New push to tackle workplace stresses that lead to depression


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You probably know someone who has struggled with depression, or have battled with it yourself.

Nations around the world are looking to Canada to lead the way in dealing with stress and anxiety from work that lead to depression. One of these efforts involves a former BC premier who is now Canada’s high commissioner to the UK.

On Wednesday, Gordon Campbell is hosting a reception for business leaders in Europe. That reception will begin a forum set to head efforts to make workplaces healthier.

Meanwhile, two mental health advocates — one of whom is also a businessman — are hoping businesses and scientists will come together in our country, in Europe, and in the United States, bringing pilot projects and clinical trials to workplaces.

Those trials and pilot projects would figure out what works, so employers will end up with a kind of guide.

They want a cure for depression, and to see the number of disability claims for anxiety and depression go down to ten percent over the next decade, from between 35 and 45.

Mark Henick with the Canadian Mental Health Association isn’t surprised Canada is being looked at to lead these initiatives, though he says it would have been a surprise ten years ago.

“The work that’s been done through the Mental Health Commission of Canada and through the Canadian Mental Health Association has really been second to none. They deserve — we deserve — the reputation of being world leaders in this regard,” says Henick.

“There have always been really great outstanding programs across Canada that have been making a difference, but what we had always lacked before was the ability to come together and to have an overarching meaning and cause for mental health in Canada. Now we have that, and it’s continuing to develop so mental health is really the ‘it’ cause in Canada right now, and that’s going to continue to grow and that’s going to continue to make a difference.”

“I think it’s great that these kinds of initiatives are finally starting to happen,” he adds. “We know that workplace mental health, especially is one of the most pressing concerns facing Canadian corporations right now. Disability relating to mental health problems is one of the leading costs for companies across Canada.”

“So I think to see, especially in the private sector, people stand up and start to recognize that looking after people’s mental health is more than just a compassionate cause, it’s actually good business. I think that’s really promising to see that happening.”

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