New Mental Health Survey Sheds More Light On Impact Of Depression In The Workplace

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2007 – The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre) today announced the release of a new survey on the impact of depression in the workplace. The survey, commissioned by the Centre and conducted by Ipsos-Reid this fall in association with the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, asked managers and employees about their personal experiences with depression.

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace represents a long term, public service commitment. The Centre has two objectives: to increase knowledge and awareness, and to turn knowledge into action – to help employers, managers and employees prevent and reduce the impacts of mental health issues in the workplace.

“This study sheds additional light on the issue of depression in the workplace and provides us with some revealing data on how managers and employees view this serious issue,” said Mike Schwartz, Executive Director of the Centre. “This is the first research project to be commissioned by the Centre, and consistent with our public service objective, we are pleased to make the results available to the public and to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.”

The survey revealed that:

  • 19% of Canadian workers missed three or more work days due to depression, stress or anxiety in the last 12 months
  • 64% of employees who had been diagnosed as clinically depressed or believed that they suffered from depression felt that a specific event in their life triggered the depression
  • Only 18% of Canadian managers said they had received training to help them identify and deal with employees who exhibit signs of depression

Schwartz encouraged Canadian employers, managers and employees to take time to read and understand the survey, and to become engaged in the issue of mental health.

“The issue of mental health is complex and touches many lives,” said Schwartz. “By becoming informed and engaged, Canadian employers, managers and employees can take steps today to better address workplace mental health issues.”

About the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Established in June 2007, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace brings a unique focus to an important issue for Canadian employers, managers, and employees. Focused specifically on the workplace, the Centre is working to increase awareness and understanding and to help employers take concrete steps to prevent and reduce employee mental health issues. The Centre is a long-term, public service commitment to this very important social and economic issue.

Results of the Ipsos-Reid survey will be available shortly on the Centre’s website at

About Great-West Life

Founded in Winnipeg in 1891, The Great-West Life Assurance Company has long been a leader in the group benefits marketplace. Great-West Life is a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies.