The Footprint of Mental Health Conditions: Healthy Brains at Work

By Emma Firsten -Kaufman

Research, campaigns, and other activities in Canada have helped raise awareness and knowledge of mental health and mental illness. But it is unclear whether these efforts have delivered an impact, particularly among working Canadians. "The Footprint of Mental Health Conditions: Healthy Brains at Work" is the first of four reports on the importance of addressing mental health and mental illnesses in Canadian workplaces. In this Research Report Round-up we provide a summary of this report.

Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format.

Title and link to report: The Footprint of Mental Health Conditions: Healthy Brains at Work

Authors: Greg Sutherland and Carole Stonebridge of the Conference Board of Canada

Year: 2015

Location: Ottawa

Type of study: Review of literature

Population: Canadian workforce

Keywords: Workplace, workforce, mental health, mental illness, Canada

Contact person/source: Conference Board of Canada, contactcboc [at] conferenceboard [dot] ca, 1-866-711-2262

Language: English

What this report is about

This is the first of four reports on the importance of addressing mental health and mental illnesses in Canadian workplaces.

This initial report provides an overview of the prevalence of mental illness among the Canadian workforce and identifies at-risk groups by gender, age, occupation, and industry. It also highlights actions that employers can take to prevent or minimize mental health problems among their workers. Finally, it includes some evidence-based tools and resources that can be used to address mental health in the workplace.

The next three reports in this series will look at the following topics:

  • What employers are doing to improve mental health in the Canadian workforce.
  • Gaps between what’s currently being done and what is written in evidence-based guidelines, recommendations, and standards.
  • Emerging workplace programs and practices and new therapies and treatments (in particular for depression) that are under development.
  • The potential impact (in terms of prevalence of mental illness, productivity, direct and indirect costs) if Canadian employers increase their use of effective mental health benefits, strategies, and workplace programs.

How this report can be used

This report can be used to understand the state of mental health and mental health problems in Canadian workers and to provide employers with practices they can put in place to improve the mental well-being of their employees and to support those with mental health problems.