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The working wounded

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Employers are doing a poor job of accommodating people with mental illnesses and it's costing Canada $51-billion a year ...Read the full article

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  1. Bob J from Canada writes: 2 months ago I tried to end life. It wasnít a cry for help and it was serious enough to plan everything from A to Z...I sent an email to my parents and wrote down all my passwords and bank accounts and I even wrote in that email that I would try to call them but just to let their phone ring twice because that was the time I would do it. I did exactly that, took a ton of medication I could find and I would swallow all of that with a bottle of wine and I just softly went to bed hoping I wouldnít wake up. Iíve started panic attacks 15 years ago and I went through a real roller coaster ride in the last months .. Instead of dying, I woke up in a Hospital the next day. But for some weird reason that guy up there decided that my time had not come yet . I am a professional in a multinational and I was scared of saying what I did.Ė There was also another thing. I was single for the last year and when I came back after, I decided it was time for me to find someone. Imagine this. You meet a girl you like. You tell her ę Hey by the way, I tried to kill myself a few weeks back Ľ Good intro right ? When I realised that depression, burn-outs, suicide and panic attacks are the same thing as diabetes or any other disease. Things should be different because your disease is situated in your brain? Is a heart attack better because its somewhere else in your body ? When I understood that and learned that many millionaires would throw themselves from the 42nd floor during the first depression. It can happen to anyone and I decided that I would not be ashamed and when I would meet a girl after because I am single, the first thing I told her is exactly what I did. If she would have judged me then I would have stopped everything there but the opposite happened. She just told me ę Iím glad that life gave you a second chance Ľ The same thing happened at work. If you are scared of what the other people say because of your condition, then you are the one who is giving life to the taboo.
  2. Harold A. Maio from Ft Myers FL, United States Outlying writes: “Nobody wants to visit a loved one in a mental hospital” is a personal experience, it is not mine. I have read no one gets flowers or cards, that too, is a personal experience, it is not mine.

    Even the mental institutions we now know were abusive had visitors.

    The hospitals of today? Well, journalism can make a few calls and find out: Do you have visitors? Do people send flowers, cards?

    As many as hospitals treating physical illnesses? Probably not, but they have a long history of being open and accessible, located in communities where people need them, and very visitor friendly.
  3. Bob J from Canada writes: If you are the type that speaks with 3 people at the same time, but you are alone, of course , you'll be rejected. It its depression or burn outs or what I did, you won't be in a mental hospital. You'll be seen by a pro and you'll go out the next day and he will give you medications that will balance everything out. And even if no one one sent me anything, I didn't care because this is when you don't give a s?&* and you just thyink of yourself. And if you lose after, than so be it. Life will go on
  4. Harold A. Maio from Ft Myers FL, United States Outlying writes: I am ready to read a postive report on both the illnesses and the people successfully dealing with them. Are you ready yet?
  5. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: I really admire people who tell their stories here, although I worry about those who say they were mistreated in the health care system. I'd like to see an agency that can respectfully receive and investigate complaints of poor quality mental health services with a view to weeding out bad apples, ensuring the ill get good care, and to improve mental health treatments and approaches. Now, it seems there is no assessment and there is no rarely healthy intellectual discourse among professionals at all. These top-down mental health structures are run with a firm hand. Disagree with the prevailing despot and you're out. Those who sit on governing committees are afraid to speak out let they get fired. Even out patients get a clear message early on. Don't question. If you don't like it, too bad.
  6. Pierre-Yves P from Toronto, Canada writes: Depression is a terrible illness and I share the plight of those who have suffered it, but why should employers shoulder that responsibility? Aren`t we supposed to have a Public Health system to take care of this? And I certainly understand that an employer would be reluctant to hire employees who are liable to 'snap' under pressure, especially when there is an abundant supply of well-educated, hard-working, resilient and qualified immigrants professionals who are often under-employed.
  7. Sue W from Canada writes: It depends on your definition of accomodation. While it's reasonable to expect employers, for those who can actually afford it, to have some kind of sick leave policy allowing their employees a certain amount of time off, it's totally unfair to expect companies to keep positions on an open-ended basis. There are some employees, whether they like it or not, who sadly have such serious permanent health issues that they should no longer be on company payroll, but instead be collecting a government disability cheque.

