If you are in distress, you can call or text 988 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › A Clear Business Case for Hiring Aspiring Workers

A Clear Business Case for Hiring Aspiring Workers


The value of quality employment for the maintenance and improvement of mental health for all people is clear and
widely understood. Employment not only provides a paycheck, but also a sense of purpose, opportunities to learn and a chance to connect with others through work. More importantly, work offers hope for improved health and functioning, which is vital in the recovery from mental illness. Research shows that individuals living with a disability (including those living with a mental illness) can be just as qualified, reliable, safe, loyal, and high-performing as their colleagues who do not have a disability Mental health problems and illnesses are the leading causes of disability in Canada, affecting almost seven million working age adults.


The goal of this research was to generate evidence-based recommendations for employers regarding strategies to foster a productive, engaged, and healthy workforce that can meet Canadian business needs and enhance competitiveness in local, national, and global arenas. The key questions were: What is the business case for employers to recruit people living with a mental illness and what organizational strategies and practices best promote recruitment and retention of people living with a mental illness in Canadian workplaces?


The specific objectives of the project were to:

  1. Explore the barriers, opportunities, risks and benefits of hiring and retaining people living with a mental health problem or illness from the perspective of key workplace stakeholders (people living with a mental illness, co-workers, employers) in a range of organizations varying by size and industry;
  2. Identify and describe the costs and benefits associated with hiring, supporting and accommodating people living with a mental illness; and
  3. Identify opportunities and strategies for employers to improve their capacity to successfully hire and retain workers from the Aspiring Workforce.


The strategic decision to actively hire and retain people living with a mental health problem or illness presents clear advantages for diverse Canadian businesses and workers. The findings showcase businesses that have championed workplace mental health and taken active steps to hire and support people with mental illnesses. The business cases presented here provide compelling evidence that the benefits of pursuing healthy work environments for the Aspiring Workforce outweigh the costs. The innovative approach the researchers developed and applied to estimate the costs and benefits of accommodation in this study can be adapted by businesses for use in their own contexts.

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do.

Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Workplace psychological health and safety are critical to our well-being and effectiveness. For health-care workers, the many challenges to being well at work have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic,...

What am I getting wrong about mental health? While people in Canada are talking about mental health more than ever, misconceptions in the media and elsewhere are keeping the stigma...

As a retail or hospitality worker, you often face challenges during the holiday season. While these past few years have been especially difficult, you can still help your workplace become...