Mental health in the workplace is a $51 billion elephant in the boardroom

Partners for Mental Health kicks off its Not Myself Today campaign during Mental Health Week in workplaces across the country 

TORONTO, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Employers can no longer afford to ignore mental health at work; it's the elephant in the boardroom that is costing Canadian employers and the economy $51 billion dollars a yearIt's also keeping employees from reaching their full potential as they suffer the immeasurable costs of stigma and lack of support associated with mental illness.

Today, half a million Canadians missed work because of mental health issues1 and according to a recent study conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Partners for Mental Health, nearly half of working Canadians agree that work and place of work is the most stressful part of their lives.  The survey also revealed that 16 per cent of Canadians feel that work is a frequent or ongoing source of feelings of depression, anxiety or other mental health symptoms.  Yet, these employees are often keeping these feelings and issues secret rather than confiding in their employers, colleagues or friends due to the possibility of stigma, discrimination and lack of support in the workplace.  In fact, the same Ispos Reid study indicated that two in three Canadians would not have an open discussion with their boss about their mental illness.

"The detrimental effects of unmanaged mental illness in the workplace - from the impact on the individual, to loss of productivity, and to increased disability claims - confirms the critical need for businesses and individuals to take action when it comes to mental health" says Jeff Moat, President, Partners for Mental Health. "Even though 44 per cent of workers say they have or have had mental health issues, people are still not talking openly about it in the workplace. This has to change for the sake of business and the long-term health of all employees."

In order to help drive change, the Not Myself Today campaign launches today coinciding with Mental Health Week in Canada. This campaign is designed to educate and engage Canadians on the issues of mental health in the workplace.  It encourages businesses to step-up and invest in mentally healthy workplaces.

A key component of the program involves participating in a Not Myself Day @ Work whereby businesses shine a spotlight on workplace mental health and engage individuals in meaningful ways to facilitate improvement.

The national charitable organization, Partners for Mental Health is leading the initiative as part of their mandate to transform the way Canadians think about and support mental health.

1 Government of Canada, "The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Canada", 2006.

To get involved and learn more, please visit or call/email Partners for Mental Health at 613-798-5862 or

About the survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between April 18th and 24th, 2013 on behalf of Partners for Mental Health. For this survey, a sample of 1,058 working Canadians (not self-employed) from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all working adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Partners for Mental Health

Partners for Mental Health is a national charitable organization dedicated to transforming the way Canadians think about, act towards and support mental health and mental illness. Its mission is to engage millions of Canadians to take action to support mental health by participating in campaigns, events and activities that promote mental health and well-being, contacting politicians to influence policy, volunteering and fundraising.

SOURCE: Partners for Mental Health

For further information:

or to get involved in the Not Myself Today campaign please contact:

Catherine Mitchell / Kylee Berencsi
APEX Public Relations Inc.
416-934-2103 / 416-934-2115

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