Supporting Employee Mental Health During a Recession

Supporting Employee Mental Health During a Recession

Economic instability is becoming widespread amid record inflation, and many Canadians fear a recession. Recessions can cause job layoffs and increases in unemployment overall. Furthermore, the uncertainty that a recession brings can have adverse effects on employees’ mental health and, consequently, organizations. Thus, it’s critical that employers prepare to help support their employees’ well-being during the current difficult economic climate. To that end, this article discusses ways to bolster employee mental well-being.

Impacts of Employee Mental Health

Employee mental health not only impacts individuals but can also significantly affect workplaces. Despite roughly 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing a mental illness in their lifetime, there is still a stigma associated with discussing such issues. In fact, 26% of employees don’t feel comfortable talking to their direct managers about mental health concerns, according to recent research by software company Capterra.

If left unaddressed, poor mental health in employees can result in the following workplace consequences:

  • Increased absence
  • Reduced productivity
  • Regular workplace tension and conflict

Experiencing these negative impacts during a recession could have devastating consequences for organizations. Therefore, it’s vital for workplaces to provide support to employees during economic downturns.

Providing Support

There are many ways to support employee mental health during a recession. Consider the following tips:

  • Provide mental health support through employee assistance programs. Mental health assistance can include offering mental health screenings, accommodating scheduling flexibility and allowing stress leave.
  • Talk openly about mental health support in the workplace. Educating employees about mental health can go a long way to help destigmatize this sensitive subject.
  • Provide stress management resources to employees. Stress contributes significantly to an employee’s mental health. Strategies to incorporate stress management techniques include encouraging a good work-life balance, teaching employees breathing techniques and having regular one-on-one meetings to see how individual employees are doing.
  • Survey the needs of employees. Asking employees for suggestions to help improve their mental health in the workplace can focus well-being initiatives.


A recession not only affects financial well-being; it can also impact mental health. Employers should take efforts to help employees with their mental health, especially during a recession. Doing so can foster a healthier and more productive workforce.

Contact us today for further information on supporting mental well-being in the workplace.

For more information on supporting mental well-being in the workplace and group benefits call CMB at 780.424.2727 or click here to get a quote