Mental health conditions in the workplace are being diagnosed with greater frequency. Disability claims for mental illness is the fastest growing claim type in Canada. The cost of mental illnesses to the Canadian economy is estimated at over $50 billion annually, with $20 billion of that stemming directly from workplace losses. On average, mental health issues cost businesses almost $1,500 per employee, per year.

Nevertheless, instead of being recognized and managed, these problems are too often misjudged or disregarded. For most employers, it is easier to cope with an employee’s physical injury than a mental one.

In Working Towards Mental Wellness: A toolkit for employers, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) seeks to illuminate the distinctive character of mental wellness in the workplace, outline the case for action and provide resources for starting this conversation workplaces across Ontario.

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There are countless available resources on mental health, including numerous on mental health in the workplace. For many employers, a recommended first stop is your benefits provider, to ensure you and your employees are getting the most out of your EAP and supplementary lifestyle programs.

Beyond that, the OCC has created this page as a preliminary resource for employers looking to build a mentally healthy workplace.

Below you can find a selection of valuable and relevant websites and tools to help employers assess their business, develop appropriate solutions and discover formal support for their journey.

Relevant Legislation

Ministry of Labour: A Guide to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Canadian Human Rights Act: Duty to Accommodate

Workplace Mental Health

Mental Health Commission of Canada: Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada

Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health Works

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace: Workplace Strategies for Mental Health

Manulife: Workplace Solutions for Mental Health

Morneau Shepell: Workplace Mental Health Priorities 2016

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Centre for Research on Employment and Workplace Health

Joti Samra: The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada

Evaluate your Workplace

CivicAction: MindsMatter

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers: Measure Workplace Stress App

Bill Howatt: Cost of Doing Nothing Calculator

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