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Study focuses on mental health disabilities in mining industry

Workers in Ontario seek disability benefits from employers for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are a result of physical injury or illness. Other times however, it is due to mental illness. In Canada, mental health issues account for approximately 67 percent of long-term and 78 percent of short-term disability claims.

Mental illness can be experienced by workers in many different occupations. Recently, a mental health study focusing on Ontario’s mining industry was launched. The study is called Mining Mental Health.

The study, which is expected to cost approximately $400,000, will last three years. Its goal is to gather the information necessary to develop strategies to promote good mental health. Specifically it seeks to identify the predictors, facilitators and barriers to workers experiencing good mental health. Multiple entities are participating in the study, including:

  • Mining company Vale
  • United Steelworkers (USW)
  • Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) at Laurentian University

Currently, approximately a quarter of the disability claims at Vale’s Ontario Operations, are attributed to mental health issues. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the number of miners who find that they need to apply for disability benefits.

Despite the fact that those suffering disability due to mental illness are often in great need of disability benefits, securing them is not always easy. When a worker experiences difficulty in securing those benefits from an insurer, it may be necessary to take legal action. Those who find themselves in this situation could benefit from working with a lawyer who has experience in this field of law.

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