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Mental Health and Employment

Wikis > Mental Health and Employment

This section is intended to provide an overview of mental health and employment. If you would like to modify these wikis or to submit a new subsection, get in touch with contactpoint@ceric.ca to be added as an author.

Introduction

Mental Health and Employment appear to be interweaving into each more than ever before. The challenges combine in dealing with mental health issues and try to find and maintain employment. This wiki is an “information hub” created to assist individuals in the career counselling field with finding resources that can assist them in working with clients with mental health issues. As career counsellors, we are NOT mental health counsellors or doctors. Mental health is a major barrier that can come between a client and their ability to obtain employment. We must be comfortable with learning about mental health and referring clients to appropriate services and resources to assist them with being successful in their employment goals.

Mental Health and Employment: Overview by the CMHA

“Of all persons with disabilities, those with a serious mental illness face the highest degree of stigmatization in the workplace, and the greatest barriers to employment. Many and varied employment obstacles face adults with psychiatric disabilities, such as gaps in work history, limited employment experience, lack of confidence, fear and anxiety, workplace discrimination and inflexibility, social stigma and the rigidity of existing income support/benefit programs.

The unemployment rate of persons with serious mental illness reflects these obstacles and has been commonly reported to range from 70-90%, depending on the severity of the disability. These statistics are particularly disturbing in light of the fact that productive work has been identified as a leading component in promoting positive mental health and in paving the way for a rich and fulfilling life in the community.

Access to meaningful, paid work is a basic human right for every citizen, and those who experience serious mental illness should have equal access to the fundamental elements of citizenship which include: housing, education, income and work. This means that each individual has the right to be employed in a mainstream job, rather than being labeled as a client in a training program or a sheltered workshop.”[1]

Facts about Mental Illness

 

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What causes it?

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
  • Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.

 

What is the economic cost?

  • The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
  • An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
  • In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.Sources: The Report on Mental Illness in Canada, October 2002. EBIC 1998 (Health Canada 2002), Stephens et al., 2001

 

How does it impact youth?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them

Community Associations Providing Mental Health Services

Ontario

COAST Hamilton: assists individuals who are dealing with mental health issues with finding housing and crisis support
http://www.coasthamilton.ca/

COAST Halton: assists individuals with safe beds, help groups, housing and crisis support
http://www.cmhahrb.ca/Services/Crisis-Support.html

Youthlink: provides support to young people who are experiecing mental illness
http://www.youthlink.ca/contact

Durham Mental Health Services: assists adults in the Durham region who are dealing with mental health issues
http://www.dmhs.ca/

COTA: Assists individuals in the Toronto area that in treatment for mental illnesses

http://www.cotahealth.ca/

The ROYAL: assists with individuals with mental illness in Ottawa
http://www.theroyal.ca/

St Leonards Community Services: provides various programs for support for individuals experiecing mental health issues
http://www.st-leonards.com/Home.html

Alberta

CMHA- assist individuals who are dealing with mental health issues
http://calgary.cmha.ca/

Mental Health Services: Various health assistance programs
http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=service&rid=7484

My Mental Health: provides a list of mental health services that are available in Alberta
http://www.mymentalhealth.ca/Home/GetHelp/OtherResources/AlbertaResources/MedicineHatArea/tabid/894/Default.aspx

Assertive Outreach Services: provides outreach services to individuals dealing with mental health issues
http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=service&rid=7282

List of services that are availiable for individual dealing with mental health issues
http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=stype&type=25

Sasketchawan

Your Mental Well-Being-Government of Sasketchawan: provides services for individuals dealing with mental health issues
http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/mental-well-being

Programs and Services for individuals dealing with mental illnesses within the province of Sasketchwan
http://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/your_health/ps_mhas_about_us.htm

British Columbia

Vancouver Coastal Health- information on different organizations that assist individuals with mental health issues
http://www.vch.ca/home/

BC Mental Health and Addiction Services: Assist individuals who are dealing with mental health and addictions
http://www.bcmhas.ca/default.htm

Here to Help: Reources to assist individuals who are dealing with mental health and addictions issues.
http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/

Mood Disorders Assoociation of British Columbia: An association that deals with mood disorders
http://www.mdabc.net/

British Columbia Schizophenia Society: An organizations that assists individuals who are dealing with Schizophenia.
http://www.mdabc.net/

Mental Illness First Aid: This is a course that educates indiviudals on how to communicate and assist individuals dealing with mental health issues
http://www.mifa.ca/
 
Manitoba

Province of Manitoba: Healthy living: A resource for services assist with mental health
http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/mh/index.html

