Mental illness a national disgrace

Valuable staff at risk if employers do nothing
By Bill Wilkerson
|CHRR, Report on Healthy Workplaces|Last Updated: 04/13/2005

Mental illness is massing among men and women in their prime working years. Yet only a fraction will seek or receive the treatment they need. This is a national disgrace which, for business, has strategic importance.

Mental health has a tangible, functional value to business. Employees at every level are routinely asked to be innovative and creative. And innovation and creativity is becoming more important, as the vast majority of new jobs created in North America require cerebral, not manual, skills.

Depression is the leading cause of disability. And, as most organizations know, disability is an economic issue that is no longer on the fringe of business affairs. Despair costs companies more each year than work stoppages or product recalls.