Pandemic stress at work creates big demand for mental health help

·1 min read
More Islanders are feeling the stress of going to work in the pandemic. (Getty Images - image credit)
More Islanders are feeling the stress of going to work in the pandemic. (Getty Images - image credit)

Companies on P.E.I. have been turning increasingly to the Canadian Mental Health Association for help to get their employees through the pandemic.

Tayte Willows, director of programs and policies with CMHA P.E.I., said requests for presentations at workplaces have gone from one or two a month, to one or two per week.

"Folks who are just exhausted from having to go through this for as long as we have, and that's having an impact on their desire to to get up and to be doing their jobs or to be getting up and contributing to their workplaces because it's just so much of the same," said Willows.

"We were hoping to see the end of it by now, but we're kind of extending that for a while, because we have to. And so we're seeing some fatigue in terms of dealing with this in the workplace."

The CMHA offers presentations that approach the problem from different directions, from personal coping strategies to workplace policies that can help alleviate the particular stresses employees are feeling.

Willows said the presentations are generally just the beginning of change, and it's important that it be the employer that starts that conversation.

Employees may be reluctant to admit they are having problems, particularly if they don't see their jobs as secure or are on contract.

"It's a pretty big mental load for someone to carry, to want to have that conversation but not know what's going to happen on the other end," said Willows.

The CMHA has several prepared presentations it can offer, she said, and it is also possible to create programs specifically for a particular workplace.

More from CBC P.E.I.