While Jan. 15 was technically Blue Monday, the national mental health crisis continues every day, no doubt.

The Financial Post reports the steep rise in Canadians with symptoms of depression (up 60% since 2012) and anxiety (more than doubled since 2012), as people struggle with personal issues, a stagnant economy, skyrocketing household debt, the rising cost of living, and the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis costs the national economy around $50 billion annually, and mental health issues are causing about 500,000 workers to miss work every week. These are staggering numbers, and behind each one is a friend, family member or colleague who is struggling.

Here are two things employers can do to help:

  1. Promote Open Communication: Create a work environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health. This openness can help in identifying issues early and finding support.
  2. Provide Access to Resources: Sign up for ICBA’s free Wellness program! Offer resources such as counseling services, mental health supports, or discussions on stress management. Having these resources available can make a significant difference.

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.