Mental health issues can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including their ability to work. Imagine trying to do your job while dealing with fatigue, physical pain, lack of interest, concentration problems. Add to that feeling ashamed and afraid to talk about the mental illness at the root of your problems, and you are left with an extremely unhealthy work environment.

The cost of mental illness to the Canadian economy is staggering: experts estimate that mental health issues cost over $51 billion per year in lost productivity. This includes short- and long-term disability leaves, workers missing work for medical services and “presenteeism”, where an employee who is ill comes to work for fear of losing their job.

The problem is real and needs urgent attention. Fortunately, there is great work being done to turn things around and change mentalities.

For example, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed programs that deal specifically with mental health issues in the workplace. Called The Working Mind and The Road to Mental Readiness, these programs provide tools, concrete solutions and support to workplace mental health initiatives across Canada.

In Episode 6 of our mental health series, we look deeper at the impact of mental health issues in the workplace and speak with experts about what employers can do to provide solutions and better support to their workers.

Help us spread the word by sharing our videos on social media, tweeting and emailing politicians and policy makers and letting other Canadians know that together, we can make a change when it comes to mental health.

If we make enough noise, they have to listen.

Help us make mental health support mandatory! #MakeItMandatory.