Between 55% and 70% of people with a mental disorder have jobs, says the report. This makes promoting mental well-being a workplace issue.
According to Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work, one in five workers suffers from a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. Many are struggling to cope, which can affect workplace productivity and benefit costs:
3 in 4 workers with a mental disorder report reduced productivity at work, compared to 1 in 4 workers without a mental disorder
absenteeism is more frequent and longer for workers with mental illness
about 30% to 50% of all new disability benefit claims in OECD countries are for reasons of mental ill-health; among young adults this proportion exceeds 70%1
Most mental disorders, says the report, are mild or moderate, and are frequently referred to as “common mental disorders” (CMD). Typically, 75% of those affected by mental disorder have a CMD, and one-quarter a severe mental disorder (SMD). Among the most frequent CMDs are mood disorders (depression), neurotic disorders (anxiety), and substance-use disorders. However, any of these illnesses can evolve to become so severe that they would be classified as SMDs.1
The report identifies opportunities for a number of stakeholders. For employers, these include:
securing good working conditions and developing sound management practices
systematic monitoring of sick-leave behaviour
working closely with other stakeholders to bring people with mental illness back to work
addressing stigma and discrimination1
Incidence of absence due to sickness1
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a multidisciplinary international body made up of 30 member countries. It offers a structure/forum for governments to consult and cooperate with each other in order to develop and refine economic and social policy. Canada is a member.
1 Source, all statistics and figures: OECD Mental Health and Work Project, http://www.oecd.org/document/20/0,3746,en_2649_34747_38887124_1_1_1_1,00.html