Day 1 – Monday, October 28, 2019
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. – Registration & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Darby Allen, Keynote Speaker
Former Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen speaks about the mental health concerns faced by so many from Fort McMurray after the fire and delves in to his own experience, speaking to how some first responders and members of the public continue their work to process the trauma and get to a place of acceptance.
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Health Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – A Workshops
A1 – Reimagining Workplace Safety: Mental Health and the Law
Presented by: Sharon Roberts, Field LLP
The presentation and handout materials will provide an overview of occupational health and safety (OHS) laws in Canada. In doing so, we will review how psychological health and safety and the right to mental health and safety are now lawfully protected and enforceable worker rights that require protection and preservation, as well as what this means for employers and workers. Legal obligations under current OHS law frameworks include mandatory worker and management engagement, as well as duties to prevent, investigate, eliminate or reduce risk and correct improper practices that cause or contribute to mental illness and psychological harm at work. Looking at recent examples, we will consider the reimagining of traditional OHS tools, such as hazard assessments, both as a means of harm reduction and a path to greater acceptance of mental health issues, broader adoption of best practices and reduction of societal stigma around mental health and illness
A2 – Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace
Presented by: Lori Lacey, Mental Health Commission of Canada; and Darren Aschacher, Mental Health Commission of Canada
A psychologically safe workplace is a place where strong relationships are built, high performance achieved, and creativity and innovation is fostered. This workshop will provide an overview of the key activities employees can engage in with their colleagues and their teams to build the sense of safety required to say what needs to be said, share alternative perspectives, make mistakes and be creative and innovative in their work.
The benefits of a psychologically safe workplace include:
- Strong trusting relationships and effective team sharing and collaboration
- Comfort in asking for help, and sharing alternate perspectives and ideas
- Embracing a growth mindset – how can we learn together?
- Ease and comfort in admitting mistakes
- Free to be innovative and creative in generating ideas
- Safety in asking for and giving feedback
As employees, we want to perform at our best. Let’s learn a few things that we can do to help create this atmosphere in our workplaces.
Join Lori Lacey and Darren Aschacher for some tips on how to become a mental health champion and create psychological safety in your workplace.
A3 – Investigating Entrepreneurial Stress and its Impact on Canadian Entrepreneurs
Presented by: Fardous Hosseiny, National Director, Research and Public Policy, CMHA; Sara Rodrigues, National Research and Policy Analyst, CMHA; and Payal Jain, National Research Associate, CMHA
Prior studies have indicated stress to be the leading factor in the mental well-being or mental illness of those experiencing it in the workplaces. However, there is little research on the stress experienced by managers, owners, partners and entrepreneurs undertaking a leadership role within their organizations in the Canadian context. This led us to conduct the first nationwide study on the mental well-being of entrepreneurs in Canada, who are not only managing their enterprises, but are also leading them. We wanted to identify what these mental health challenges are, how these mental health challenges are recognized and dealt with by the entrepreneurs as well as how these mental health challenges impact different areas of work and life of these entrepreneurs.
A4 – Suicide Prevention in the Workplace
Presented by: Hilary Sirman, Centre for Suicide Prevention and Robert Olson, Centre for Suicide Prevention
The effects of suicide on the workplace are significant. The direct and indirect costs of suicide to the Alberta economy in 2015 were estimated to be $800 million. The cost of a single suicide has been said to exceed over a million dollars. But the human costs are equally as severe: stress, anxiety, absenteeism, loss of productivity, substance abuse, sick leave, strain on other colleagues, short-term disability and more.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch
12:30 p.m. – Lunchtime presentation: Blue Cross & CMHA Awards
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – B Workshops
B1 – Mental Health in the Workplace: Evidence-based strategies to promote health and wellness
Presented by: Dr. Keith Dobson, University of Calgary
Mental health promotion is a complex endeavor and rests on a complex interplay among education, health promotion, early recognition of problems, EAP and EFAP programs, crisis management and the formal health care sector. One program that has been developed to fill an important set of goals around mental health literacy and health promotion is The Working Mind. This program was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and incorporates several key ideas, including the mental health continuum, the use of evidence-based coping skills, anti-stigma discussions, stories from people with the lived experience of mental health problems, all delivered by locally trained persons. In this presentation, one of the co-developers of the program will discuss the logic for the program, and how it was designed. The program has also been evaluated in a series of diverse employment settings, and the results of these evaluations will be shared. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for implementation of the program and other related work from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
B2 – Courageous Investigations: the missing link for psychologically safe workplaces
Presented by: Bob Stenhouse, Veritas Solutions and The Coalition of Alberta Workplace Specialists
This workshop will utilize factual situations and cases as a backdrop and illustrations for the promotion of courageous investigations. Workplace investigations related to psychological safety, harassment and bullying are not for the faint of heart. These investigations are, often times, highly emotional and bound to leave someone unsatisfied, angry or worse. To ensure procedural fairness and natural justice, a workplace investigator needs courage, conviction, expertise, and even a little bit of humor in order to navigate the legal waters and scrutiny to come. Bob uses his very colorful past as a highly decorated undercover agent with his 35 years of investigative experiences, (15 of which are workplace related) to bring the topic alive, challenge corporate status quo, and bring hope and optimism for a better, healthier and psychologically safe workplace.
