Government and Industry Must Work Together to Address Mental Health Action GapMay 31, 2023
(Toronto, May 31, 2023) – As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) calls for ongoing collaboration between government and industry to bridge the gap between the number of businesses that believe investing in mental health is important and those that take concrete action.
“Our 2023 Ontario Economic Report shows that close to 80 per cent of businesses consider employee mental health as essential to their organizational success,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “At the same time, there remains a mental health action gap, with only 37 per cent of organizations saying they have a formal strategy to support employee mental health and well-being. Throughout the pandemic, we witnessed a meaningful increase in the implementation of mental health and wellness strategies by businesses across the province. However, this progress has been hampered as many businesses were forced to redirect resources towards managing inflation, labour shortages and operational costs”
While mental health challenges have long existed, the COVID-19 pandemic intensified the urgency to address them. Experts highlight the emergence of a mental health “echo pandemic” as Ontarians navigate heightened uncertainty, anxiety, and burnout. These issues have significant consequences for individuals, the healthcare system, and the broader economy.
“Collaboration between industry, community organizations, and government is essential to addressing the mental health challenges we face,” said the Hon. Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health, and Addictions. “As part of Budget 2023, our government continues to make significant investments in mental health, including an additional $425 million over the next three years, and we will continue to work with stakeholders to improve access and connect people to the supports they need.”
Building on our previous work to tackle the mental health action gap, the OCC will spearhead a series of consultations with our members and mental health experts in the coming months. These consultations aim to identify specific obstacles, initiatives and policy recommendations to effectively address mental health and addictions challenges. The OCC is committed to working alongside the Government of Ontario to support business capacity and ensure that individuals have access to the services they need.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is the indispensable partner of business and Canada’s largest, most influential provincial chamber. It is an independent, not-for-profit advocacy and member services organization representing a diverse network of 60,000 members. The OCC’s mission is to convene, align and advance the interests of its members through principled policy work, value-added business services and broad engagement to drive competitiveness and economic growth in the province.
For more information, please contact:
Policy and Public Affairs Specialist
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
firstname.lastname@example.org | Mobile: (647) 882-9878