It’s estimated that in any given week, 500,000 Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. The toll it takes on individuals and their families can be severe.

Apart from basic consideration for an employee’s wellbeing, employers have a vested interest in identifying mental health issues and helping employees work through them. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one in three workplace disability claims are connected to mental health, while 70 per cent of disability costs can be traced to mental illness among employees.

The cost of employer inaction can be significant, including absenteeism, lost productivity, disability claims, work grievances, staff turnover, and more.

The commission has published the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, establishing a set of tools and resources that can be used to promote mental health in the workplace, and identify harm that may be caused by workplace factors.

The program features flexible hours, a “set of tools, not rules,” progress measurement, and a shift of corporate culture to one of supporting psychological health.

The commission continues that elements for successful implementation of the program include selecting a champion for the effort, obtaining support from leadership, “taking stock of what is already in place,” developing policy, engaging employees, and creating a multi-year plan.

As we can see, the cost of inaction is substantial, for employers and employers. For more information, contact the commission here.

Investigative Solutions Network (ISN), North America’s premier security and private investigations firm, offers courses designed to help employers identify and address mental health issues in the workplace. Our Workplace Investigations program provides employers with a thorough understanding of legislative obligations, investigative competence and violence risk assessment. Our  Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Workplace program provides participants with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of the most diagnosed Mental Health issues how they present, and how they are treated. Contact us for more information.