RBC: More Canadians View Mental Illness as a Disability

According to a recent RBC Insurance survey, more Canadians see depression and anxiety as disabilities. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada (TSE: RY).

Feelings of Burnout and Financial Concerns Are Top Stressors

More Canadians now consider depression (54%) and anxiety (44%) to be forms of disability – the highest percentages since 2019. At the same time, slightly more than half (54%) of respondents rate their mental health as good or excellent, which represents a significant drop of 12 percentage points compared to the same period in 2019.

The importance of mental health to overall well-being is also reflected in the survey results: Canadians who said they had poor mental health (32%) were more likely to be absent from work due to a disability than those who consider their mental health to be good (12%).

Feelings of burnout were the main source of stress for Canadian workers (42%), indicating that the pandemic has likely left its mark on this group, such as fear, uncertainty, and instability at home and work. Income protection in the event of illness or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis was the second most important stressor for almost as many respondents (39%), followed by increased hours or workload (33%).

Management Commentary

“Over the years, we have seen more and more Canadians recognizing that disabilities can be mental, and not just physical in nature,” says Maria Winslow, Senior Director, Life & Health, RBC Insurance.

“This is an important shift, particularly as people continue to deal with the ongoing stresses of the pandemic and they continue to report a decline in their mental health.”

Wall Street’s Take

Two weeks ago, Barclays analyst John Aiken maintained a Buy rating on RY, with a price target of C$157. This implies 8.4% upside potential.

The rest of the Street is bullish on RY with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on six Buys and two Holds.

The average Royal Bank of Canada price target of C$145.57 implies 0.4% upside potential from current levels.

TipRanks’ Smart Score

RY scores a “Perfect 10” on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that its stock has a strong chance of beating the overall market.

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