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Mental Health Causes Absenteeism

Mental health issues are a significant contributor to absenteeism in the workplace which is costly to the Canadian economy, says the Conference Board of Canada. For many employers, mental health is the leading cause of both short-term and long-term disability leaves of absence. And the average length of absence is higher for mental health-related leaves of absence (or when mental health issues exist alongside physical health issues) than for physical health issues alone. However, significant gaps still exist in how Canadian organizations approach mental health issues. Employers appear to place a greater emphasis on physical health and well-being programs and treatment than on providing support for employee psychological health and safety. While the reasons for this disparity stem perhaps from long-standing occupational health and safety legislative requirements, Canadian organizations need to adapt to new realities. As well, there is still a perception that employees who have been off work as a result of a mental health issue are treated differently than those who have taken a leave of absence due to a physical health problem. Individuals perceive that employees with mental health issues do not receive the same degree of support upon return to the workplace after a leave of absence.

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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