The statistics on mental health are ubiquitous. One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in any given year, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In addition, treatment, care and support services for mental illness cost dearly: $42.3 billion in 2011, as reported to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Cost is never good news for employers. Neither is absenteeism. One statistic, also from the Mental Health Commission, indicates that mental illness accounted for roughly 30% of short- and longterm disability claims in 2014.
Stigma is yet another issue. According to a 2016 Morneau Shepell survey, 66% of employees who took time off work for a mental health issue didn’t disclose it to their employer. What’s an employer to do? For starters, get on board with the latest technology. In today’s phone-obsessed population, HR departments can turn to several apps that may help to remove employees’ fear of stigma — and alleviate cost and absenteeism issues for employers.