    It's pretty easy for the public service to create various types of policies to accomodate their employees for years when the source of revenue to pay for these programs is bottomless, but to expect all companies to accomodate their employees is not only unreasonable, but impossible from a cost side.
  8. Cousin Voltaire from Canada writes: For some of us, the workplace is like one very large, very dysfunctional family, and the major source, if not the primary source, of our ill health. So to expect employers to accommodate those they've made ill in the first place is completely unrealistic. Think of the nurse in a nursing home whose job has been reduced to handing out pills and filling out reports to cover her butt and that of her employers; or the high school teacher who is forced to pass her students, even though they've failed, just because the administration doesn't want to have to deal with the students not being able to graduate; or the high level bureaucrat whose main job is to make the administration of the day look good, no matter what it takes. And the list goes on and on and on. The workplace too often demoralizes people, teaches them that the bottom line is money, or power, or both, and that in order to survive, you have to learn not to care, not to strive to do things that are worth your time, your efforts, your energies, your intelligence, your emotions. or if they are worth all that, you shouldn't expect proper renumeration and recognition for it (all those people working with children, the elderly, etc.) Should we be surprised then that people feel depressed, anxious, angry, resentful, hopeless? Or that they end up drinking, smoking, eating, gambling, drugging their way out of their pain? And yet we still expect the employers in the workplace to 'accommodate' the very problems they too often create; or at the very least, contribute to... Weird logic, if you ask me. I walked out on all that craziness a few years ago and now live each day in ways that are meaningful to me. And guess what -- my mental health has improved tenfold.
  9. Cousin Voltaire from Canada writes: For some of us, the workplace is like one very large, very dysfunctional family, and the major source, if not the primary source, of our ill health. So to expect employers to accommodate those they've made ill in the first place is completely unrealistic. Think of the nurse in a nursing home whose job has been reduced to handing out pills and filling out reports to cover her butt and that of her employers; or the high school teacher who is forced to pass her students, even though they've failed, just because the administration doesn't want to have to deal with the students not being able to graduate; or the high level bureaucrat whose main job is to make the administration of the day look good, no matter what it takes. And the list goes on and on and on. The workplace too often demoralizes people, teaches them that the bottom line is money, or power, or both, and that in order to survive, you have to learn not to care, not to strive to do things that are worth your time, your efforts, your energies, your intelligence, your emotions. or if they are worth all that, you shouldn't expect proper renumeration and recognition for it (all those people working with children, the elderly, etc.) Should we be surprised then that people feel depressed, anxious, angry, resentful, hopeless? Or that they end up drinking, smoking, eating, gambling, drugging their way out of their pain? And yet we still expect the employers in the workplace to 'accommodate' the very problems they too often create; or at the very least, contribute to... Weird logic, if you ask me. I walked out on all that craziness a few years ago and now live each day in ways that are meaningful to me. And guess what -- my mental health has improved tenfold.
  10. Pierre-Yves P from Toronto, Canada writes: Cousin Voltaire from Canada and you probably made the right decision to walk out. Fact is, some people can take the pressure, some cannot. For those who cannot, we have a social net. The argument that 'employers make people sick' is loaded. Nature is unfair.
  11. Ed Anger from Canada writes: and why is it the employers problem to deal with this issue. Business should be able to hire new employees and check their medical history. This is a personal problem.
  12. Cousin Voltaire from Canada writes: Pierre-Yves P. and Ed Anger, if you read my post carefully, you'll note that at no point to I say that I expected anything from my employers when I walked out. Or from society at large, for that matter. I just made a personal choice and assumed responsibility for my actions. The only social net I used was the one my spouse generously provided. Even then, it was not expected, just given. In some weird way, I agree with you Ed, at least to a certain extent. If only because I know from experience that too many people do abuse the system. But there are those who really and truly do need a helping hand in order to be able to function in society. If, that is, they want to function in society the way most people do. As I implied earlier, I tend to think of the workplace as a generally unhealthy, even crazy, environment. Obviously, not everyone agrees. That's fine; I'm just expressing my views.
  13. Christa Bedwin from Canmore, Canada writes: I think the rise in depression in Canada (aye, maybe the world, but here anyway) is the increase in rude, 'me, me' uncaring behaviour. It is no longer social protocol for parents to help children succeed (many still do, and most of those offspring aren't depressed), to exhibit generosity to strangers, to exhibit respect to all around you... if it were still standard for people to treat each other with friendliness and consideration, and human compassion, depression, loneliness, and mental illness would be less. If you want to make a difference to this, smile at everyone you pass today. Hold open the door. Pick up a piece of trash.
  14. vincent furnier from canada, Canada writes: Clinical depression is a serious disease and those who suffer from it need to be treated, sympathized with, and not ostracized. Someone like Bob J, above, in light of his suicide attempt, strikes me as a genuine case of someone dealing with mental illness who needs help and treatment - and there are many others like him.

