Alberta workers have among the highest stress levels in Canada, says survey

Alberta employees are pretty stressed out, and they say their bosses aren't doing enough to help their mental health, according to a new survey.

80% of workers say bosses need to take more active role to support distressed employees

(Getty Images/Westend61)

Alberta employees are pretty stressed out, and they say their bosses aren't doing enough to help their mental health, according to a new survey.

About 36 per cent of workers in the province report a high level of stress — one of the highest rates across Canada — according to a survey released by Morneau Shepell, a human-resources company that deals with employee health.

The survey, presented Wednesday in Calgary, found that across Canada, 40 per cent of managers and 34 per cent of employees reported suffering from extreme levels of stress in the past six months.

Both groups rated workplace stress higher than personal stress.

Eighty per cent of Alberta employees felt their bosses needed to take a more active role in supporting distressed employees. The province was also among the lowest across Canada in terms of how workers ranked employers on providing mental health support.

Dora Newcombe, director of account management with Morneau Shepell, said it's important for employers to be pro-active when it comes to mental health.

"Find different ways to reach out to those employees that are not going to raise their hand and say 'I need help.' The data shows that there's a lot of people that will, especially that younger demographic. They'll say, 'hey, I'm struggling.' But there's a lot of people that remain hidden," Newcombe said.

The survey was conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 7, 2017. Of those surveyed, 1,001 respondents were Canadian employees who do not manage other people, and 509 were Canadians who manage others either formally or informally.

The data was statistically weighted to account the regional and gender makeup of the sample reflect the population. The margins of error are plus or minus three per cent, 19 times out of 20.

With files from Andrew Brown