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Mental Health & Addiction Among Working Parents & Children Affects the Bottom Line: Research Shows Staggering Economic Impact
Date:5/29/2008

Groundbreaking International Forum to Discuss Solutions

BOSTON, May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, a network of senior business executives and clinical scientific leaders, will host a forum on Mental Health and Productivity at Harvard University today. The forum is the third in a series of four that examines the role businesses play in ensuring the mental well being of employees and their families.

The forum will address the reduced productivity of parents whose children are diagnosed with mental health and addiction problems, as well as the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. The goal is to build a framework for employers to help parents manage their own mental health and that of their children.

The Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy estimates that nine percent of employees are currently caring for a child with special needs. The World Health Organization has also found that the number of children in the U.S. and Canada showing an early onset of mental illness continues to increase.

This is a critical issue for employers in light of the staggering economic impact that depression and substance abuse has on the US and Canadian economies, which the Roundtable estimates to be around $300 billion. Beyond financial considerations, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that, if current trends persist, depression will cause more human disability and early deaths by 2020 than war, cancer, traffic accidents and AIDS combined.

"Like drinking and driving with your kids, not taking the dangers of mental health and addiction seriously is risky behavior," says Bill Wilkerson, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.

Canada's Ambassador to the US, Michael Wilson, launched the series at the Canadian Embassy in Washington and the US Ambassador to Canada, David Wi
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SOURCE The Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addictionand Mental
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