My Mental Health: A list of service providers and resources in Manitoba
http://www.mymentalhealth.ca/Home/GetHelp/OtherResources/NationalandInternationalResources/Manitoba/tabid/1085/Default.aspx

Prince Edward Island

PEI Health PEL: Mental Health Services: A link to various mental health services in PEI
http://www.healthpei.ca/mentalhealth

Canadian Mental Health Association in PEI
http://pei.cmha.ca/

Canada-Helps-Charity Profile: an association that assists individuals with mental health illnesses
http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s2235

Nova Scotia

CMA: Regional Assistance with Mental Health
http://novascotia.cmha.ca/programs/regional-services/

Mental Health Resources Halifax: A guide for Friends and Family in dealing with Mental Health Illness
http://ourhealthyminds.com/family-handbook/appendix-resources-list.html

A list of mental health resources in Nova Scotia
http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/mhs/

TeenMentalHealth.org
http://teenmentalhealth.org/understanding-mental-health/fighting-stigma/

New Brunswick

Welcome to Capital Region: provides assistances to individuals who are dealing with mental health issues
http://www.crmhaa.ca/

CMA: New Brunswick Chapter
http://nb.cmha.ca/mental_health/community-mental-health-centre-contact-information/

Canadian Mental Health Association
http://saintjohn.cioc.ca/record/HDC2241?UseCICVw=43

The ACADIE-BATHURST Health Authority: provides assistances to individuals dealing with mental illness
http://www.santeacadie-bathursthealth.ca/pages/eng/ser_mentalh.htm

NewfoundLand and Labrador

CMA- Information for individuals dealing with mental health issues
http://www.cmhanl.ca/

Newfoundland and Labrador Mood Disorders Information
http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/page/newfoundland-labrador

List of associations that assist individuals with Mental Health illnesses
http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/mhprograms.html

Quebec

Find an Advocate: a resource for finding mental health services in Quebec
http://www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate/qc/mental-health

CMA: Quebec Mental Health Services
http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/

Community Resources for Mental Health in Quebec
http://www.douglas.qc.ca/community_resources?id=91&locale=en

Northwest Territories

Community organizations and associations that assist individuals with mental illness
http://www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/english/services/help_lines/help_directory_database/view_by_region.asp?Region=NWT-Wide

Suicide prevention organization: provides resource and support for those affect by sucicide
http://www.suicideprevention.ca/survivor-support/north/

Yukon

Mental Health Organization in the Yukon: A list of mental health associations in Yukon
http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/mental_health.php

Additional mental health services in Yukon
http://www.ykhealthguide.org/community/whitehorse_services/

Nunavut

Government of Nunavuty Department of Health
http://gov.nu.ca/health/programs-services/mental-health

Embrace Life Council
http://inuusiq.com

Government of Nunavut Action Plan on suicide prevention
http://www.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/resiliency_within_eng_0.pdf

International Resources

The Jack Project: Helping youth deal with mental health issues
http://www.thejackproject.org/about-us

World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/

International Society for Mental Health
https://www.ismho.org/home.asp

POV NET
http://www.povnet.org/contact

International Medical Corps
https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/mentalhealth

Resources

Resources for Career Practitioners

Resources for Employers

Resources for Clients

Information on Mental Illness (by the Canadian Mental Health Association – CMHA)

Articles

  • Repetti, Rena L.; Matthews, Karen A.; Waldron, Ingrid. “Employment and women’s health: Effects of paid employment on women’s mental and physical health.”American Psychologist 44 (11), Nov 1989, 1394-1401
  • Jahoda, Marie. “Economic Recession and Mental Helath: Some Conceptual Issues.”. Journal of Social Issues 44 (4), Winter 1988,13-23
  • Banks, Michael. H, Clegg, Chris. W, Jackson, Paul. R, Kemp, Nigel. J, Stafford, Elizabeth. M and Wall, Toby. D. “The use of the General Health Questionnaire as an indicator of mental health in occupational studies”. Journal of Occupational Psychology 53 (3), September 1980, 187-194.
  • Thomas, Claudia, Benzeval, Michaela and Stansfeld, Stephen. A. “Employment transitions and mental health: an analysis from the British household panel survey”. J Epidemiol Community Health 2005 (59), 243-249
  • Stafford, M. Elizabeth. Jackson, Paul. R and Banks, Michael. “Employment, work involvement and mental health in less qualified young people”. Journal of Occupational Psychology 53 (4), December 1980, 291-304.

Books

References

1. http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/find-help/employment/_blank
2. http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/

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