Canada loses upwards of $17 billion each year due to lost workplace productivity resulting from depression and anxiety, according to a new report from The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care.
Specifically, annual depression-related losses total at least $32.3 billion; anxiety-fueled productivity reductions cost the economy $17.3 billion or more a year.
Mental health needs that prevent Canadians from working full- or part-time are partially responsible for the loss. Nearly a quarter of Canadians living with a mental illness are unable to work because they are dealing with symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the report.
The Conference Board suggests employers facilitate access to evidence-based benefits, programs and other support to help increase workplace productivity, estimating that with access to better treatments, up to 352,000 Canadians with depression or anxiety could enter the workforce as fully functional employees every year through 2035.
Certain industries appear to be more affected.
Forty-four percent of administrative support and waste management employees have unfulfilled mental health needs, according to the Conference Board. Nearly as many accommodation and food service employees do, as well.
Learn more about the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care report here.