    However: In my experience, I have known many people (including an ex-wife) who play what might be called the 'depression card' every time they get stressed out in a high pressure job, have a low or bad day, or confront some personal disappointment in life. Often these same people will be back to normal, back to work, even partying it up a few days later, when their bout of 'clinical depression' has passed. I have lost count the number of times that someone has confided in my their 'clinical depression,' when they are obviously psychologically normal people who happen to get stressed and moody on occasions--temporarily. There is an entire industry of psychologists and holistic practitioners ready and willing to diagnose these people's 'depression,' prescibing psychiatric medications that only seem to exacerbate what are life problems, not mental health problems.

    So while many of those 500,000 people who according to the article miss work owing to psychiatric problems are no doubt genuine cases that need to be treated and helped, I'll bet a lot of those cases are just people who need to buckle up and weather the rollercoaster that modern life tends to be for all of us.
  15. Jim Bradley from Ottawa, Canada writes: The 'accommodation' of employees who are struggling with depression is a very worthwhile issue but there are many others associated with mental health in the workplace. What about aggressive behavior? What about tantrums? I've been in workplaces where completely unacceptable behavior is tolerated because either the culprit is a manager or nobody wants to 'bell the cat' and potentially end up in front of a human rights commission. People who are overly aggressive, have volatile mood swings and who are abusive are in themselves a severe cause of anguish in the workplace and we as a society need some effective way to confront them and stop them. Otherwise we'll be sowing the seeds of more depression, anxiety and other disorders.
  16. Emma _ from Toronto, Canada writes: Pierre-Yves, Ed, and Vincent, I'm just waiting for a serious injury or illness to happen to you where you are vulnerable through no choice of your own, and not only want, but NEED, the compassion of those human beings around you, to manage your life. I repeat, not want, but need.

    And they tell you too bad, life is unfair, it's your problem, it's your personal weakness, why can't you walk like everyone else who isn't quadriplegic? You, sitting there drooling in your wheelchair, I don't buy this 'spinal cord injury' claptrap, you can't walk because you're not trying hard enough!

    Then and only then will you know.
  17. Emma _ from Toronto, Canada writes: Jim Bradley: Yes. Exactly. Depression and anxiety, no-no. Sociopathy, A-OK.
  18. J P from Canada writes: I work in a hospital, where you would think a great deal of understanding would be apparent. Unfortunately, when I returned from work after being on disability for 5 months following a stint in a psych ward for bipolar disorder, my coworkers tip-toed around me like I was contagious. The rumours I caught whiff of were so incredibly untrue, and it was quite evident that the reasons for my time off were 'leaked' from the manager's office. It took several months of blunt conversations initiated by myself before the rumours were dispelled and the atmosphere at work went back to normal. I was shocked, and still am shocked, by such a lack of feeling towards people with mental illness. I am not 'going to go crazy' nor was my job too stressful for my 'delicate constitution' to handle. I have a chronic ailment that I have successfully managed for over three years now (and managed quite successfully up until my last major incident three years ago). Although the manifestations are different, mental illness is no different from other chronic illnesses; I am a successful person regardless of having bipolar disorder. I must admit, however, that I do not let people know of my disorder. If it wasn't for the leak from my manager's office, I would not have told anyone at my workplace about my illness. There is just too much unwarranted judgement.
  19. The Work Farce from Canada writes: Anybody who isn't depressed by the state of the world and its people must be completely delusionary. And the most depressing part of it is that normally sad people are being diagnosed, psychiatrized, drugged, humiliated, and tortured. Even more depressing is that professionals who become sad are usually treated with psychotherapy, while workers who become sad are drugged, submitted to ECT and lobotomized. Our economy itself, motivated by fear, scarcity and greed, is the real sickness. Millions of sad people struggling and suffering, trying to cope with a sick economy are only the symptom. But that's always the medical system's worst mistake - it treats the symptoms of sickness, not the cause. The solution to the crisis in mental health is not for doctors to act more like businessmen, but for businessmen to act more like doctors.
  20. BC Philosopher from Canada writes: I've experienced this sort of problem myself. I have a physical condition that leads to reduced mobility and to be in a constant state of discomfort or pain. Now the mobility reduction is usually minor enough that I can hide it but some days it is noticeable. Because of this I sleep very poorly as well. There are times the combination of pain, limitation, and sleep deprivation makes me function more stiffly or slowly. I found out that at my workplace I must wear a social mask 100% of the time, no one should ever be allowed to noticed my discomfort or frustration, this explicitly came from my supervisor. I also find now that given that information my boss will blame a lot of things on that factor rather than ever looking into the actual situation. If I am ever in a negative interaction with someone the fault will immediately fall on me given my situation despite anything else. Employers are not understanding of depression or mental stress by and large, I know I am victim to that ignorance.
    You become viewed as a liability, you could go 6 months without frowning and then if you have a down day they react as if it is a constant factor.
  21. Bob Hawkins from Cloverdale, Canada writes: Nonsense. It is not the employer's responsibility to repair an employee's mental health problems nor to make extensive accommodations for the employee. The employee agreed when he or she took the job, to put in a full month's work for a month's pay plus benefits. If he or she can't hold up his or her end of that bargain the employer has a right to choose someone else to fill the job. Let the social service agencies do thir jobs in an effort to help chronically sick folk.
  22. Adamas She from Canada writes: Right on Work Farce!
    I concur.
  23. Adamas She from Canada writes: Bob Hawkins,

