Mental Health in the Workplace is an important issue facing many organizations today.


In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness. Nearly a quarter of the country’s working population is currently affected by mental health problems or illnesses leading to absenteeism, "presenteeism" (coming to work but being less than fully productive) and turnover. Adults in their early and prime working years are among the hardest hit.

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, approximately 30 per cent of short- and long-term disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental health problems and illnesses. Of the total economic burden caused by mental illness in Canada—about $51 billion per year—a staggering $20 billion stems from workplace losses. 


Read more: Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada.


MDSC has prioritized workplace mental health, and are extensively involved with public and private employers to address mental illness in the workplace. We work closely with employers in providing workplace education, tools and resources to address mental health and provide our considerable knowledge on how to increase psychological health at work. Mood Disorders Society of Canada has created an educational series for the workplace that supports employers in developing policies and processes that promote positive mental health.


Check out this informative slide presentation:  Mental Health in the Workplace” (PDF)



Why Mental Health Isssues are Often Hidden in the Workplace


Employees fear:

  • loss of employer's respect

  • loss of one's job

  • not being promoted

  • being isolated or shamed by co-workers and colleagues

  • asking for accomodations to be made

  • that long-term career goals may be affected


Stigma is a major barrier preventing people from seeking help. Many people living with a mental illness say the stigma they face is often worse than the illness itself. It creates shame and secrecy, leading people to conceal or deny distress, and preventing early detection and treatment.

It is estimated that 2 out of 3 people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment (Stigma, The Hidden Killer, MDSC 2006)


Mood Disorders Society of Canada is working diligently to reduce stigma, educate the public about mental illness, and encourage discussion around mood disorders and other mental illness, including within the workplace.


For more information on how you can support mental health in the workplace please use the resources listed her and through the Work With Us Link.






Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace


Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA)


Mental Health Works


Work With Us Program


Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign


Website:   MDSC Workplace Resources 


Website:   Mental Health Roundtable