Most employees have concerns about workplace mental health

More people feel physically safe than psychologically safe: survey.

October 30, 2012

WINNIPEG — Almost three-quarters of Canadian employees are concerned about their mental health and safety in the workplace, according to a recent survey.

The Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace reveals 71% of the respondents report some degree of concern, including 14% who disagreed that their workplace is psychologically healthy and safe.

The good news is 68% of the respondents consider their workplaces psychologically safe and healthy, up from 65% in 2009.

The top three negative emotions associated with the workplace were frustration (56%), exhaustion (53%) and irritation (51%).

The survey results, which help establish a baseline for psychological health and safety on the eve of the release of the National Standard of Canada report on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, indicated more people feel physically safe (20%) than psychologically safe (33%).

“The fact that 14% of respondents feel that their psychological health and safety is at risk in the workplace is a significant concern,” says Mike Schwartz, senior vice-president of group benefits for Great-West Life and executive director of the Winnipeg centre.

However, he said the number has declined from 20% three years ago, “which suggests that some employers are successfully taking steps to address these issues.”

The study conducted in July involved 6,624 responses: 4,307 from employees and 2,317 from managers/supervisors.

Respondents came from a range of sectors and questions covered several subject areas.

Hot-button issues for manufacturers were serious and significant concerns about growth and development (48%), clear leadership expectations (47%), psychological support (45%) and psychological protection (43%).

Top concerns for mining, oil and gas extraction were culture (32%), growth and development (30%) and psychological support (30%).

Click here for more information about the report and other resources.