    Have you ever tried to live on the scraps the social service agencies dole out? It is beyond reason and farcical to expect anyone to survive on that pittance. It only exacerbates the problem.
  24. Michael Manning from Mississauga, Canada writes: Bob Hawkins from Cloverdale, Canada writes: 'The employee agreed when he or she took the job, to put in a full month's work for a month's pay plus benefits. If he or she can't hold up his or her end of that bargain the employer has a right to choose someone else to fill the job.'

    True but what about when the employer expects a full month's work for three weeks' pay, or two weeks? How often, during 'rightsizing' is the headcount cut but not the corresponding workload?

    I have seen companies, especially small ones, where management cannot comprehend that there are physical limitations to what a person can do and who demand constant unpaid overtime from their salaried staff.

    The sad part is that the incompetent and lazy quickly leave while the dedicated and loyal are the ones who are left to carry the ever-increasing burden.
  25. vincent furnier from canada, Canada writes: Emma from Toronto writes: 'Pierre-Yves, Ed, and Vincent, I'm just waiting for a serious injury or illness to happen to you where you are vulnerable through no choice of your own, and not only want, but NEED, the compassion of those human beings around you, to manage your life. I repeat, not want, but need.'

    Emma, I totally agree with you but you only read half my comment. Note how in my first paragraph I acknowledge those who 'NEED' treatment for mental illness and by all means should have it. My criticism is of those who claim falsely to be 'clinically depressed' or 'manic depressive' (often with the medication to 'prove it' - doled out all-too-easily by medical practitioners) when what they are really suffering from is a more temporary form of stress or just the basic malaise of modern living that affects us all to some degree.

    I have personally known people who take a week off work because they are 'depressed', yet somehow manage to go clubbing on Friday night rather than cancelling out on their friends. Such people create a glut of absenteeism that risks diluting an employer's sympathy and tolerance for REAL mental illness in people who, as you say, NEED treatment. I'm arguing that many of the 500,000 people cited in the article are likely among the former, not the latter group.

