Mental Health Stats at Work

Recently I participated in a workshop on the topic of ‘mental health in the workplace,’ and discovered some valuable mental health stats.

The instructor shared some interesting statistics:

  • 50% of Canadian households are affected by mental health issues
  • 500,000 Canadians per week stay home from work due to a mental health issue
  • The estimated rate of ‘malingering’ (faking) is 15%. So, 85% of these issues are very real.  These people aren’t lazy or weak, they’re suffering
  • Depression/anxiety is the 2nd leading cause of disease in Canada
  • 2/3’s of sufferers would not disclose mental health issues to their employer (would you?)
  • 80% of the time, sufferers will improve if they seek help

Am I talking to you this morning?  Are you embarrassed/ashamed because you feel anxiety, or an all-encompassing gloom that you can’t seem to shake?  I hope not.  My goal is always to see you thrive at work and at home.  Life is too short to not feel happy/engaged, and there are answers.

Let me pass on some of the take-aways that I learned:

The worst thing you can do as an employed sufferer

  1. Stay home from work: Isolation is an incubator for depression to thrive in.  Cutting yourself off from relationships makes the situation worse.  Also, productivity is important to feeling healthy as a human being.  Staying home alone in your pajamas is not helping.

The best things you can do to help a friend/co worker struggling with mental health

  1. Give them a safe place to talk about it. Don’t be shy; engage with them.  If they had a broken leg you wouldn’t be afraid to ask about how they’re doing with it.  When they have a mental injury, you shouldn’t be afraid to engage them either
  2. Take them for a walk: Walking produces endorphins which helps them feel good. It produces forward motion.  It also gives them a place to talk about how they’re doing

Let’s care about each other, and do all we can to make our work environments happy and healthy

These mental health stats confirm that we can all do better.

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