Minister Leitch discusses strategies to foster positive mental health in the workplace

OTTAWA, Sept. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Status of Women, today participated in a mental health roundtable, hosted by the Economic Club of Canada. Minister Leitch was joined by fellow panelists:Dr. Karen R. Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Psychological Association;Chris Anderson, President of Medaca Health Group; and Mike Schwartz,Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits at Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. Participants also discussed approaches to addressing workplace mental health and ways that employers can foster a psychologically healthy and inclusive work environment.

Minister Leitchis taking a leadership role in increasing awareness of the need to prevent mental health issues in the workplace and developing mechanisms to address them.The Government of Canadahasimplemented regulations that require employers under federal jurisdiction to take steps to prevent and deal with workplace violence. We have also participated in the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada andpartneredin the development of the world's first voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Quick Facts

  • One in five Canadians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their livesand about 500,000 Canadians miss work every day due to a mental illness or mental health issues.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of working Canadians consider their work and work environment the most stressful part of their day and life.
  • Stress and poor mental health will cost Canadian businesses an estimated $198 billion in lost productivity over the next 30 years.
  • Poor mental health is the number one cause of disability in Canada, accounting for nearly 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of the total costs.



"Mental illness has a high cost in human, social, and economic terms. That is why our Government is interested in exploring new approaches, solutions and measures to address issues related to workplace mental health and safety." The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

Associated Links

Labour Program
Economic Club of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada

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SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Andrew McGrath, A/ Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, 819-953-5646,; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,



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