|(QMI AGENCY FILES) |
Mental illness will cost Canada about $20.7 billion this year by reducing the number of workers in the country, and the cost of mental illness is growing by about 1.9% every year, the Conference Board of Canada says in a new report.
“When workers have poor mental health, they have a lessened capacity to perform to their utmost. Sometimes workers with mental illnesses drop out of the workforce completely,” Diana MacKay, the board’s director of education, health and immigration, said in a release Thursday. “With this loss to the labour supply now exceeding $20 billion a year, employers and governments clearly need to become more aware of mental-health issues among Canadian workers and committed to addressing them.”
The report estimates that those six mental illnesses will account for a $20.7 billion decrease in Canada’s gross domestic product this year. Almost 452,000 Canadians would be working this year if they didn’t suffer from mental illness.
The estimate doesn’t include the cost of patient care, insurance or services.
Karla Thorpe, the board’s director of leadership and human resources, said that if employers take an active role in helping people stay functional at work despite their mental illness, individuals, companies and the Canadian economy would all stand to benefit.
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