B3 – Inspired Strategies to Find Harmony and Well-being at Work and Home
Presented by: Linda Crawford, Alberta Blue Cross
This workshop is suited for staff members and organizations who are seeking to live a balanced lifestyle in today’s hectic world. Participants will explore ways to deal with stress. Linda’s articulate and sometimes humorous presentation effectively confirms the key elements of strength, nourishment, attitude and heart set the foundation to support you in not only getting on track, but staying on track in everything you do. Linda will demonstrate how individuals can reclaim control of their work and home lifestyles to become “well”. Participants will enable and strengthen their ability to overcome fear and replace it with an eager desire to accomplish more by maintaining a sense of balance and wellness.
B4 – Psychological Health & Wellness
Presented by: Dr. Judi L Malone, Psychologists’ Association of Alberta
Personal wellness affects workplace performance and there are easy steps we can each take to assess and improve the personal wellness of ourselves and our colleagues. This session will highlight wellness steps that participants can take to contribute to their overall mental health in addition to ways employers can encourage psychological health & wellbeing.
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Health Break
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – C Workshops
C1 – Voice of Lived Experience with Mental Illness in the Workplace
Panelists: Sabrina Samuel, Stephanie Ibach, Robbie Riddell
C1-1 – The Bipolar Sidehustle – Sabrina Samuel
Sabrina Samuel is a woman in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. She has successfully managed bipolar diagnosis for over 20 years and is a homeowner, yogi, world traveler that loves the art of conversation. This presentation includes her lived experience narrative about her journey for meaningful employment, self support and what I’ve learned from the millennial side hustle economy.
C1-2 – I Tried So Hard to Prove I was Strong – Stephanie Ibach
Stephanie Ibach, MBA, CPA, CGA teaches Accounting at MacEwan University. In her presentation, Ibach takes the audience through her not-yet-completed journey of depression and severe anxiety through her working career as a post-secondary educator and accountant. As a professional it can be very difficult to show any “weakness” and ask for help. Ibach has been on short-term, and now long-term disability since late August 2018. She shares her story to enlighten others about the pain of hiding a mental health issue, and to talk about how the LTD program that is set up with her employer is helping her become whole again.
C1-3 – True Understanding Comes From Sharing the Depths of Your Struggles – Robbie Riddell
This presentation discusses the importance of sharing a person’s struggles with mental illness, especially in the workplace. Robbie Riddell will share their lived experience in being raised in a home with mental illness, as well as, having depression, and social and performance anxiety. It discusses how difficult it can be to get into work and the importance of a strong work environment and good mental health company policies. The presentation would cover the depths at which sharing your struggles can help you and the community around you. It would also go over the difficulties of sharing, but how it can cause a chain reaction of improvements for yourself or others. Discussed is how building of teams and committees can be helpful to building better policies and practices in the workplace, as well as, building understanding.
C2 – 13 Factors in Psychological Health & Safety – a multi-perspective approach
Presented by: Ela Partykar, CMHA Manitoba & Winnipeg; Emma Ashurst, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and Lesley MacKinnon, Bethany Care Society
C2-1 – Keeping up with the “Factors”, Ela Partykar
The Psychological health and safety of an employee impact their productivity and engagement. Mental health concerns and injuries cost employers in loss of productivity from absenteeism, presentism and turnover. The presentation reviews the educational program which presents the 13 Factors of the Standard in the light of hazards that can be identified and addressed to prevent mental health injury and illness and promote resiliency and wellbeing. Strategies to prevent psychological injury, promote mental health and boost organizational culture will be offered as a starting point of employer education toward Standard implementation.
