The Canadian economy loses $47.6 billion each year due to poor productivity from employees with depression ($32.3 billion) and anxiety ($17.3 billion), according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care.

The study also notes that if Canadians had better access to depression and anxiety treatment, up to 352,000 additional Canadians would enter the workforce each year until 2035.

Read: New mental health program for paramedics ‘long overdue’

“A large proportion of working Canadians have unmet mental health care needs that prevent them from performing to their utmost and our report shows this has serious consequences for the Canadian economy,” Louis Thériault, vice-president of public policy at the Conference Board of Canada, said in a release. “Improving treatment of mental illness among working Canadians would offer significant benefits for individuals, businesses, society and the economy.”

The report found that employees in service industries have the most unmet mental-health needs. The sectors with the highest proportion of staff who need more mental-health support are administrative support and waste management (44.4 per cent), accommodation and food services (43.8 per cent), and professional, scientific and technical services (42.9 per cent).

The report suggests that employers improve access to both prevention and treatment strategies for employees’ mental -health concerns, along with effective return-to-work programs.

Read: The importance of integrating treatment with return-to-work plans

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

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