Mental health should be treated as business issue: Conference Board

But many managers clueless as to how to respond to troubled employees
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/16/2011

Forty-four per cent of employees and front-line managers have experienced a mental health issue, including excessive stress, substance abuse and schizophrenia, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.

“When you look at the 44 per cent, you realize the person that sits next to you in the workplace or the person you’re passing in the hall or your boss or the CEO are all people who today, tomorrow or in the past have had an issue,” said Karen Seward, executive vice-president of business development and marketing at Morneau Shepell in Toronto.

Of the 44 per cent, 12 per cent are currently experiencing a mental health issue while 32 per cent have previously experienced one, found Building Mentally Healthy Workplaces: Perspectives of Canadian Workers and Front-line Managers after a survey of 1,010 Canadians (including 479 front-line managers).