C2-2 – Workplace Factors: A hazard is a hazard, Emma Ashurst, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
It can be challenging to create and successfully maintain a health and safety program that addresses both psychological and physical well-being equitably. Using “The Standard” as the foundation, this interactive session outlines how workplaces can address psychological hazards in their health and safety programs alongside other traditional workplace hazards, while creating a culture that is courageous and clear in reporting all types of hazards, present and potential. Use this opportunity to workshop with colleagues and other organizations as well, to determine through health and safety strategies and supports, how to recognize, assess, control and evaluate what is needed within your workplace environment.
C2-3 – Moving Beyond Physical Safety, Lesley MacKinnon, Bethany Care Society
Moving beyond physical safety is not only an expectation in law, it is now becoming an expectation in our society. This sessions discusses the protection of a worker’s psychological health by proactively mitigating the risks associated with psychological injuries. What does that look like? How do we maintain a worker’s social well-being and foster positive psychological health? And what is psychological safety? How does psychological safety impact psychological health? This session will explore the relatedness between physical and psychological safety and its impact on the workplace and the psychological health of its workers. It will also outline what steps can be taken to move your health and safety programs beyond just physical safety. Getting at the heart (and I mean heart) of what it means to maintain psychological safety and the social well-being of workers in our workplaces.
C3 – Occupational Stress & Growth When Working with Vulnerable Populations
Presented by: Jill Thompson, Tharseo Counselling Services Inc.; Nic Etheridge Calder, Invoke Coaching Inc. and Evan Westfal, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS)
C3-1 – Occupational Stress & Growth when Working with Vulnerable Populations, Jill Thompson, Tharseo Counselling Services Inc. & Nic Etheridge Calder, Invoke Coaching Inc.
This workshop provides an overview of compassion fatigue, burnout and stress related disorders. Presenters use narrative approaches to deconstruct these definitions in approachable ways. Facilitators will use their personal experience and expertise in combination with the wisdom and experience of participants. The workshop will also discuss resiliency, reframing occupational stress and naming ways to leverage these experiences for further growth and clarity. Presenters will bring findings and themes from several workshop engagements with organizations that serve vulnerable populations.
C3-2 – LGBTQ Education and Allyship, Evan Westfal, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS)
Participants of the LGBTQ Education and Allyship seminar will develop an understanding of how workplace environments can effect the mental health of LGBTQ2S+ employees in the workplace. The session will explore terminology, inclusive practices, support skills, and community resources. Participants will be left with best practices for and inclusive and welcoming workplace.
C4 – Stand By: Addressing Domestic Violence within the Workplace
Presented by: Kirsty Blair, Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society
This interactive workshop will examine how to build capacity of informal supporters to provide effective, supportive responses, understanding that informal supporters are more willing to intervene when they have built their confidence and skills to intervene appropriately (Pajot, 2009). The 3R model (Recognize, Respond, Refer) will be presented with case studies from our experience of delivering our Stand By workshop in communities across Alberta and in supporting informal supporters with their experiences of vicarious trauma.
This workshop will explore the impact of our support program for informal supporters which includes emotional support, system navigation and capacity building addressing vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. We will examine how the desire of informal supporters to be supportive for individuals experiencing domestic violence is contrasted with fear of repercussions, social and cultural norms and beliefs, helplessness and lack of practical information.
C5 – Precarity and Newcomer Mental Health
Presented by: Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull, Alberta Workers’ Health Centre
Newcomers to Alberta (including immigrants, refugees and people on migrant work permits) tend to be more vulnerable to workplace health and safety issues. Precarious work combined with other stressors such as isolation, racism, and precarious residency status can cause or exacerbate mental health issues, as well as create barriers for people to take action or access help. This panel will share the lived experience of newcomers, and explore some specific factors affecting newcomer workplace mental health.
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Health Break
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Michele Hollins, Keynote Speaker
Madam Justice Michele Hollins practiced civil and commercial litigation until her appointment to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in 2017. Prior to and since her judicial appointment, Justice Hollins has been speaking publicly about her own mental health journey in the hopes of encouraging people to often and openly seek and offer support.
