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Morneau Shepell research finds that more women are seeking support for depression than men

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Employee Assistance Programs / Canada

Morneau Shepell research finds that more women are seeking support for depression than men

Employers see a return on investment of $4.80 for every $1 spent on Morneau Shepell's Depression Care™ program

TORONTO, May 2, 2016 /CNW/ - New research announced today by Morneau Shepell found that 63.9 per cent of employees accessing its Depression Care™ program are women and, more specifically, more than one quarter (28.6 per cent) are women aged 50 and over. The study was conducted through an assessment of employees who use Depression Care™ – a program offered by Morneau Shepell that is designed to help identify and provide specialized care to, employees at risk of missing work, or going on disability for depression before they reach that point.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 400 million people are suffering from depression. While both genders are represented in that figure, the illness is more prevalent and persistent in women. When it comes to mental illness in women, depressive disorders account for 41.9 per cent of diagnoses, but these conditions often go undiagnosed.

"Depression is just one of the many mental illnesses affecting Canadians every day," said Rita Fridella, Senior Vice President Operations and Chief Clinician, Morneau Shepell. "Despite the high prevalence of mental health issues, we see a number of barriers – such as stigma, insufficient medical coverage and limited access to professional help – that often keep Canadians suffering in silence."  

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting one in 10 people. According to The Conference Board of Canada, mental illness costs the Canadian economy between $20 and $51 billion per year.  

Choosing not to address workplace mental health can become costly for employers but Morneau Shepell's research shows a $4.80 return for every $1 spent on its Depression Care™ program. In addition, Morneau Shepell found that the average improvement in workplace absence was approximately 32.0 per cent following the use of Depression Care™.  Similarly, there was an average improvement in work productivity of 51.9 per cent following the use of the program.

"Through Depression Care™, employees are able to develop resilience skills that help them recover from or manage depression and, as a result, employers have the opportunity to improve their bottom line," said Barb Veder, Vice President, Clinical Services and Research Lead, Morneau Shepell. "People are an employer's most valuable resource, so providing support for mental health issues is a win-win scenario for both employers and their employees."

About the Study

For this study, Morneau Shepell analyzed pre- and post-Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) productivity and attendance survey data from 227 Depression Care™ cases (where EFAP users provided complete survey responses at the start of the case and again at the end), between January 1 and September 30, 2015. A diverse range of industries and employers were represented in this data set.

Depression Care™ users self-reported change in work productivity and workplace absence, along with the average weekly wage of $933.38 for full-time Canadian workers, was used in all ROI calculations. A 37.5-hour work week was adopted in all calculations—a number that is typical for the Canadian workforce.

About Depression Care™

Depression Care™ integrates with existing EFAPs in place in many workplaces across Canada. It is a confidential and voluntary early intervention counselling program based on Cognitive Behavioural Theory (CBT) that helps people develop skills and resilience to recover from, or manage, depression. Individuals learn valuable tools to assist them in functioning more effectively within various areas of their personal and professional lives. Participants who follow the Depression Care™ protocol will experience a reduction in their impairment due to mental illness, and increased productivity during their working hours.

About Morneau Shepell Inc.

Morneau Shepell is the only human resources consulting and technology company that takes an integrative approach to employee assistance, health, benefits and retirement needs. The Company is the leading provider of employee and family assistance programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With almost 4,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information: Heather MacDonald, Kaiser Lachance Communications, 647-725-2520 ext. 207,; Nathan Gibson, Morneau Shepell, 416-390-2641,