Executive suite puts little thought into mental health and the cost in workdays

FinancialPost.com – story – Executive suite puts little thought into mental health and the cost in workdays Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mental health issues are a growing concern for Canadian employers, according to a survey by Mercer and The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Almost 80% said mental health issues are more important than they were five years ago. Mental illness results in about 35 million workdays lost every year and low productivity related to mental illness adds significant cost to employers. Respondents, about 85% of whom are in human resources, reported only 13% of senior executives are strongly aware of the impact of mental health. A majority said not enough was being done to improve workload balance and work-based social supports. “Senior champions in the workplace are key to driving change, especially in an environment where 54% reported a lack of awareness by front-line managers and 57% said mental health issues are not treated equally to physical health issues,” said Philip Upshall of CAMIMH. The survey was conducted online from April 17 to May 9, 2008, got response from 452 business leaders from a range of sectors.

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