Jan. 25, 2017 is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day, which is intended to draw attention to mental health initiatives in Canada. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, on any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians are unable to go to work due to mental health problems or illnesses. And because of the stigma attached to mental illness, such workers may be reluctant to ask for an accommodation or any help at all.
More key statistics on mental health and the workplace:
- The personal toll on employees—and the financial costs to their employers—is enormous. Many of these costs can be avoided by ensuring a mentally healthy workplace.
- 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness this year.
- 30% of disability claims are related to mental health.
- Lost productivity due to mental health issues could cost Canadian business $198 billion over the next 30 years.
What can employers do? They can take these steps:
- Download and adopt the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace to help safeguard employees’ mental health. (Use this checklist to implement the standard.)
- Use the Action Guide for Employers to help put the Standard into action and encourage senior management to make mental health a workplace priority.
- Train managers and workers in Mental Health First Aid so they can spot problems early and provide initial help. (Learn more about mental health first aid officers and whether your workplace needs them.)
- Support Canadians with mental illness who want to enter, or re-enter, the workforce by championing the changes recommended in the Aspiring Workforce
- Listen to other business leaders who are creating healthier workplaces by visiting the Leadership Framework for Advancing Workplace Mental Health.
- A discussion of a study on mental health issues and workers
- A handout for workers on workplace stress
- A stress prevention at work checklist
- An infographic on depression in the workplace.
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