Nearly two-thirds of Canadians are comfortable with less social interaction than before the pandemic


LifeWorks™ Mental Health Index finds 66% of Canadians who are comfortable with reduced socializing have a better mental health score than the national average

TORONTO, March 17, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellness solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ which showed that 66% of Canadians are comfortable with fewer social interactions than before the pandemic and that this group has a mental health score two points higher than the national average. Additionally, nearly half of Canadians said they are rethinking, or may be rethinking, their career goals in terms of focus and longevity in the wake of the pandemic.

The index found that Canadian workers are still under stress with a negative mental health score for all 23rd consecutive month. Although the score for Canadian workers improved from January, this month’s score still remains below the pre-pandemic mental health benchmark of 0.0.

The lingering effects of the pandemic have Canadian workers considering career changes, including retirement and retraining

  • Thirty percent of Canadians have changed their career goals as a result of the pandemic, with workers 40 and under more likely to say their goals have changed.

  • Eleven percent of Canadians will make a career change. This group has a mental health score of -21.3, more than 10 points below the national average.

  • Thirty percent plan to retrain for another career, while 24% plan to quit and change roles.

  • Twenty-one percent plan to retire and this group has the highest mental health score.

  • Executives are 55% more likely than non-executives to say they will change careers due to the pandemic.

Comments from President and CEO, Stephen Liptrap
“Canadians continue to face many challenges, both inside and outside the workplace due to the pandemic, across the spectrum of physical, mental, financial and social well-being. The decisions made are largely driven by people looking for opportunities to improve their overall health. As organizations across Canada navigate this complex time, it is critical that employee well-being remains a priority for retention and as a driver of longer-term business success.

Commentary from Global Leader and Senior Vice President, Research and Total Wellbeing, Paula Allen
“It’s clear that people are comfortable interacting and seeing others less, and even though we’ve gotten used to less interaction, that doesn’t mean it’s better in the long run. There had a trend of increased isolation before the pandemic, which has now been exacerbated. This is yet another mental health risk factor that individuals and employers need to be concerned about. It may take some time, but we need to start connecting to others more than we currently are.

The full report of the Canadian LifeWorks™ Mental Health Index can be viewed here. This month’s report includes additional information on Canadians’ ability to be themselves at work and the prevalence of career changes unrelated to the pandemic.

About the Mental Health Index™
LifeWorks’ monthly survey was conducted via an online survey in English and French from February 1-8, 2022 with 3,000 respondents in Canada. All respondents reside in Canada and have worked in the past six months. The data was statistically weighted to ensure that the regional and gender composition of the sample reflects this population. The Mental Health Index™ is released monthly, starting in April 2020, and compares to baseline data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks
LifeWorks is a global leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total well-being of people. We provide a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their employees and, in doing so, improve their business.


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Heather MacDonald

jennifer farr
Kaiser & Partners

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