A Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) report, The Aspiring Workforce, finds that up to 90% of Canadians living with serious mental illnesses are unemployed.

“Some employers are reluctant to hire people with mental illness, in many cases due to the stigma associated with it,” says Louise Bradley, the organization’s president and CEO.

Discrimination, inflexible disability income polices, and inadequate support for people finding and keeping a job are some of the other reasons cited for why some Canadians are left out of the employment equation.

The report provides several recommendations to help policy makers, governments, and employers strengthen workplace support for Canadians with serious mental illness. The recommendations include:

  • Ensuring supported employment programs that help people find and keep jobs are well matched to interests and career goals;
  • The development of a formal network to advance the development, growth, and legitimacy of social businesses for people with mental illnesses;
  • Changes to disability support policies to provide flexibility that recognizes individuals with mental health issues often have intermittent work capacity; and
  • Increasing the so-called aspiring workforce’s ‘workplace know-how’, including everything from better understanding their human rights to improving the knowledge and understanding of the symptoms of their illness

Bradley also encourages more workplaces to become familiar with the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace to prevent psychological harm and promote well-being of all employees.

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

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