Chronic Disease and Mental Health reveals that 25 to 50% of people who have a chronic disease, like cancer or diabetes, will also experience mental illness and particularly depression as a side effect. And according to a 2011 Statistics Canada report, it is employees who have both a mental and a physical illness who stay off work the longest. What is happening in the body has an indelible impact on the mind. The consequences can be severe — not just for the individuals concerned, but also for employers, colleagues and workplace productivity. Just look at the stats:
- Mental health in the workplace is an ever-growing concern for employers across the country, with half a million Canadians absent from work every day because of depression.
- The prevalence of mental health disorders generally is higher in the workplace than in the general population.
- Nearly 3 million Canadians will experience depression at one point in their lives. Most often, it affects people in their working years, between the ages of 24 and 44.
- Employees who have both a mental and a physical illness stay off work the longest.
- In her March 31, 2015 report, Janice Charette, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet, made mental health one of her “top three” priorities for the federal public service.