Humanizing the Workplace: Approaches to Mental Health Literacy and Psychological Well-being
Presented by George Brown College’s School of Work and College Preparation in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
About the Conference
This one-day conference addressed the workplace environment and how employers and employees can contribute to a psychologically healthy work life. By promoting well-being in the workplace and reducing the impact of mental health issues at work, attendees learnt that both employers and employees have important roles to play to bring about a cultural shift, addressing challenges more effectively and lessening the stigma associated with mental health issues.
Conference participants learnt about current issues in workplace psychological health and safety, as well as innovative approaches to workplaces that both maintain and promote mental health and well-being.
Speakers addressed business, legal, research and personal perspectives on the issues and opportunities were provided for questions from conference participants.
Topics addressed were:
- The importance of mental health literacy, anti-stigma and workplace culture in reducing and dealing with psychological injury in the workplace
- How workplace based peer support programs could benefit employees
- What policies exist and need still to be developed to build mentally healthy workplaces
- Implications of current research, literature and laws for both employers and employees
- Information for employers and managers on creating and maintaining healthy workplaces
- Sharing of personal experiences of mental ill health, psychological injury and recovery in the workplace
- Stéphane Grenier, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired), Canadian Forces; Founder of Mental Health Innovations Consulting
- Dr. Ash Bender, Clinic Head of the Work, Stress & Health Program and Psychological Trauma Program; CAMH
- Martin Shain, Academic Lawyer & Leading Expert in Workplace Mental Health Issues; Founder & Director of the Neighbour@Work Centre
- Jan Wong, Journalism Professor, International best-selling author and award-winning foreign correspondent. Author of Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness
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Presenters Biography/Presentation Slides
Dr. Ash Bender
Dr. Bender is a staff psychiatrist and Deputy Clinical Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is also the Clinic Head of the Work, Stress and Health (WSH) which is a multidisciplinary program specializing in assessment, treatment and research of occupational disability.
With the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Ash is an Assistant Professor and has several publications in the area of workplace mental health. He has recently conducted research focused on the management of acute trauma in the workplace and is actively involved in health education and training to health care providers, insurers and corporations.
Ash has performed numerous assessments for Worker’s Compensation, private insurers, and the Criminal Courts and has consulted to several organizations regarding workplace mental health issues. As part of his practice, he is involved in the management of a common psychiatric disorders in both outpatient and inpatient settings.
Download Ash Bender’s Presentation
Lt.-Col. (ret’d) Stéphane Grenier
Lt.-Col. Grenier joined the forces in 1983 and was deployed by the Canadian Forces to Rwanda, Cambodia, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, Haiti and Kandahar, Afghanistan during his career. Faced with his own undiagnosed PTSD upon return from Rwanda, he took a personal interest in the way the Canadian Forces was dealing with mental health issues. In 2001 he coined the term “Operational Stress Injury” (OSI) and conceived, developed, implemented and managed a government-based national peer support program for the Canadian military known as the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program. His work led to the launch of a second highly successful non-clinical mental health program within his workplace specifically designed to increase mental health literacy and reduce stigma. His work was recognized by many including the Governor General of Canada who awarded him the Meritorious Service Cross. In 2010 he was seconded to the Mental Health Commission of Canada and entrusted with the role of leading and overseeing the development of National Guidelines such non-clinical interventions. In 2012, he retired from the Canadian Military and became the founding President and Chair of the Board of Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada and also founded Mental Health Innovations, a company dedicated to help large organizations innovate in the field of mental health disability management.
Download Lt.-Col. Stephane Grenier’s Presentation
Trained in both law and social science, Martin is principal of the Neighbour at Work Centre®, a consulting agency in the area of workplace mental health and safety [www.neighbouratwork.com]. Currently he holds appointments in the departments of public health at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University where he is involved in research, development and teaching.
Martin helps private and public sector employers and unions understand and meet their new legal obligations to provide and maintain psychologically safe workplaces. His three discussion papers for the Mental Health Commission of Canada on this subject are available on that organization’s website. [www.mentalhealthcommission.ca]
As part of his mission to enhance the protection of mental health at work, he is presently a member of the Technical Committee developing Canada’s first National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, Z1003. His most recent book is “Preventing Workplace Meltdown: an employer’s guide to maintaining a psychologically safe workplace” (Shain and Baynton, Carswell, 2011).
Download Martin Shain’s Presentation
Jan began her journalism career in 1979 as the first-ever news assistant for The New York Times bureau in Beijing. She reported on Democracy Wall, the beginnings of dissent in China and the underground disco movement. In 1981, after graduating with a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she became a staff reporter at The Gazette in Montreal and, later, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail.
She is a recipient of the George Polk Award in the U.S. for business reporting, a National Newspaper Award in Canada for foreign reporting, the New England Press Association Newswoman of the Year Award, the Globe and Mail’s Stanley MacDowell Prize for Writing, the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Silver Medal, a National Magazine Silver Award in Canada for column writing and the Daily Bread Food Bank Public Education Award in Toronto, among other honours.
She has taught journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto and in 2010, she was the Visiting Irving Chair in Journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Currently she divides her time between Toronto, where she is a columnist for Toronto Life magazine, and Fredericton, where she is a professor in journalism at St. Thomas University and a columnist for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the largest independently owned newspaper in Canada.
Her books include: Jan Wong's China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent; Lunch With Jan Wong: Sweet and Sour Celebrity Interviews; Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found. Her latest book, Out of the Blue: a Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness, was published in 2012.
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For More Information
Please contact Daniella Ceci at 416.415.5000, ext 3539 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health Conference Mailing Address:
George Brown College
200 King Street East
Please visit our website for information about parking.
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