Columnist image
Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


With mental health being top of mind today, I can tell you the number of Canadians trying to pay their bills on time while managing their growing debt and saving very little is starting to take its toll on their financial well-being and their mental health.

Today, Canadian households owe an average of $1.76 for every dollar of disposable income, according to Statistics Canada, and survey after survey shows Canadians are straining under that high level of debt.

A recent report from Scotiabank found that Canadians spend up to two hours a day worrying about their financial future, while a recent report from MNP Ltd. reveals that 50 per cent of Canadians say they are $200 or less away from not being about to pay their bills.

This financial strain is leading some Canadians to feel helpless about their future with more than half saying money troubles keep them up at night, MNP found. That stress is putting additional strain on personal relationships at home and affecting Canadians at work.

It’s costing the economy about $16 billion in lost productivity, according to the Canadian Payroll Association, because Canadians are bringing this financial stress to the workplace. That figure doesn't even include things like the cost of absenteeism, turnover, job satisfaction and declining worker moral.

More needs to be done to help employees and it isn’t always about the money. In fact, in its annual survey of workplace mental health, Morneau Shepell found that Canadian employees are willing to accept lower pay in exchange for improved support for mental health and well-being. This trend was seen even among those reporting high financial stress.

It’s important to remember there is always a solution, even if it might not feel that way. The only real danger is ignoring the problem and letting things get worse.

And Bell Let’s Talk Day goes a long way in driving awareness and action that you can take when it comes to mental health.

Bell will donate five cents to mental health initiatives across the country for every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers. It will also donate for every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube; every tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk or the Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every application of the Facebook frame and the Bell Let's Talk filter on Snapchat.

BNN Bloomberg is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.