40% rise in employees seeking assistance for depression

The number of depression-related calls employees made to Canada Life Group Insurance’s employee assistance programme increased by 40% year on year, according to data from Capital Health and Wellbeing.


The findings, which are based on call data for the first quarter of 2015, revealed that 21% of calls made to the service were regarding mental health concerns. This is 5% higher than in the corresponding period in 2014.

The research also found that:

  • More than half of calls (57%) regarding mental health issues in the quarter were work related.
  • Stress accounted for 43% of the calls related to mental health issues during the quarter, up 9% year on year.
  • The number of calls about anxiety fell by 11% year on year during the first quarter of 2015, making up 25% of mental health-related calls.
  • Depression accounted for almost a third (31%) of calls, with the number of employees looking for assistance rising by 63% from the first quarter in 2013.
  • Around half (51%) of those with mental health concerns thought that they were coping poorly with their jobs prior to undergoing counselling. This figure dropped to 5% after employees received counselling support.

Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “It is clear that employers need to turn their attention to wider mental health issues, focussing not only on stress but also the effects of depression and anxiety.

“Employers have a duty-of-care responsibility to their staff to do as much as possible to prevent work-related mental health issues from developing. It is also vital that they provide appropriate support should an employee need it.”