The business case for tackling mental health

If compassion doesn’t drive employers to do deal with mental health, numbers will
By Tara Hreceniuk
|CHRR, Report on Healthy Workplaces|Last Updated: 04/18/2008

Few businesses question the wisdom of taking steps to prevent the breakdown of equipment, investing in its rehabilitation when there is a failure, and bringing it back to full productivity with minimal delay.

In a knowledge economy, where information is the most valuable commodity and innovation the source of growth and competitiveness, that same thinking needs to be applied to the mental health of workers. While many employers have made strides in addressing the adverse effect of physical disabilities at work, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to mental disabilities.

Psychiatric disorders — such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia — are bona fide disabilities. Just as disability management strategies are necessary for the effective management of physical disability, similar principles should also apply to work disabilities related to mental illness.