TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - A new study from the Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that employees with depression who receive treatment while still working are significantly more likely
to be highly productive than those who do not. This is the first study
of its kind to look into a possible correlation between treatment and
The study is particularly significant at a time when the Canadian
economy continues to face uncertainty. Mental illness costs the
Canadian economy an estimated $51 billion annually, with a third of
that attributed to productivity losses.
Published in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry,
the study examined data from a large-scale community survey of employed
and recently employed people in Alberta.
People who experienced a depressive episode were significantly less
likely to be highly productive, the study showed. "We expected this, as
past research has found that depression has adverse effects on
comprehension, social participation, and day-to-day-functioning," said
Dr. Carolyn Dewa, Head of CAMH's Centre for Research on Employment and Workplace Health and lead author.
"What's exciting is we found that treatment for depression improves work
productivity. People who had experienced a moderate depressive episode
and received treatment were 2.5 times more likely to be highly
productive compared with those who had no treatment," she says.
"Likewise, people who experienced severe depression were seven times
more likely to be high-performing than those who had no treatment."
Of the 3000 workers looked at in the sample, 8.5 per cent experienced a
depressive episode, representing 255 workers.
Though the results showed the effectiveness of treatment on work and
performance, the data also showed a troubling trend. "We found that
among all study participants who had been diagnosed with a severe
depressive episode, 57 per cent did not receive treatment; 40 per cent
of those who experienced a moderate depressive episode did not receive
treatment," said Dr. Dewa. "When we look at the success of workers in
the sample who received treatment while still in the workplace, it
really speaks to the importance of prevention and the need for
employers to facilitate treatment and support. If people are able to
receive treatment early, disability leave, which costs companies
$18,000 per leave, may be avoided."
"Stigma and discrimination have often affected people's willingness to
access services, as has the lack of knowledge around supports available
in the workplace," added Dr. Dewa. "It is crucial that employers offer
mental health interventions to their employees and support them in
engaging in treatment, as well as continuing to support them as they
transition back into the workplace."
The data for this analysis was collected by the Institute for Health
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental
health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy
development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people
affected by mental health and addiction issues.
CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan
American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating
SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
For media interviews please contact Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH: 416-595-6015; firstname.lastname@example.org