“Mental illness” accounts for almost half of all disability claims by federal employees, says a departmental report. It follows an earlier study that found employees are “drowning in a pool of repetitive, menial and uninspiring tasks," according to Blacklock's Reporter..“Mental illness is the number one and fastest growing cause of short term and long term disability in Canada,” said a Department of Justice report. “It accounts for nearly half of the disability claims among Canada’s federal public servants.” The report did not detail figures..“The World Health Organization defines psychological health as ‘a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to their community,’” said the Audit Of The Health And Wellness Program..The justice department complained it adopted a Mental Health Action Plan and appointed “mental health ambassadors” but that employees appeared indifferent. Participation of managers was also marginal since 2018 when attendance at training sessions was deemed no longer mandatory, it said..“Employee participation is limited,” wrote auditors. “Despite the department’s efforts to engage employees and encourage dialogue on mental health matters their participation in consultation processes is also limited,” they added..The report followed an earlier 2020 study by a separate department, Public Works, that said employee complaints of tedious work and demeaning supervisors were commonplace..“As our employees have repeatedly told us, it is difficult if not impossible to find meaning and dignity in work when all we can do is try to keep from drowning in a pool of repetitive, menial and uninspiring tasks that don’t adequately leverage the unique abilities, strengths and talents of our people,” then-Mental Health Ombudsman André Latreille wrote in his Annual Report To The Deputy Minister..A total of 11% of workers surveyed said they felt harassed. “This clearly erodes the level of trust in an organization,” wrote the Ombudsman..“We continue to hear from employees and managers alike on an all too frequent basis about cases of incivility and disrespect occurring in the department ranging from less severe incidents of rudeness and micro-aggressions to claims of bullying and harassment,” he wrote. “Needless to say, incidents such as these can be highly destructive to an organization’s culture as well as to an individual’s mental health and can serve to undermine much of the good work that is being done.”.“We heard about leadership that lacked presence and support; lacked clear, consistent and coherent guidance and communication; failed to address psychologically harmful conditions even after being reported; could be characterized by disrespectful or uncivil behaviour; exhibited mistrust in the professionalism of team members; and basically failed to ‘walk the talk’ on mental health in the workplace,” wrote the Ombudsman.