Nearly a quarter of the country’s working population is currently affected by mental health problems or illnesses leading to turnover, absenteeism and “presenteeism” (attending work but being less than fully productive). About 30% of short- and long-term disability claims nationally are attributed to mental health concerns. Of the total economic burden caused by mental illness in Canada — about $51 billion per year — a staggering $20 billion stems from workplace losses.
There are solutions. But first, be inspired by this story to help raise awareness of the stigma around mental illness.
Margaret Trudeau, ex-wife of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, understands the maxim: The only way up is to hit rock bottom.
At the Conference Board of Canada’s “Workplace Wellness and Mental Health 2014” conference held in June in Toronto, Ontario, a poised, polished and often hilarious Margaret readily shared her journey from the darkness of bipolar disorder to a new life as a mental health survivor and advocate.