For Immediate Release
October 8, 2019


Mental health coverage for Canadian workers nearly doubled over past five years

79% of Canadian employers currently offering mental health coverage


Brookfield, WI—Mental health benefit offerings are on the rise according to Workplace Wellness Trends, a new survey report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The share of organizations that provide mental health coverage has nearly doubled over the past five years, with 79% currently offering the coverage for their workers. This year, 70% of organizations reported it as one of their most costly conditions to cover. Over half (52%) said it's been their largest health care cost increase over the past five years.

"Our society as a whole is increasingly more aware of the prevalence of mental health issues, and that way of thinking is making its way into the workplace," said Julie Stich, CEBS, Vice President of Content at the International Foundation. Workplace guidelines in place by the Mental Health Commission of Canada have provided further support for advancing this issue on a national level."

 The top offerings for mental health initiatives at Canadian workplaces include the following.

  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs): 88%
  • Mental health coverage: 79%
  • Substance abuse treatment coverage/benefits: 41%
  • Mental health educational/informational sessions at the workplace: 41%
  • Mental health first aid training: 31%
  • Mental health assessment included in health risk assessment (HRA): 26%
  • On-site mindfulness/meditation classes: 23%

The majority (76%) of employers listed stress as the top issue negatively impacting workplace productivity but successfully reducing stress levels is a work in progress for many organizations.  

"At this point, it seems as though workplaces have not found the exact solution for helping workers with stress levels," said Stich. "Almost 70% of organizations report that their efforts have been somewhat effective in reducing work-related stress, but only 2% reported 'very effective' results."

Despite this, most organizations plan to either increase (69%) or maintain (30%) their emphasis on mental health offerings over the next two years, Stich added.

For more information and to access the Workplace Wellness Trends survey report, visit


The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The Foundation has more than 31,500 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit

Anne Patterson | (262) 373 -7614