Public understanding of mental health issues has increased in both scope and sophistication over the past decade, including a deeper appreciation for the importance of mental wellness in the workplace. This sea of change has been largely positive, as employees who need treatment can now better access the help they need with less fear of stigma or penalties, thanks to employers recognizing the role they play in supporting the mental health of their staff.

This change in perception is particularly relevant now, as mental health conditions in the workplace are being diagnosed with greater frequency; disability claims for mental illness is the fastest growing claim type in Canada. The cost of mental illnesses to the Canadian economy is estimated at over $50 billion annually, with $20 billion of that stemming directly from workplace losses. On average, mental health issues cost businesses almost $1,500 per employee per year.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has compiled a toolkit of valuable resources for business along with some perspective on this issue.