Mental health is one of the fastest growing categories of disability costs in Canada. 500,000 Canadians in any given week are unable to work due to mental health problems or illness.
The costs of mental health includes the long-term economic costs of healthcare, disability income and lost productivity.
Early intervention on mental health issues in the workplace can reduce disability costs, increase productivity, and improve the lives of your employees.
What can employers do?
Many organizations have adopted some type of employee assistance program (EAP) to support wellness, but more can be done. For example, employers can sponsor sessions on stress management or provide mental health specific training for managers. Managers work with employees on a day to day basis and can be trained to recognize early warning signs that may indicate that an employee is under stress.
Canada has released a national standard for mental health in the workplace. The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is the first of its kind in the world. The standard is voluntary, however it is designed to help organizations improve workplace mental health and wellness. It includes a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work.