Close-up of a devastated young man holding his head in his hands and a group of friends in a supportive pose around him

Why smart employers provide Mental Health First Aid Training in the workplace

The Cost of Mental Illness in Canada

According to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) the economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

  • Individuals with a mental illness are much less likely to be employed. Unemployment rates are as high as 70% to 90% for people with the most severe mental illnesses.
  • In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. This includes:
    • approximately 355,000 disability cases due to mental and/or behavioural disorders plus
    • approximately 175,000 full-time workers absent from work due to mental illness.
  • The cost of a disability leave for a mental illness is about double the cost of a leave due to a physical illness.
  • A small proportion of all health care patients account for a disproportionately large share of health care costs. Patients with high mental health costs incur over 30% more costs than other high-cost patients.
  • A growing body of international evidence demonstrates that promotion, prevention, and early intervention initiatives show positive returns on investment.

Why smart employers provide Mental Health First Aid Training in the workplace

Key findings from a Pan-Canadian Survey conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association show that ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is by far the resource most known by respondents.

The most effective tools according to respondents are CMHA workplace mental health workshops, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health (free online resources), and The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Respondents indicate that the best methods for learning about workplace mental health tools and resources are through in-person seminars, workshops and presentations.

Respondents indicate the need for more education about the tools and resources that exist to support workplace mental health. Also needed are organizational cultural shifts that exemplify acceptance of mental health concerns as a legitimate health issue.

Contact us today for information about onsite Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace.

Follow this link to read the full CMHA report:  Workplace Mental Health in Canada – Findings from a Pan-Canadian Study