when they need it. While this is encouraging to see, stressors inside and outside of the workplace continue to make it challenging for individuals to manage their wellbeing in a healthy way.

“It is important for employers to recognize there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to how employees are feeling, and that providing ongoing communication and support is critical to ensure employee mental health remains a top priority,” he added.

Global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen, said, “Canadians have been experiencing nonstop changes and uncertainties for over two years, and time has not made it any easier to navigate the ongoing turbulence. In fact, long-term strain is actually driving the increased sensitivity to stress. Additionally, while life has begun to return to a sense of normalcy for some, many are carrying the heavy weight of stressful world events on their shoulders.”

She noted, “As these occurrences continue to impact peoples’ mental health, it will create an even more unpredictable landscape for individuals and the economy. Employers should be aware that a return to pre-pandemic routines does not mean a return to pre-pandemic mental health. Now is not the time to ease back on the focus on mental health supports and services, and in fact, the opposite is true.”