The increased incidence of mental disorders across Canada, combined with the growing costs of prescription drugs used to treat mental health issues and the lack of access to timely treatment, is an ongoing financial concern for businesses and government, says a white paper.

The Cira Medical Services white paper, Balancing Workplace Mental Health Issues and Employee Privacy Rights, states that most employers recognize the value of implementing their own workplace mental health strategies.

Employers will play a key role in assessing the risks associated with managing medical disclosures in the workplace.

Without properly safeguarding employee privacy rights, workplace mental health initiatives can prove detrimental to an organization.

“Mental health strategies should also protect the workplace from a risk management perspective,” the white paper states. “Employers must recognize that any employee disclosure of medical information puts the employer at risk with respect to a potential human resources issue, workplace conflicts or even litigation.”

Given the legal and business risks involved in managing mental health issues in the workplace, employers should develop and implement strategies that provide timely access to support affected employees.

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Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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