    If you want to engage in ad hominem attacks, please at least acknowledge the two-fold nature of my original comment. You may find that we actually agree more than you realize on the primary issue of treatment for those who need it.
  26. Cousin Voltaire from Canada writes: Bob, you say, 'If he or she can't hold up his or her end of that bargain the employer has a right to choose someone else to fill the job. Let the social service agencies do thir jobs in an effort to help chronically sick folk.' I think we can all agree that there are people who abuse the system: we've met them, we've seen how they manipulate their way into taking extra time off, we might even be them. But again, there are those who are truly ill. And sometimes, their job is what made them sick in the first place. We've all heard of people burning out. Most of us who were in the workplace long enough know of someone having burned out because of their job. Where is the responsibility of the employers then? Should they really just turn their back on their employees and say, not my responsibility? Are we saying also that those who suffer from a chronic mental illness cannot contribute fully to society, if that is their wish? Granted, they might need more support and understanding (though not necessarily: some people are amazingly strong within their disability.) And what they have to give back in return might well be worth the effort.
  27. Glenn Miller from Hamilton, Canada writes: This is not a news article. It's a PR story planted by CAMH with the help of Bill Wilkerson, who used to be with Great West Life and now goes on the bandwagon to find more ways to get more people treated by psychiatrists. He and his buddy with the Global Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, Michael Wilson, former Finance Minister and now Canada's Ambassador to the United States. Oh yes, also with the Roundtable is ex Senator Michael Kirby.

    Psychiatry is a growth industry according to one of the shrinks at CAMH. With PR stories like this, ho can they lose?
  28. ellen m from ontario, Canada writes: about 2 years ago, thats when I had a break down, I was off of work.
    as time went on and on. I started to realize that people I work with, as well as my partner began doubting my illness, It felt like no one could understand what I was dealing with. I did get comments like, I needed to 'snap' out. and parents that said We didn't raise you to be this way.
    unfortunately. these kind of comments make things worse. I tried to make everyone understand,(work, friends and family)
    Now I do not tell a sole anything. I dealing with all these nasty thoughts by myself. my changes of moods etc.....
    I hate dealing wth this as much as the outside people looking in. I would switch places with someone with physical pain any day.
  29. A. Rider from Canada writes: To Glenn Miller and others who think there's a conspiracy behind this story: please get help.
  30. Cana Dian from Toronto., Canada writes: Depression is an illness. Employees get short-term or long-term disability for illnesses. Is this true for depression? Sometimes it is a 'mental' sickness, but depression can also have physical causes, like hormone or mineral imbalance - or prolonged stress. A mental patient having no visitors after being fired? I can tell you that most people after being fired have no visitors, not only the depressed. Former colleagues and management with whom you've spent decades of your life treat you like you have the plaque, and insincere friends think you'll sponge off them. It's a good time to discover who is a loyal friend and who is not. It is high time that employers provide EAP and sustained counselling to those they terminate due to downsizing or restructuring. The emotions that attack a person no longer being able to provide a home for and feed their children are traumatic only because these people love their families. An ecumenical chaplaincy providing free counselling to people who have spiritual beliefs would also alleviate the downward spiral of someone losing their job, or having workplace issues. Whatever happened to compassion in the marketplace? We spend more than a third of our lives contributing to the economy - should it not be at minimum an empathetic environment?
  31. Mitch hourigan from Victoria, Canada writes: M Manning, it is not only the incompetant and lazy who leave.
    Intellegent people who refuse to work 70 hours for 40 hrs pay leave, I refuse to enrich my employers without remuneration.
  32. Susie Q. from Canada writes: My government job was a major source of depression for 15 years. It wasn't just my job, though. I also had to deal with a mother with Alzheimer's, family tensions and divisions surrounding her care, and a loved one who is an alcoholic. The stress became so great that I thought of death and quitting my job on a daily basis. I also cried every single day. I often worked behind closed doors just so my colleagues wouldn't catch me crying, which they did anyway. I felt constantly irritated and developed major insomnia; sometimes I went for weeks sleeping only one or two hours a night. I did take an unpaid two-month leave of absence once, but that was it: not once did I ask to go on sick leave, though I did take sick days here and there, just to survive. I lost all sense of self-esteem and stopped being productive at the office. Then one day, I just quit my job. I had said a few times before I