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60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

If you found a job that paid less but provided better mental health support, would you take it?

According to a survey released Wednesday by Morneau Shepell, 60 per cent of Canadians would.

The human resources firm found even 51 per cent of workers experiencing “high financial stress” said they would take a pay cut in exchange for a more wellness-oriented workplace. If the pay remained the same, the number of workers who would jump ship rose to 77 per cent.

The survey found that 22 per cent of employees considered work their top cause of stress, while 21 per cent cited financial issues.

Nearly half of employees surveyed said the mental demands of their current jobs had increased within the past two years, while just four per cent said they had decreased.

Morneau Shepell said 53 per cent of workers believed that talk therapy would be the best to help with their mental health issues, while 43 per cent wanted digital mindfulness or meditation and 38 per cent asked for cognitive behavioural therapy. About 39 per cent said they would consider taking medication to help.

As the second leading cause of workplace stress, money was top of mind for Canadian workers no matter how much they made. The survey found 42 per cent of employees thought they struggled more with finances than others who made the same amount of money.

Morneau Shepell said 36 per cent of workers believed financial stress hurt their productivity, while 24 per cent said it lessened their attendance.

But while money and employer-provided mental health supports were important, so was feeling a bond with coworkers.

The survey found 25 per cent of employees don’t feel connected to their workplace due to a lack of relationship with their coworkers. Mental health appeared to play a role, as 11 per cent of those with “excellent” mental health reported feeling isolated, compared to 47 per cent of those with poor mental health.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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