October 6 to October 12th is Mental Illness Awareness Week, with October 10th being World Mental Health Day, a day where mental health awareness, education and advocacy against social stigma is shed light on globally. Mental health affects everyone, all ages, cultures, races and genders directly or indirectly. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, at least 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience and deal with some form of mental health problem or illness. 5% of families will experience some form of anxiety causing mild to severe impairment, 8% of adults will experience major depression and suicide has become a leading cause of death in adolescence to middle age with 24% of deaths among 15-24 year old’s and 15% among 25-44 year old’s. These numbers are on the rise each year with more and more Canadians battling mental health issues caused by several different factors including one’s own personality, genetics, environmental factors and of course stress. Although the signs are often invisible and difficult to spot, mental illness is prevalent in the workplace and can have a significant impact on employee productivity and it can affect other employees and the business on a large scale if not addressed.
President and CEO of River City Recruiting and HR, Allie Knull opens up and shares her own journey with mental health illness as a patient and an employer. She offers her advice on how to manage mental health illnesses personally, and for employers, how to support staff who may be dealing with mental health as well.