Battling Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace: Why Companies Must Prioritize Employee Well-being

2023-08-13 15:08:26

Mental health is still very taboo in the workplace, many live with stigma. This is what the Conference Board of Canada found with a study on work attendance and overall mental health of employees, published on August 9.

According to Annie Boilard, President of the Annie RH Network, more than one in five Canadians suffer from mental health issues and one in three employees in Quebec have already received a diagnosis of mental health issues. she confirmed in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.

“Mental health is the other pandemic … It’s very present, and still wondering how it is?”, She adds.

An employee who persists in going to work, despite mental health issues, has negative impacts on the company.

“This will have a negative impact on the company’s productivity three times greater than if the employee had stayed at home,” says Ms. Boilard.

The president of the Annie RH Network insists that in the long term, it is better to stay at home and take care of yourself than to force yourself to go to work. “Otherwise it will degrade the health of the employee, which can create absenteeism and ultimately disability sessions,” adds Annie.

In Canada, one in three companies offers no benefits for people who suffer from mental health. Employees feel compelled to come to work, due to the work attendance policy.

“The employer does not realize that it has an impact and that it will ultimately generate costs,” she comments.

According to Ms. Boilard, employers should be aware of the stigma around mental health.

“We need to talk about it, equip people to recognize the symptoms, equip managers to ensure the mental health of teams, we need to review work attendance policies, we need to trust employees and provide flexibility,” concludes the president of the Annie RH Network.

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