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CAMH Launches First-of-its-Kind Workplace Mental Health Playbook

Helping Business Leaders navigate mental illness; a leading cause of workplace disability in Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2020 /CNW/ - The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated to be a staggering $51 billion each year. Half a million Canadians miss work each week due to mental illness, it's a leading – and costly – cause of disability in Canada.

In response to this, today, CAMH, in partnership with BMO, launched a first-of-its-kind, Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders. With the research highlighting only 32 per cent of Canadian employees feel their organization's leadership is addressing mental health, The Playbook provides a path to more effective solutions and better outcomes for employees and for businesses, with five key recommendations and examples of best practices in the workplace.

Thirty per cent of disability claims and 70 per cent of all disability costs in Canada are due to mental illness. The potential impacts of improving workplace mental health will not only reduce these costs but also result in higher performance and lower absenteeism.

Investing in workplace mental health is not just the right thing to do - it is also good for the bottom line. According to CAMH research, investing in workplace Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programs can see a return of almost $2 for every dollar invested.

"After decades of working with organizations around the world to advance diversity and inclusion, I firmly believe that employee mental health is the most important issue facing workplaces today," said Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, CAMH Foundation. "By stepping forward to not only address, but to champion mental health in the workplace, business leaders have the opportunity to help ignite and unleash their employees' full potential."

With BMO as the lead sponsor, The Playbook was created with input from CAMH researchers and clinicians, and business leaders.

"BMO is deeply committed to recognizing that mental health is health – in our workplace and beyond," said Cameron Fowler, President, North American Personal & Business Banking at BMO Financial Group, and BMO's Executive Diversity Champion. "We are proud to partner with CAMH on this global research and are focused on continuing to reduce stigma and increase action and awareness around workplace mental health."

BMO is committed to supporting its employees' mental health through a variety of programs and benefits, and by fostering open conversation and tackling stigma. BMO has also been a long-time supporter of CAMH through capital campaigns and other initiatives.

CAMH's Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders also received support from CAA Insurance and DIALOG.

About CAMH
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $852 billion as of October 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Inquiries: Sean O'Malley, CAMH,, (416) 595-6015; Kelsey Rutherford, BMO,, (416) 867-3996