October 10: World Mental Health Day

Every year Mental Health Day is observed on the tenth day of the tenth month. The World Health Federation of Mental Health initiated this day to raise awareness of mental health issues on an international level in hopes of increasing mental health support. Mental health is becoming increasingly associated with work place absences and short term and long term disability costs.
Mental illness costs the Canadian economy approximately $51 billion per year. The Mental Health Commission of Canada also states that on any given week, 500,000 Canadians will miss work because of a mental illness. In 2013, The Canadian Mental Health Commission and its partners released Canada’s Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace to tackle this ever growing problem. 

What is the Standard? It is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools, and resources to promote the psychological health and wellness of employees by preventing psychological harm at work. Beyond  being the “right thing to do”, employers who promote this Standard will also benefit their bottom line with increased productivity, lower absenteeism and associated costs, and better attraction and retention of key talent. 

This year’s theme for World Mental Health day is “Living with Schizophrenia.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia is a chronic severe mental disorder, which is characterized by serious disruptions in thinking. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. However, many people affected by schizophrenia can be treated and can still lead productive lives.

For more information on the Standard please contact Susan Novo, Manager of Health and Disability or contact your Benefits Consultant.