The social impact sector has a mental health crisis looming — here’s what to do about it

Leaders in the world of social impact say workers are under immense stress during the pandemic, and it’s time to intervene

Why It Matters

The social impact sector is arguably more needed than ever, as Canadians recover from the devastating social and economic impacts of the pandemic. But years of deprioritizing mental wellness combined with a massive global crisis has led to a burned out, stressed workforce — ultimately hurting the communities it serves, too.

There’s a global mental health crisis looming post-pandemic. In many ways, it’s already begun: according to Health Canada, 11 million Canadians are experiencing “high levels of stress” because of COVID-19. 

People working in social purpose organizations are serving those 11 million Canadians, but they’re also included in that statistic. And their stress is compounded by several factors — sector-wide layoffs and closures, rising demand for social services, and major challenges that come with doing it all remotely. 

More and more young people are choosing purpose-oriented careers, driven by a desire to do good in the world. Meanwhile, people in their 20s are more likely to experience mental illness than any other age group, according to Youth Mental Health Canada. And the pandemic

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