Understanding mental health, mental illness, and their impacts in the workplace

One in every five Canadians experiences a mental health problem or illness within a given year. This figure equates to 20% of the Canadian population, approximately 7.1 million individuals; or the population of the 15 largest Canadian cities combined. We also know one in two Canadians under the age of 40 will experience a mental health problem or illness by the time they turn 40 years of age. These numbers also have a direct impact on the workplace, as every week 500,000 Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems or illnesses.

These statistics were the genesis for asking the research question, “Who are the one in five Canadians in the workplace and what is their daily experience?” Morneau Shepell, in partnership with the Globe and Mail created The Mental Health Experience in Canada’s Workplaces survey, encouraging readers to fill in the survey through a series of thoughtful articles on workplace mental health co-authored by, among others, the President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The goal was to understand what insights we could provide to employers to support employees who experience mental health problems and illnesses in the workplace.

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