Mental health has taken a toll on Canada due to annual total losses that depression and anxiety trigger on the country’s economy
According to a recent report issued by the Conference Board of Canada, depression equals $32.3 billion, while anxiety $17.3 billion a year in deficit from the country’s GDP, as one-quarter of Canadians lose their ability to work when affected by mental imbalances. With people seeking for help, better medical care supporting mental health and lack of stigma against the ones suffering from these disorders, more than 352.000 anxious and depressed Canadians could be yearly integrated into different work fields until 2035.
“A large proportion of working Canadians have unmet mental health care needs that prevent them from performing to their utmost and our report shows this has serious consequences for the Canadian economy. Improving treatment of mental illness among working Canadians would offer significant benefits for individuals, businesses, society and the economy,” commented Louis Thériault, vice-president of the Conference Board of Canada.
According to Greg Sutherland, principle economist at CBC, constant and intensive support from employers is essential to address this situation. “Workplaces are only just beginning to offer mental health in the employment assistance programs, so it’s becoming more and more recognized as something that has to be addressed,” Sutherland added.
As suggested by the Board itself, companies offering benefits, programs and support services for their employees would greatly benefit the overall economy, by helping both affected men and women reintegrate into the work system.
Around 2.5 million people working in the service industry need help to manage mental health related conditions.