5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. – Closing Remarks
Day 2 – Tuesday, October 29, 2019
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Registration & Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. – Breakfast Presentations
BP 1 – Mental Health Services Protection Act: what it means for your workplace
Presented by: Mary Marshall, Meadows Law
New legislation, the Mental Health Services Protection Act (“MHSPA”), will affect workplaces across Alberta. The MHSPA creates a new College of Counselling Therapy that will regulate the Profession of Counselling Therapists, Addiction Counsellors, and Child and Youth Care Counsellors. The MHSPA also creates new requirements for residential addiction treatment services. Participants in this session will gain an understanding of the impact of this legislation and how they can prepare for implementation.
BP 2 – Balanced Leadership – the critical role of workplace mental health
Presented by: Darlene Doricic , School District No. 73(Kamloops-Thompson); and Amy Baskin CMHA Kamloops Branch
In a world where the concept of connecting with others is morphing and also where we are surrounded by people having relationships with screens more than with each other, how do we create situations where employees have the time and access to support each other? Our presentation will take participants through our journey of honesty, acceptance and compassion while a school district learns that supporting each other is how we will create a strong foundation for students to learn. Employees, just like students, need the opportunity to feel secure, respected and most important, feel trust, so they have the confidence to achieve mastery in the workplace. Often those who care for others, spend the least amount of time caring for themselves. The employer acknowledged these challenges and decided to highlight and address them by doing two very important things: partnering with experts and starting a conversation.
BP 3 – Focus on Safety with Mindfulness
Presented by: Trish Tutton
During this session we will: discuss and learn about the default mode of our brain: distracted and unfocused; explore how to use mindfulness to switch off of autopilot so that we can focus better to improve our productivity and safety; learn short mindful practices to cultivate a more focussed mind so that we can move through our tasks with enhanced focus and care; explore ways we are already being mindful in our daily lives; learn why multitasking is preventing you from being mindful and how to remove multitasking from our work to be more focussed; explore some of the scientific studies around mindfulness and the benefits it can bring to our lives; and we’ll close the session by discussing some ways we can be mindful in our daily lives including a quick 5 step method to be more mindful in less than a minute without anyone knowing
BP 4 – Using Situational Leadership to Support Positive Employee Mental Health
Presented by: Dee Ann Benard, Alberta Rural Development Network
Good leadership helps keep employees happy and motivated, allowing them to give their best and create a positive atmosphere. Poor leadership frustrates employees, decreasing their motivation, enthusiasm and commitment. It can also negatively impact their mental health. Good leadership should be an ongoing and continually adaptive process of assisting staff to complete their work, ensuring the best possible results. Good leadership should help employees gain skills and knowledge, recognise their potential and feel motivated. It is a crucial component of every organization’s success. Situational leadership works to get the best possible results, by recognising different situations and adapting to each situation. Topics covered will include: supporting a mentally healthy workplace and healthy employees, supporting employees who need assistance, informing employees about mental health, and facilitating employee resiliency. Real stories and examples will be used.
BP 5 – It’s a PAWSS dog…did your day just get better?
Andrea Chute, MacEwan University; Cynthia Gundermann, MacEwan University; and Michael Chute, Edmonton Public School Board
In September 2018, PAWSS (Pets Assisting With Student Success) became an official student wellness program at MacEwan University. Seeing the positive impact this program had on students led to the implementation of ‘PAWSS in the workplace,’ a faculty and staff wellness program. Upon request, we also established similar programs for students and employees of Vimy Ridge Academy (Edmonton Public Schools, grades 7-12). The three speakers for this panel discussion will share their lived experiences of how ‘PAWSS in the workplace’ has changed the culture of the workplace and enhanced their personal wellness as well as the personal/workplace wellness of those they work with.
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Opening remarks
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Stéphane Grenier, Keynote Speaker
Stéphane Grenier tells his story from the day he landed in the midst of the Rwandan genocide, through his journey of changing mental health culture in the Canadian military, developing national Guidelines for Peer Support with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, to creating Mental Health Innovations (MHI).
