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The Mental Health Commission of Canada conducted a survey to determine employee and employer perceptions of extended mental health benefits in Canadian workplaces. Mental health problems in Canada are both common and costly (and have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic). Yet the lack of mental health resources means that many workers’ needs are not being met. While research and policy have put more focus on promoting timely and equitable access to resources in the public system, two-thirds of adult workers have access to extended health benefits (EHBs) through their employer that include varying degrees of mental health care coverage.
Even though respondents were required to have access to EHBs to complete the survey, only 39 percent had made use of such benefits for psychological services over the past year. Whether or not they had used them, both groups (80%) felt that the coverage was inadequate. The most common reasons for accessing psychological services through EHBs were anxiety (23%); depression (17%); and issues related to family (12%), work (11%), and COVID-19 stress (8%). A large percentage had timely access to a psychologist (72% saw a psychologist in the past month), with the same number (72%) reporting improvement in their problem as a result of such services. Click here for a comprehensive overview of the survey results.
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