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Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Centre brings new focus to Wellness in the Workplace

April 5, 2022

Two years of living through a pandemic has put a renewed spotlight on mental health and how it affects all aspects of our lives, including our jobs. Many employers have re-examined existing workplace supports, recognizing the role they play in their employees' emotional, physical, and social wellness. As we transition out of the pandemic, employers have an opportunity to redefine their organizational priorities and ensure that workplace mental health supports reflect their workers' evolving needs.

Desjardins Insurance recognizes that opportunity and has joined with The Conference Board of Canada External link. This link will open in a new window. as a founding partner of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Centre. The Centre is leading a critical examination of issues facing Canadian organizations by conducting evidenced-based studies and developing practical solutions that can benefit employers across the country and ultimately, their employees.

Employers play vital role supporting wellbeing of workers

“Workplace mental health and wellbeing is top of mind for many organizations, as strong mental health is the cornerstone of employee engagement and workplace productivity,” says Dr. Susan Black, CEO of The Conference Board of Canada.

“Some organizations are better equipped to move forward in their efforts while others are potentially hindered by limited resources, lack of awareness, or the need for additional support to navigate the abundance of information available,” says Erin Mills, Director of Human Capital at The Conference Board.

Dr. Black and Ms. Mills note that issues related to workplace mental health are complex, variable, and can be organization- or job-specific. The goal of the Centre is to provide meaningful, actionable insights and better support to all Canadians through ambitious research that looks at key facets of mental health in the workplace.  

Dr. Black says that having organizations such as Desjardins Insurance at the table for these discussions is critical. “As a benefits provider, they can offer critical insights into emerging trends in mental health and are uniquely positioned to use this research to create new initiatives that both enhance and support employee wellbeing across many sectors.”

Future-Proofing Investments in Workplace Mental Health

The Centre's first study will explore the current efforts of Canadian companies to address workplace mental health and wellness. The findings will be used to identify key areas where mental health initiatives can yield the most benefit to employees, and to understand the impact of mental health on absenteeism, presenteeism, and talent attraction and retention.

We’re excited about our partnership with the Conference Board of Canada and everything we’ll be able to accomplish through the new research centre,” said Denis Dubois, Executive Vice-President, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, Desjardins Group. “We’ll get insights into what Canadian employers and their employees are struggling with most so we can create mental health and wellness solutions that will really make a difference for Canadians, and particularly for our group insurance clients.”