by Bill Howatt
Originally published: March 8, 2017
What is the experience of the average working Canadian with a mental health issue?
The Mental Health Commission of Canada reported in Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada that one out of five working Canadians live with a mental illness each year.
Let’s put that into perspective. Statistics Canada reports that Canada’s work force is just over 18 million people, which means that about 3.6 million working Canadians have or will experience some form of a mental health concern this year.
This number suggests that a lot of employees are struggling and that mental illness could have a negative impact on their ability to meet the demands and expectations of their employers. The cost for employers of ignoring mental illness is quickly becoming prohibitive, when you factor in the costs of turnover, preseenteeism (at work but unproductive), absenteeism (including short- and long-term disability and workers’ compensation premiums), conflict, addictions, accidents, drug costs, low engagement levels and lost productivity.