New research center dedicated to the growing importance of mental health and wellbeing

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Ambitious research will explore absenteeism and sustainable investments in workplace mental health:
The Conference Board of Canada | Desjardins Insurance

OTTAWA, April 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Conference Board of Canada today announced the creation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Center (MHWRC). This new research center will provide meaningful, actionable insights and better support to all Canadians through ambitious research that examines key facets of mental health in the workplace.

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“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health and wellbeing as many Canadians grapple with isolation, job loss, remote work environments and economic uncertainty,” said said Dr. Susan Black, CEO of The Conference Board of Canada. “As we continue to navigate through the pandemic and beyond, our research at MHWRC will examine the growing importance of mental health and wellbeing for employers and employees.”

Mounting evidence indicates that the rising cost of mental illness to society is unsustainable. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health reported that the economic burden of mental illness in Canada was estimated at approximately $51 billion each year, $6.3 billion of which resulted from lost productivity at work. In addition, mental illness accounts for approximately one-third of short-term and long-term disability claims and 70% of workplace disability costs. During COVID-19, many Canadians are reporting significant concern and anxiety about the future.

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“The physical and mental health of our society is directly linked to the vitality of our communities. For employers and their employees, the past few years have focused on adaptation, innovation and resilience,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. “But we have to constantly assess our mental well-being and make sure we’re supporting Canadians. We are proud to partner with the Conference Board of Canada to establish this new research center to gain valuable insights that can help build better workplace solutions.

The Center will work with its founding member, Desjardins Insuranceas well as Sun Life Financial and Lundbeck Canada on research examining the impact of workplace absenteeism and sustainable investments in workplace mental health, and other topics awaiting feedback from Center members.

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“Priorizing employee mental health benefits all organizations,” said Erin Mills, Director, Human Capital and Workplace Health at The Conference Board of Canada. “Increased mental well-being leads to increased productivity and engagement, lower turnover, and creates a healthy and respectful work environment where everyone feels valued and supported.”

Media should contact [email protected] for access.

About The Conference Board of Canada:

The Conference Board of Canada is the country’s leading independent research organization. Our mission is to empower and inspire leaders to build a stronger future for all Canadians through our trusted research and unparalleled relationships. Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter @ConfBoardofCda.

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About Desjardins Group:

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $397 billion. In 2021, he was ranked among the top 100 employers in Canada by Mediacorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the strongest banks in the world according to The banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit scores in industry.

Media Contact:

The Conference Board of Canada

[email protected] / 613-526-3090 ext. 224



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