New tool to help inform business owners about mental health

$6.4 billion – that’s how much is lost each year in productivity costs because of workers who are absent, sick or quit due to mental health issues, according to estimates from a study commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

A free online tool from the Ontario branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association could help rectify that by providing business owners, employers, and other professionals with information about mental health accessibility and disability accommodation in the workplace.

Think Outside the Box – launched earlier this month – offers stories about how people living with a mental health disability have received accommodation at work and school.

It also provides tips for business owners or employers to help create a more accessible environment for staff with mental health or addictions disabilities.

For starters, be flexible. Individual needs can vary from person to person, day to day.

“Don’t assume you know what someone needs and don’t be surprised if things change or to ‘get it right’ immediately,” the tool suggests.

According to the Risk Analytics study, one in five Canadians experiences a mental health problem in any given year.

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