would, but this time, I just did it. I quit out of desperation, out of exhaustion, out of hopelessness; but also, because I stopped believing in the system. Which was just as well, because my employers responded by taking me off the payroll on the very hour of the very day I quit. How could this happen, you ask? Governments have unions; I should have been able to appeal, to demonstrate that my quitting was the result of years of depression. But I was among that small percentage of government employees who are not unionized -- in my case, because my office is deemed "indispensable" for the good functioning of government. So I didn't appeal; I didnít even apply for unemployment. Instead, I decided to cut my losses and focus all my energies on rebuilding my working life outside the system. I was lucky in that my husband is fully supporting me in my new endeavours. So if Iím sharing my story, itís not for me, as Iím well taken care of. Itís for those who are now suffering what I did for so many years, but who do not have the safety net I have. They need help, urgently.
  33. james cooper from victoria, Canada writes: Its amazing that people read the article and still defend the sociopaths known as corporations. It is a lot more expensive to just discard people than to help them. Our society has gone down hill full blast since the " Reagan revolution". A company is only interested in the bottom line and in the last 30 years life has very much deteriorated to the point where all we can do is be afraid of unforeseen hurdles. Pollution, working conditions and values have gone by the wayside and globalisation did the rest. I am soooo impressed when I hear we have world-class cities now, because to me that means the city has beggars, homeless people, sick people etc..We used to be the best place to live on this planet, but our short thinking politicos put down the hole and we are now wold-class with a lot of problems. And what are we doing about? We subsidise oil companies and the like so we can be even more polluted and broke. As Jacob Smirnoff used to joke, " What a country ".
  34. Kim Diamond from Canada writes: I had a sister suffer from severe depression. The challenge that my family faced with the health care system was that we had extremely limited ability to help her. On several occasions, when I knew that she was in danger of ending her life, I was almost powerless to prevent it. I tracked down her psychiatrist and begged for help but was told that since my sister was over the age of 18 that I did not have the right to have her committed to a hospital for her own safety. As far as the health care system was concerned, we could do nothing. My sister was an adult who, at the time, was not capable of making decisions to protect her own life and I could do nothing. It was a frightening situation. Our family support was a key factor in my sister's recovery from depression, and she tells us that often. We stuck by her and did whatever we could to make her know that she was loved and important. It is frustrating that the system could not include us. I know that in some people's cases, the family is part of the problem, but again, they should be factored into the patient's treatment in order to deal with all of the factors affecting the patient's illness.
  35. Mr. S. from Canada writes: "I know that in some people's cases, the family is part of the problem, but again, they should be factored into the patient's treatment in order to deal with all of the factors affecting the patient's illness." If this last comment is implying that family should be made to participate in a patient's treatment against his/her will then my answer is, never. The ill have rights like everyone else, and that includes choosing who can or cannot be part of their treatment.
  36. The Work Farce from Canada writes: My heart goes out to people suffering mental anguish (Try divorcing your spouse) Truly. I do feel your pain. Some people are just wired differently. And in a global economy of mass conformity consumerism being different is the worst sin. Psychiatry is the state religion. It's about worshipping financial success and social control.lPsychiatric pills, like religion, will work for some people to shut down most of their over-active brains. But there's an eventual price to pay for that, for covering up the wild thoughts. Psychiatry helps some and destroys some. It's a bit of a poker game with the psychiatrists dealing from a marked deck. Psychiatry, by and large, is about fleecing and policing the brains of "difficult" "different" people. You can't taser millions of people; but you can get them to taser themselves with toxic psychiatric pills. The weird, the wacky and the wild cost the economy $50 billion a year. They need to be punished. But $50 billion is a small price to pay for a trillion dollar economy. It's just part of the price of doing business - like security guards, security cameras, homeland security, etc. Big Brother is watching you so that Big Sister can swindle you. It's all in the family values. Is there a better way to run a world? Gee, I sincerely do hope so.
  37. Jane Edgett from Saskatoon, Canada writes: I suffered depression from chronic stress due to excessive workload as a hospital health care worker working in our overburdened health care system. It was a workplace injury but I was denied workers compensation because they don't compensate for workload-induced chronic stress diseases.

