Nearly half of Canadians spend NO time on their mental health

Sun Life pilots new personalized coach to help Clients navigate their mental health journey

Toronto, ON (Dec. 10, 2020) – With the pandemic impacting holiday plans, feelings of loneliness and anxiety are bound to take their toll on the mental health of Canadians. A recent survey by Sun Life reveals that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians say the pandemic continues to negatively impact their mental health. Yet, almost half of all Canadians (40%) report they do not spend any time on their mental health each week.

When it comes to how Canadians manage their mental health, the study finds differences across gender and age groups. More men (46%) report spending no time on their mental health, compared to women (34%). Across generations, Boomers, those aged 55 and older are the least likely (55%) to focus on their mental health.

The Sun Life survey finds that of those who spend time on their mental health, most (22%) Canadians report spending under one hour a week, followed by those that say they spend one to three hours per week on average (21%). This figure drops down significantly to nine per cent of Canadians spending three to five hours a week on their mental health.

Making mental health a priority everyday

All Canadians have mental health. Just as people take proactive steps to invest in their physical and financial health, Canadians need to do the same for their mental well-being. If you never spend time focusing on your mental health, it can be overwhelming. Sun Life recommends Canadians start small, with one or two acts of self-care each day.

“Many people think focusing on their mental health means therapy – but that’s only one tool available. There are various actions you can take to help improve your mental health. Whether you’re getting some fresh air or doing a free online mindfulness program, it’s the small steps that add up,” said Dr. Sam Mikail, Director, Mental Health Solutions, Sun Life. “Managing your mental health is a process that we all must make time for. Investing now can help reduce potential issues down the road.”

Lumino Health, an innovation from Sun Life, is a digital platform with free health resources, including mental health resources to help Canadians identify and navigate where they are on their journey. The platform also includes a health provider search tool to help Canadians connect with local healthcare professionals, even virtually.

Personalized Mental Health Coach for Group Benefits Clients

Sun Life’s benefits plans are helping to bridge the gap by using predictive analytics to identify Clients who are at the greatest risk of developing a mental health problem. Sun Life guides Clients on their individual mental health journey, towards the right resources and support for them. Suggestions include personalized actions or connecting with a practitioner for additional care.

“The pandemic continues to amplify the country’s mental health crisis and highlights the importance of helping Canadians live healthier lives,” said Dave Jones, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits, Sun Life Canada. “At Sun Life, we are committed to empowering our Employees, Clients and all Canadians in managing their mental health. Our goal is to equip Canadians with virtual mental health tools to help them get the support they need wherever they are in their journey.”

About the survey

The survey is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 12 – 15, 2020. A sample of 1,000 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel aged 18 and older. The data for Canadians surveyed was weighted to ensure the sample’s regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,186 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Lumino Health

Lumino Health network is an innovation from Sun Life, launched in fall 2018. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada created the platform as a commitment to helping Canadians live healthier lives. As Canada’s premier network of health resources, LuminoHealth.ca helps Canadians find healthcare providers near them in seconds and access resources and innovations to live healthier lives. In 2019, Lumino Health was awarded the “Reinventor” award by PWC for their innovative and industry-disrupting platform.

About CAMH

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Note: All figures in Canadian dollars

SOURCE: Sun Life Financial Canada

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