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Addressing Mental Illness in the Workplace

Because so many people are found to suffer from season affective disorder (SAD), a common type of depression, it is important for employers to ensure that the proper programs are in place to address mental illness in the workplace.

Statistics show that 27% of people are fearful of being around others who suffer from serious mental illness. In addition, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to psychiatric problems. Having a supportive workplace can help lessen the severity of employees’ mental illnesses and reduce the economic burden on the company. Companies who wish to be better prepared to deal with mental illness should become informed on the topic; draft clear written policies and procedures for dealing with mental illness in the workplace; and collect relevant medical information when an employee discloses his or her illness to a manager or HR professional.

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