Skip to content

Companies Open Minds to Mental Health Disabilities

By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun

The stigma attached to mental illness guaranteed it remained the last of the major health conditions to be recognized as a disability in the workplace.

But while embarrassment, ignorance, fear of ridicule or misunderstanding still keeps many employees and employers quiet, there is no hiding the elephantine size of a medical condition that today will cause a half-million Canadians to be absent from work.

The estimated cost to Canadian employers of mental illness absenteeism and presenteeism — being present but not fully functioning — is $6 billion a year in lost productivity, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.