Tuesday Morning Focal Point

Tuesday Morning Focal Point – October 4, 2016 – Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada

Today is the second day of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in Canada, and we might as well address an issue that is currently top of mind for many Canadian businesses this year.  Do you know that issues related to mental illness cost the Canadian economy over $50 billion per year, and of that, over $20 billion are costs directly born by Canadian employers?  Check out these few but important facts regarding workplace mental health in Canada:

 By age 40, about 50% of Canadians will have had experience with a mental illness/mental health problem

  • 70% of Canadian employees have some degree of concern with psychological health and safety in their workplace
  • 56% of Canadian employers consider continuous rise in mental health related disability claims to be a top concern
  • Fastest growing category of disability claims for employers – Depression
  • 84% of organizations have no process to address changes in behavior and productivity related to mental health

If you are like most, you are wondering how Canadian employers end up paying for mental health issues.  It is quite simple – declining and poor mental health in the workplace lead to greater absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.  The average cost for a disability claim associated with a mental health issue is approximately $18,000 due to the significant time off work, when someone is off for this reason.

The truth is though, notwithstanding that the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that depression will be the leading cause of disability worldwide by the year 2030, we can address workplace mental health in proactive ways.  There are a whole range of interventions that if we implement correctly can reduce that number of 500,000 Canadians that will miss work this week as a result of a mental health challenge.

Is your workplace addressing issues related to mental health, or is there still too much stigma and discrimination associated, which keeps individuals from disclosing and therefore keeps those from seeking help?  If you are like most, it is probably the latter.

Just one thing you might consider is investing in Mental Health First Aid training for staff in your organization.  There are now over 150,000 mental health first aiders in Canada.  Having mental health first aiders on your staff team can lead to:

  • Improvements in mental health literacy,
  • Reduced stigma and discrimination,
  • Earlier detection of declining and poor mental health,
  • Promotion of help seeking; and,
  • Reduced costs associated with mental health claims due to earlier intervention.

To find out more about how you and your employer can benefit from Mental Health First Aid, or to register for this two-day workshop contact [email protected].   If you register this week and mental that it is mental illness awareness week, we would be happy to provide you with a 10% discount on your enrolment fee – simply mention the MIAW discount.

If you would like to have Mental Health First Aid delivered to your staff team (up to 25 participants) in 2017, you are eligible for a 10% discount on our regular course delivery fee for employers if you book your two-day training session during Mental Illness Awareness Month (MIAW).  To find out more about how we can bring Mental Health First Aid to you call 778-789-7580 and mention the Mental Illness Awareness Month discount.

 Cameron’s Call to Action

  1. If you don’t have a handle on what the current impact that mental health is having on your workplace, consider a confidential survey amongst your staff, asking them to indicate how much work they have missed in the last year, associated with poor mental health.
  2. Consider possible strategies to education your staff team on issues related to workplace mental health with a particular focus on reducing stigma and discrimination, which is what typically keeps people from talking about their mental health and wellness.
  3. Get a copy of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/occupational-health-and-safety-management/cancsa-z1003-13bnq-9700-8032013/invt/z10032013 and begin familiarizing yourself with things you can do to improve mental health in the workplace – leading to greater productivity.

Written by: Cameron Keller, Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting – Cameron is an Executive Coach and Consultant specializing in business growth and workplace mental health. 

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