14th Annual George Brown College Mental Health Conference

George Brown College Mental Health Conference animated header

Humanizing the Workplace: Approaches to Mental Health Literacy and Psychological Well-being

Monday, February 25, 2013

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) logo

Presented by George Brown College’s School of Work and College Preparation in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

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Conference Sponsor:

ODSP Employment Supports Toronto Region logo

About the Conference

This one-day conference will address the workplace environment: how employers and employees can contribute to a psychologically healthy work life. Promoting well-being in the workplace and reducing the impact of mental health issues at work is a significant task. 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 will learn 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 will address business, legal, research and personal perspectives on the issues and opportunities will be provided for questions from conference participants.

Topics addressed will include:

  • 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 can benefit employees
  • What policies exist and need 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 to create and maintain healthy workplaces
  • Personal experiences of mental ill health, psychological injury and recovery in the workplace

Speakers include:

  • 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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14th Annual George Brown Mental Health Conference
George Brown College
Financial Services Building, Room 406
290 Adelaide Street East, Toronto

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Who Should Attend

This conference is applicable to any and all who are interested in workplace-related issues, employees and employers. People working in the areas of human resources, occupational health, mental health, unions and other workplace associations, insurance, government, and social work will find the conference particularly relevant.

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Time Description
8 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast  
9 a.m. Workman Arts logoWelcome & Opening Remarks
Entertainment by Workman Arts
Dr. Georgia Quartaro,Dean, George Brown College, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies
Anne Sado, President, George Brown College
Dr. Catherine Zahn, President & CEO, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
9:15 a.m. Keynote: Stéphane Grenier
10:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
Book Draws
11 a.m. Keynote: Dr. Ash Bender
12:15 p.m. Lunch
Films from the Rendezvous with Madness Festival will be shown during lunch, followed by a moderated discussion.
Participants will also have an opportunity to visit the Resource Display area.
1:15 p.m. Keynote: Martin Shain
2:15 p.m. Refreshment Break
Book Draws
2:30 p.m. Keynote: Jan Wong
Jan will be available after the conference closes for book signing.
3:45 p.m. Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks
Dr. Georgia Quartaro, Dean, George Brown College, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies

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Registration Fees

General registration fee: $125 + HST
Student’s registration fee: $75 + HST

All fees include full conference, continental breakfast and lunch, book draws & resource area.

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Presenters Info


Dr. Ash Bender

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.

Stéphane Grenier

Lt.-Col. (retired) 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.

Martin Shain

Martin Shain

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).

Jan Wong

Jan Wong

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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Moderators Info

Cheryl Peever

Cheryl Peever

Ms. Peever obtained her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto and has always worked with stigmatized populations including sex offenders, young offenders, substance users and those with severe and persistent mental health issues. She is a Manager at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) working on several inpatient and outpatient programs and is currently on a one year secondment to help develop and implement a workplace safety program at CAMH. In 2006, Cheryl received the Courage to Come Back Award after disclosing her own past struggles with cocaine addiction, alcoholism and depression. Cheryl has spoken out in the media, and to numerous professional groups, on mental illness in the workplace and the stigma attached to these health issues. She was recently featured in the documentary Extra Ordinary People, which premiered at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival.

Tenniel Rock

Tenniel Rock

Ms. Rock has been committed to providing accessible and transformative counselling services to people living with mental health and substance use concerns since 2001. Ms. Rock is passionate about the use of education as a powerful tool for social change and empowerment. As such, she has worked for several years in partnership with organizations such as the Labour Council of Ontario providing training on how best to support colleagues living with mental health and substance use challenges in the workplace. In her role as a full-time Faculty Counsellor in the Redirection through Education (“RTE”) program at George Brown College; Ms. Rock works closely with students with mental health and substance use concerns who are planning their return to the work. In addition, Ms. Rock works to provide an inclusive workplace to a team of counsellor trainees many of whom have lived experience with mental health and substance use concerns. Ms. Rock also maintains a private practice that specializes in providing clinical supervision, workshops and training related to mental health, substance use and anti-oppressive practice as well as counselling services to individuals and families from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community and communities of colour.

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How to Register

Registration is closed for this event.

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For More Information

Please contact Daniella Ceci at 416.415.5000, ext. 3539 or send an email to mentalhealthconference@georgebrown.ca
Mental Health Conference Mailing Address:
George Brown College
200 King Street East
Room 524A
Toronto, ON
M5A 3W8

Please visit our website for information about parking.

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