Employers should invest in policies, education programs and a culture that supports employees’ mental health, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“Businesses are beginning to recognize that this issue has economic implications,” says Glenn Thompson, CEO of CMHA, National.

Mental illness costs Canadian companies $14 billion each year, according to the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health. This year’s theme for Mental Health Week, which takes place between May 7 and 13, is work-life balance.

To help create a workplace that supports mental health, the CMHA suggests that employers train managers on how to encourage work-life balance; educate employees about workplace policies and programs available to promote mental health; establish flexible hours; encourage staff to stay home with sick children or elderly relatives when necessary; and track employees’ satisfaction with their work-life balance.

Recently, Human Solutions, along with Ekos Research Associates and Graham Lowe Group Inc. undertook a survey designed to answer questions regarding the connection between work-life balance, mental health, and job stress.

The majority of the 600 employers surveyed rated work-life balance and workload as their number one workforce challenge.

And a majority of employees gave supervisors the lowest rating for work-life balance support when asked to rate them on a number of criteria. Seventy-six percent of respondents consider their supervisor or manager ineffective, or moderately effective, in helping employees achieve work-life balance.

Some of the things that employees said would help them achieve a good work-life balance are: a daycare close by, less commuting time, job sharing, less work-related travel, more work from home, spread out work week, part-time job with benefits, short-term leave, flexible hours, and a manageable workload.

For a related story, entitled Creating a workplace health program, click here.

To comment on this story email craig.sebastiano@rci.rogers.com.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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