Wednesday, September 15, 2010
ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2010) - "Mental illness is associated with more lost work days than any other chronic condition, costing the Canadian economy $51 billion annually in lost productivity. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have calculated the actual cost of mental health leave and found that on average it's double the cost of a leave for a physical illness.The study, published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, looked at data tracking the short-term disability leave of 33,913 full-time employees in Ontario. Results showed that the cost to a company for a single employee on a short-term disability leave due to mental health concerns totals nearly $18,000.
Dr. Carolyn Dewa, head of CAMH's Work and Well-being Research and Evaluation Program and lead investigator on the study, notes the disproportionate cost to employers when compared to other disabilities. "In an average year, a firm with 1,000 employees might expect about 145 disability cases. Of this, only a fraction are on disability due to mental illness, yet it costs employers the most." Disability leaves due to physical illness cost nearly half of that for a leave due to mental illness."
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