Mental Illness Losses Cost Canada $49B

TORONTO, Sept. 13 (UPI) — Lost work days due to mental illness cost Canada about $49 billion annually in lost productivity, researchers said.

Researchers at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto calculated the actual cost of mental health leave and found, on average, it is double the cost of days lost due to physical illness.

Dr. Carolyn Dewa and colleagues analyzed data of the short-term disability leave of 33,913 full-time employees in the province of Ontario.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, found the cost to a company for a single employee on a short-term disability leave due to mental health concerns was nearly $17,500.

“In an average year, a firm with 1,000 employees might expect about 145 disability cases,” Dewa, the lead investigator, said in a statement. “Of this, only a fraction are on disability due to mental illness, yet it costs employers the most.”

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