TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2017 /CNW/ -In recognition of World Mental Health Day, the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI) today launched a large scale, province-wide research project that focusses on supporting Ontarians with mental illness to find and retain meaningful employment. It is estimated by the Canadian Mental Health Association that 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental illness.
This collaborative project will engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders from across the province including employers, employment service organizations, community service and health organizations, and other workforce development professionals. With research expertise and project management support provided by OCWI, the stakeholders will work together--from design through to evaluation-- to explore innovative approaches to supporting better employment outcomes for people with mental illness. This project will run for approximately nine months.
"Over the past year we have heard very clearly from employment service providers that there is an increasing need for resources, and tools to effectively serve the needs of jobseekers with mental health issues in Ontario," says Dr. Trina Foster, Executive Director of OCWI. "By launching this project on World Mental Health Day, we hope not only to draw attention to the significant challenges that job seekers, service providers, and employers are facing, but also provide concrete, evidence-informed solutions for them."
Research has found that:
People with a serious mental illness face the highest degree of stigmatization in the workplace, and the greatest barriers to employment.
The unemployment rate of persons with serious mental illness reflects these obstacles and has been commonly reported to range from 70-90%, depending on the severity of the disability.
Other employment challenges include: gaps in work history, limited employment experience, lack of confidence, fear and anxiety, workplace discrimination and inflexibility, social stigma, and the rigidity of existing income support/benefit programs.
Individuals, groups or organizations interested in partnering with OCWI on this project have until October 31, 2017 to submit an online expression of interest to be considered for this unique and impactful opportunity.
The Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation is a research centre dedicated to building a skilled, resilient, and productive Ontario workforce. Our key activities are research, knowledge transfer and exchange, and capacity building. The Centre is a partnership led by Ryerson University and funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.