The chairman of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health says that erasing the stigma of mental illness could help employers save billions of dollars.
Bill Wilkerson added that there was an urgent need to break stigma of mental illness as a character weakness. He said that companies were losing productivity because they were not taking proper care of employees who were burnt out. On the same note, he praised the military for their efforts to take good care of personnel.
"The military and para-military have crossed the Rubicon in recognizing that mental illness is a real expression of ill health and not weak character," he said. "Here, we have people with medals on their chests who are depressed. The value of the military and RCMP in breaking the stigma is that it can be done in the civilian community, where mental illness is still a sign of weakness."
Canada's mental-health crisis forced the military to tackle the issue on a war footing when the country became involved in the Afghanistan war in 2002.
The country is facing a major crisis as absenteeism, disability claims, stress and the incidence of chronic illnesses associated with depression have risen at a rapid rate in the last five years.