Prioritizing Mental Health for Members and Staff

Prioritizing Member and Staff Mental Wellness

Member and staff mental wellness is a priority for APEGA and there are very solid reasons for why we make it so.

According to Mental Health Commission of Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health problem or illness in any given year with people in their early and prime working years being the hardest hit. This may be reflected in the estimation that at least 500,000 working Canadians miss work due to mental illness every week and 1 in 2 Canadians under the age of 40 will experience a mental health problem or illness by the time they turn 40 years old.
The pandemic has worsened the situation for Canadians of all ages.

In the workplace, mental health problems and illnesses are found to be the primary reason for employees missing work and the leading cause of disability. Mental health problems and illnesses cost Canadian businesses more than $6 billion a year in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover. Overall associated costs can add up to 14% of a company’s net annual profits and on a broader scale, the staggering economic cost of mental health issues to the Canadian economy has grown steadily to well over $51 billion per year, which includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

A Deloitte analysis found that for every $1 invested in workplace mental health, the median yearly return for Canadian employers was $1.62, a figure that rises to $2.18 for programs that have been in place for three years or more. Bell reported their 2018 ROI of $4.10 for every dollar they invested in workplace mental health programs - this included a 50% drop in disability relapse and reoccurrence within 8 years. Mental Health Commission of Canada indicates that if we are able to reduce the number of people experiencing a new mental illness in a given year by 10%, we could, after 10 years of doing so, be saving the Canadian economy at least $4 billion a year. More importantly, mental health prevention and early intervention programs have also shown to:

  • Improve retention rates as employees are able to access mental health support while working or on-leave and thus decreasing voluntary turnover.
  • Improve talent attraction as the organization’s brand as a psychologically safe and healthy workplace becomes more well known.
  • Improve employees’ attitude toward mental illness and increase their willingness as well as ability to identify and support those with mental health issues.
  • Improve risk mitigation as employees are held more accountable for their actions and for creating a mutually safe and healthy work environment.