Video: Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada
A study by Employers’ Health Coalition found that lost productivity from presenteeism was at least 7.5 times greater than productivity loss from absenteeism. Presenteeism occurs when employees are physically present, but due to an unaddressed physical or emotional issue, distracted to the point of reduced productivity. Using this figure, it is estimated that presenteeism could cost Canadian businesses $15 to $25 billion per year.
The good news is that Canadians are becoming more responsive to the issue of mental health in the workplace and many employers have started taking initiatives to not only support employees affected by mental health issues but also to improve the psychological safety and wellness within their work environment. A 2016 study commissioned by Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace reports that 77% of working Canadians indicated attitudes toward workplace mental health issues are better than they were in 2007 (Samra 2017). Additionally, those Canadians who say their workplace is psychologically unhealthy or unsafe (10%) has been cut in half, down from 20% in 2009 (Ipsos 2016).