Like most Canadian adults, you probably spend more of your day at work than anywhere else. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the workplace plays a significant role in maintaining positive mental health.
However, while being productive at work contributes to your wellbeing, job demands can also be a source of stress. In fact, the workplace is one of the factors that can cause mental health issues.
Moreover, poor mental health also affects work performance. In Canada, at least 500,000 people miss work every week because of mental illness. Not only does mental health affect one’s work-life, but it also impacts their personal and economic interests as well.
Are you struggling to go to work at times? Do you call in sick because you’re not mentally or emotionally okay? Stigma and discrimination may keep you from disclosing what you’re going through, but you’re not alone.
By now, you’ve probably understood that there is a strong relationship between mental health and work. Below we will discuss how your state of wellbeing can influence your ability to work and what can be done to improve it.
Mental health comprises one’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing and it influences the way you think, feel, and act. Moreover, it is just as important as physical health, since it helps you cope with stressors, form good relations and work productively.
However, stress, lack of sleep and other factors can negatively affect mental health and it impacts everyone differently. While some may quickly bounce back, others may feel weighed down for longer periods of time.
Mental health problems can disrupt daily routines, including job performance. It can influence one’s ability to make good decisions, concentrate on tasks, and stay productive.
Approximately 21% percent of the working population experience mental health conditions in Canada, which affects their productivity. Not only does it take a toll on one’s quality of life, but it also accounts for the astonishing economic costs in Canada.
Around 30% of short-and long-term disability claims are associated with mental health problems and 80% of Canadian employers say it’s one of the top three drivers of such claims.
These numbers demonstrate just how important mental health is for work. The problem, however, is that only 23% of Canadians feel comfortable speaking to their employers about mental health concerns.
A strong level of stigma surrounds mental health issues, but the City of Toronto acknowledges the value of psychological health and safety in the workplace. It recognizes that work can be a source of wellbeing or the cause of stress that leads to one’s poor mental health.
In 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. It serves as a guide for organizations to promote mental health and prevent psychological harm at work. Moreover, it also tries to address the soaring legal, social and economic costs of mental illness in the workplace.
Business leaders and other employers should prioritize implementing such standards to protect and support employees.
Canadian employers have certain legal obligations, which can contribute to mental health, under the following three frameworks:
Canada has several legislations that focus on the workplace, which support and seek to improve mental health. But, you might need legal assistance to understand your mental health rights better.
Workplace mental health is a topic that every organization should take seriously. Failing to address the negative impacts of work conditions on workers’ mental health can be costly.
With that in mind, how can Canadian employers create a work environment that helps improve mental health and productivity in Ontario?
Types of Mental Health Illnesses
This category of disorders primarily affects one’s emotional state. A person may experience long periods of extreme sadness, happiness, or both. Depression and bipolar disorder are among the most common types of these disorders.
This category of disorders involves excessive anxiety and fear that is generally disproportionate to the situation. The most common type of anxiety disorder includes phobias and panic disorder.
This disorder category is characterized by severe and persistent extreme emotions, attitudes, and eating behaviours. They can include anorexia nervosa, binge-eating, and bulimia.
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The excessive workload can affect your ability to be productive and deal with challenges. No matter the reason, it’s always important to address your mental health. If you’re going through a mental health problem and in need of some legal aid, you’ve come to the right place.
Diamond Law has a team of experienced lawyers who can help you with disability claims and other legal support. We will do everything we can to protect your best interests. Contact us today!
We are here 24/7 to address your case. You can speak with a lawyer to request a consultation.1-800-567-HURT
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against you because of your mental health issues. You can work as long as you can still perform your job and don’t pose a direct threat to safety.
Canada considers mental illness as a disability. In fact, one in three disability claims in the Canadian workplace is associated with mental health problems.
According to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, employees are entitled to medical leave for depression and other mental health issues that are considered a disability.
The Human Rights Code protects you from discrimination with respect to being fired, denied a job or a promotion because of a mental health disability or addiction. You are also protected from harassment in your employment.
As an employer, there are many ways in which you can help create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. Building a supportive work environment that promotes mental well-being has benefits for everyone and keeps your workforce strong and competitive.
As an employee, it’s best to ask for help from, and inform, your employer. A supervisor might be the best person to talk to, given that they may be informed about resources that could help with mental health. Human resources can be a good option as well.
If your mental health problem is a disability and there is a feature of your work that is causing you some kind of disadvantage because of this disability, then your employer is under a duty to make an adjustment(s) to avoid that disadvantage. It is also advisable to disclose your mental health to your employer for the purpose of obtaining protection.
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