Mental Health Issues in the Labour Force: Reducing the Economic Impact on Canada

The Conference Board of Canada, 34 pages, July 18, 2012
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This report provides an estimate of the economic cost of mental illness among working-age Canadians. It highlights the need for action by employers and governments to mitigate lost labour force participation.

Document Highlights

Mental illness currently costs Canada $20.7 billion annually due to lost labour force participation stemming from the six most common conditions afflicting the working-age population (depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and agoraphobia). And this cost will grow to $29.1 billion by 2030. Mental Health Issues in the Labour Force: Reducing the Economic Impact on Canada estimates the magnitude of the problem within the defined parameters of labour force participation. The analysis examines how governments, employers, and communities are affected. The report concludes with several recommendations for much-needed action to mitigate lost labour force participation.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Quantifying the Economic Impact

  • The Scope of the Problem and the Imperative for Action
  • Why Use Labour Force Participation as a Measure of the Cost?
  • Mental Health Conditions Impact Canada’s Economy
  • The Six Most Prevalent Mental Health Conditions Among Working-Age Canadians
  • Sample Approaches to Measuring the Impact
  • Methodology to Estimate Labour Force Impact
  • Findings of the Analysis

Chapter 3—The Effect of Poor Mental Health on Employers, Governments, and Communities

  • The Costs to Employers
  • The Costs to Governments
  • The Costs to Communities

Chapter 4—How Employers and Governments Can Take Action

  • Creating the Conditions That Support Labour Force Participation
  • Addressing Stigma in the Workplace

Chapter 5—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

Appendix B—The Six Most Common Mental Illnesses Among Working-Age Canadians

Appendix C—Where Mental Health Information Is Collected in Canada

  • Statistics Canada
  • Hospitals
  • Clinicians
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information

Appendix D—List of Mental Health Resources for Employers

  • General Information
  • Workplace Mental Health
  • Workplace Violence, Bullying, and Harassment

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