Employee Mental Health: A Quiet Crisis for the Workplace



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Mental health conditions are depleting the
human capital of Canadian companies. This is the conclusion of a major
research review commissioned in 2007 by Wilson Banwell PROACT Human Solutions
and undertaken by Dr. Mark Attridge, a leading writer/researcher in the area
of mental health and its impact on the workplace.
    "Many companies face a quiet crisis - comprehensive measurements now
reveal that the cost of lost productivity and absence from mental health
conditions is three to four times larger than the amount of dollars lost from
healthcare and disability claims for these same conditions," the report
states.
    The report, entitled The Quiet Crisis: The Business Case for Managing
Employee Mental Health, draws from numerous studies on the impact of mental
health in the workplace from around the world and synthesizes the key
findings.
    Craig Thompson, VP Customer Relations for Human Solutions, says the
report was a response to customer requests for factual, research-based
recommendations to assist them with decision making and improving the health
of their employees and their organizations. "Last year we reported on the
implications of work-life balance and job stress, and this year we wanted to
follow up with a more concrete report that outlines for employers the most
common mental health conditions that afflict large populations, the barriers
to proper diagnosis, the treatment options, and what they can do to address
this growing source of lost productivity and human suffering in their
organizations."
    Mental health conditions, in particular depression, bipolar mood
disorder, social anxiety and phobias, panic disorder, schizophrenia, and
suicide, affect one in five employees. Unfortunately, two-thirds of these
employees do not get any treatment, and of the third who do seek help, it most
often is from primary care doctors untrained to treat mental health concerns.
Employees with undiagnosed or under-treated mental health conditions often
struggle valiantly to stay on the job. Despite their best efforts, many of
them experience lapses in productivity, unscheduled days absent, physical
illnesses, and alcohol and/or drug addiction.
    Not surprising, the report finds that there is overwhelming research
evidence of the critical role that mental health plays in the success of
businesses of all sizes and all industries. The good news is that there is
sufficient evidence to show that employers who take action and implement
policies and practices that are supportive of the needs of those with work
stress and mental health conditions, will realize significant dollar savings
in the areas of reduced overall healthcare costs, reduced disability costs,
fewer missed days from work, improvements in productivity, and lower turnover.
    "In developing this report we asked Dr. Attridge to focus on the value of
a psychologically healthy workplace and what it takes to create one. The real
significance of this document is that it provides the workplace with
actionable steps they can take, regardless of how small or large they are, to
address the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental health concerns,
and ensure employees get the right kind of help when they need it.," Mr.
Thompson explains.

    Human Solutions (the full legal name is Wilson Banwell PROACT Human
Solutions) is a leading provider in Canada of employee, workplace, and
organization health solutions. Founded in 1979 Wilson Banwell Human Solutions
Inc. merged with PROACT EAP Inc. of Quebec in 2006 and in 2007 it acquired
Baylis and Associates in Ontario. The company's head office is in Vancouver,
BC.
    Dr. Mark Attridge is a consultant in independent practice as President of
Attridge Studios, a consulting firm that specializes in designing measurement
systems and outcome research studies for workplace health services, literature
review white papers, and development and customization of ROI analysis tools.





For further information:

For further information: or for a copy of the report, please contact:
Craig Thompson, VP Customer Relations & Strategic Alliances, in Vancouver at
(604) 689-8604 or Judith Plotkin, National Director, Business Development in
Toronto at (416) 964-1875

Organization Profile

WILSON BANWELL HUMAN SOLUTIONS

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WILSON BANWELL PROACT HUMAN SOLUTIONS

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