Call to action in war against mental illness

By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/04/2003

At Ontario Power Generation, mental illness accounts for about 25 per cent of reported absences due to illness. At Canada Post, 30 per cent of all long-term disability claims are attributed to stress or depression and the story is the same at most organizations in the country.

More than 20 per cent of the Canadian workforce suffers from some form of mental illness, it costs organizations as much as $30 billion a year and in most cases the problem goes largely unchecked, said Bill Wilkerson, CEO and co-founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.

For three years the roundtable, which includes former federal minister of finance Michael Wilson, has been gathering research and information. Now — working in conjunction with the University of Toronto-affiliated Centre for Addiction and Mental Health — they’re moving forward with a plan for action, Wilkerson said.