Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace, physical or virtual, is taking a hit with the pandemic but has been a workplace factor for a long, long time. Now, though, I’m seeing and hearing from clients that employees’ mental health is being affected more than usual and being discussed more often. (Silver lining: discussing mental health!)

A recent webinar (link below) by Dr. Bill Howatt, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce’s Group Benefits Plan, introduced resources from CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). They have excellent information. A few interesting stats for employers from their website:

  • 30% of disability claims in Canada are due to mental illness, accounting for 70% of all disability costs
  • The cost of disability leave for mental illness is about double the cost of leave due to physical illness
  • It’s estimated that by 2041, the cumulative cost of mental illness in Canada will be $2.5 trillion
  • Half a million Canadians miss work each week due to mental illness
  • The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion annually

In his presentation, Dr. Howatt noted some of the ways that the pandemic is impacting Canadians’ mental health:

  • Risk for information overload
  • Significant change to our daily routines
  • Increased risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression

He also provided some easy to apply “micro-skills” for leaders.

  1. Acknowledge others
  2. Know your resources
  3. Remove fear
  4. Listen to your employees

To watch the webinar, follow this link: Webinar | Supporting Mental Health During the Pandemic with Dr. Bill Howett