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Mental health and the economy

Compromised mental health is a concern for many reasons including its negative economic impacts

By ATB Economics 22 February 2021 1 min read

A survey conducted by Statistics Canada suggests that the mental health of many Canadians has deteriorated during the pandemic. Compromised mental health is a concern for many reasons including its negative economic impacts. At the same time, financial stress can adversely affect mental health.

The Statistics Canada survey found that “43 per cent of participants who reported significant impacts on their ability to meet financial obligations reported symptoms that were consistent with moderate or severe anxiety” compared to 18 per cent among those experiencing little to no financial impact.

According to information pulled together by The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:

“In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness.

The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

Individuals with a mental illness are much less likely to be employed.

In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems.”

These statistics highlight the economic and social costs of mental illness but they also point to the many challenges faced by the individuals and families experiencing it. For these reasons, the more we can do to improve everyone’s mental health, the better off we all will be.

Improving access to mental health is part of ATB’s new Greater Good strategy, a long-term effort where we're partnering with community organizations to help solve some of society’s greatest challenges.

Starting March 1, ATB Up, the first Greater Good initiative, will engage Albertans in 10 days of challenges they can do from home, with the goal of raising up to $50,000 for mental health support in Alberta. See how you can join in and help make a difference at up.atb.com.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The profit margin of Alberta’s new car dealers in 2019 was 1.5 per cent compared to 2.8 per cent for used car dealers.

Today’s trivia question: When did the House of Commons officially recognize February as Black History Month in Canada?

In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem

In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem


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