OASW Press Release: Employers Must Pay Attention to Young Workers: Social Workers

June 13, 2023

Employers must do more to help their youngest workers, who are savvier when it comes to mental health, more demanding of coverage for this care and more likely to report a mental health condition.

That is the message Deepy Sur, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW), will deliver to a business audience in Toronto on Wednesday, June 14.

“We need employers to step up,” said Sur. “They should be building a mental health culture at work, increasing communications and ensuring they’re offering sufficient mental health benefits.”

The virtual panel, hosted by the Empire Club of Canada, will take place Wednesday, June 14 at 12 p.m. It is free of charge.

OASW recently released a study showing young adults aged 18 to 34 are more likely to report a mental health condition. Fully two-thirds, or 66 per cent, of women in that age category said they were living with an undiagnosed or diagnosed mental health condition.

“This is a startling situation that will have an impact on our workplaces,” said Sur. “Younger workers are at their breaking point according to recent studies. They want a workplace culture that prioritizes mental health and wellbeing.”

Workplace leaders should start by doubling the average $750 available for mental health benefits to at least $1,500, said Sur. They should communicate exactly what those benefits are and how to access them. They should ensure they include a range of mental health providers, including social workers, to help facilitate meaningful connections and care for their employees.

“Many young workers see employment as transactional,” said Sur. “They’re looking to employers for more than a paycheck. They want positive work conditions, including mental health care. We need leaders to respond by investing in their people.”

Ontario’s 23,000 social workers are the largest group of regulated mental health practitioners in the province.

This release is also available on Canada Newswire

For further information or to schedule an interview with Deepy Sur, please contact:

Lisa Timoshenko
[email protected]

About OASW
OASW is the voice of social work in Ontario. It is a voluntary, provincial, non-profit association representing over 8,500 members. All members have a university degree in social work at the bachelor, master, or doctoral level. OASW works to actively speak on behalf of social workers on issues of interest to the profession and advocates for the improvement of social policies and programs directly affecting social work practice and client groups served.