    I had to try to heal while going through financial crisis, losing my home, my pension and going bankrupt. I have not recovered even now, seven years later. If it had been a physical injury as opposed to a psychological injury, I would have received workers compensation.

    During the 1990s discriminatory policies were put in place by provincial workers compensation boards that categorized "workload" as a "labour relations issue" so that those suffering workload-induced chronic stress diseases would no longer be compensated. This was done under pressure from corporate lobby groups. (Workers compensation is funded solely by corporations, not by taxpayers.)

    Whenever workers compensation denies a claim like this, the financial costs are downloaded onto the taxpayer through health care costs, welfare, CPP and other social services costs.

    These discriminatory policies by workers compensation boards are unconstitutional and must be addressed.

    More information on these issues can be found at the Canadian Injured Workers Society. (www.ciws.ca)
  38. Nadine Marothy from London, Canada writes: It's about time that an illness like depression loses the stigma so that treatment is possible. Unfortunately there are still people who say "snap out of it". It is very treatable and with the proper support can be overcome. Thanks GM for this series of articles.
  39. A. Salted from Canada writes: I believe mental illness in the workplace can be reduced dramatically by removing the sociopaths from the workforce. The psychological injury these people cause is devastating and quick. By the time one realises what one is dealing with, it is already too late.

    Socoipaths have a personality disorder which prevents them from feeling guilt, empathy or remorse. They have no soul.

    They can be charming and very convincing, selling themselves well to upper management, often as 'tough managers'. Its all an act. This is what makes them so dangerous. If you encounter one, get out of the way.

    They cannot be reasoned with. Their goal is only to abuse power and inflict pain.
  40. Leslie Tobias from Toronto, Canada writes: Mental Illness in the workplace, it happens because no ody cares, nobody admits it present, nobody is equipped. cultures colliding. Human Resources that are no longer Human Resources - they have no qualifications. Bullies benefiting, Confusion between mental illness & bad behaviour. Those who are familiar with mental illness and are aware of the "signs" of mental illness are harassed themselves while other look away. Mental Illness is something Canadians don't respond well to. It never was understood or accepted as in other modern societies. Today Canada recognize mental illness as a real-life problem - only because Canada has no choice but to deal with it now as it had not dealt with the issue before. It takes more than education. Anyone can be educated and get a degree to pracitice. But shouldn't - People who pracitice in this field have caused alot of damage and have their licences taken away. I have seen the damages of mental illness done by so called "professional mental experts" and although there are excellent professional in the field of mental health. There are plenty who should not be allowed in the field, just because the passed an examined or have a friend at a local clinic etc. I have witnessed the destruction of life caused by mental illness in the workplace and in the home. It will take many years before Canadians understand and accept it as a reality, just like alcholics or any other disease. People lives who have been destroyed should be compensated their lives cannot be ignored. Good for the ones who can now get help, but unless Canada must recognize and take responsibility for the patients that have been abused by the professionals and compensate them as well as the familiies they destroyed.
  41. Paul Murphy from Thunder Bay, Canada writes: Mental Health continues to be marginalized by many. The continued refusal or denial of this issue or issues that impede one's quality of life is quite strong. Many health professionals simply refuse to recognize the need for such services.
    A conversation needs to take place and an effort to move this dynamic flowing model along. I continue to be scapegoated by many that I worked with because I sought out help for depression.
    HOW CAN WE SUPPORT HEALTHY EATING IF A PERSON IS MOOD ALTERING WITH FOODS? This is the question I pose with many dieticians. For more on my quest please OBESITY THUNDER BAY on youtube.co. OBESITY IS A BY PRODUCT.
    Thanks
  42. Mia Zen from Canada writes: I just wanted to add : the workplace for free lancers or contractors (more and more) is as tough in prejudices in case of mental sickness and your wallet and carreer may not survive a major depression. There is no compensations to look for, you must use your savings. Often, you cannot get unempleoyment, because you were living from one contract to another contract. Even in the intellectual world which should be the most open minded, if you had a bout of depression you no longer exist. You are dead for for people and the system, and the loneliness of the disease is like living on an island for two or three years. Then you try to go back to the job market, and all you get is a set of slaps in the face, as if you did not have studied most of your life, with despise on top of it. I did not study for so long if I did not want to work, because it is so costly. After more unemployed unemployed because of too many years of sick leave on my resume, I am back to school, at 58, courses alternating days and nights shifts to be back on the job market. It's tough on the system. Not many women my age taking the course. But I want to work. I often think that if I had had a cancer or a heart attack, I would already work, people would have been more comprehensive. Human resources are so suspicious about depression.
  43. K B from toronto, Canada writes: You people are out of touch with reality. If you have too many hours of work away from home then drop a job. It is nearly impossible to get in enough time at one work place to hold up a household. This whole topic is completely in support of formerly disadvantaged youth who are now overeducated in the arts and have no real work or life skills. It is always sad when the elderly have to come in to contact with you people. There is no mental illness where you are accepted as who you are. People with diagnosable mental illnesses are very valuable unless they have poor social skills. If there is any suffering that is unbearable then it is not mental but physical. And then, you should never see a professional medical person for help because they will cut it out. literally.

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