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Networking & Poster and Exhibitor Viewing
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – D Workshops
D1 – A Multi-perspective Approach to the Mental Health Laws in Alberta
Presented by: Elizabeth Eldridge, Founder & Director, Arpeggio Health Services; Kessie Stevens, Artis Inc; and Emma Ashurst Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS)
D1-1 – The Mentally Healthy Workplace: A Shared Responsibility, Elizabeth Eldridge, Arpeggio Health Services
Improving mental health in the workplace can initially feel like a daunting assignment for the individual or committee members assigned to the task. These initiatives often fall on the plate of workers in specific roles, when the reality is that a small handful of people cannot wave a magic wand and create a mentally healthy workplace, nor can they single-handedly sustain mental health promotion projects. Just as physical health and safety are a shared responsibility, mental health should be part of all job roles in every workplace. Every member of the Canadian workforce has a part to play in protecting and promoting mental health. This presentation will explore the organizational and cultural underpinnings necessary to sustain a mentally healthy workplace and contributions each of us can make to build that strong foundation. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired but also with specific “start small” ready-to-implement ideas.
D1-2 – One Year After the OHS and WCB Legislative Changes, Kessie Stevens, Artis Inc.
Working as an OHS and WCB consultant I have seen how the legislative changes have impacted a variety of employers. Especially around workplace bullying/violence/harassment complaints going into OHS. Many clients have had visits, orders, and demands from OHS peace officers. I would like to offer, after going through several of these experiences, what companies can do to be proactive and prevent this, how to mitigate risk after the fact and how to effectively manage the changes that have affected the workplace. Even addressing domestic violence. I would also like to clarify what employers may see, as related to WCB claims that address stress and workplace mental health.
D1-3 – Workplace Violence Prevention Starts with Civility and Respect, Emma Ashurst Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
From gossip, intimidation, and/or physical attacks, workplace violence is a serious issue that affects every occupation. With legislation compliance regulations changing, workplaces need to prepare their policies, procedures, and practices to align accordingly. With or without specific workplace violence legislation, employers need to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their employees. This session will define the scope of what workplace violence is and cover areas such as civility and respect, harassment, legal obligations of employers, workplace violence prevention policies, assessing a workplace for violence, and how to develop preventative measures.
D2 – Creating Synergy & Powerplay
Presented by: Jason Antonishyn, 3E Potential & Steve Johnson, Athabasca University
D2-1 – Creating Synergy: Using Art Therapy Techniques in Safety Meetings, Jason Antonishyn, 3E Potential
Mental health and morale takes a backseat to a company’s bottom line. There is a lack of understanding to directly address these important concerns. Jason believes these hurdles can be addressed effectively as a group with positive affect – synergistic safety meetings. Currently, safety meetings are not utilized to its fullest potential. These meetings can be more proactive by addressing problematic behaviours, mindsets, culture and employee morale. To achieve this benefit, I have successfully introduced engaging Art Therapy techniques to generate proven meaningful growth. The Art Therapy techniques, and projects, will improve communication, build stronger teams, mentor leadership, and challenge the status quo of long held belief systems. The use of Art Therapy techniques and projects promises to breathe meaningful engagement into work environments for all industries. The process focuses on the component of psychology that drives human engagement; the drive to compete, improve, out-do and to get instantly rewarded while doing so. Art Therapy is the means to put that psychology to work into the sphere of safety to achieve the highest common factor of all the participants.
D2-2 – POWERPLAY: A workplace health promotion program for male-dominated workplaces, Steve Johnson, Athabasca University
Despite strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of workplace health promotion for employee mental health, few programs take into consideration the unique needs of male-dominated workplaces or build on masculine ideals (e.g., strength and self-reliance). Based on the preferences of men in male-dominated industries and emerging approaches in men’s health promotion, we designed a novel workplace health promotion program called POWERPLAY (www.powerplayatwork.com). The POWERPLAY program includes modules to support physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation, and metal wellness. In this presentation we describe the development of the program, program outcomes, and feedback from employees and workplace implementation leads. Our experiences point to the importance of gender-sensitive workplace health promotion approaches to fit men’s needs and preferences.
D3 – Occupational Health & Safety: Two Perspectives
Presented by: Chris Ewaniuk, Office of the Public Interest Commissioner and Michelle Semotiuk and Adrianne Lozinski, WCB
D3-1 – Public Interest Commissioner: Investigating Systemic Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Intimidation, Chris Ewaniuk, Office of the Public Interest Commissioner
Bullying, harassment & intimidation can have a significant impact on the culture of an organization and the mental health of employees. The presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act, the role of the Public Interest Commissioner, and the Commissioner’s ability to investigate instances of large-scale systemic bullying, harassment and intimidation within public sector organizations.
D3-2 – Psychological Injury Claims and WCB Alberta, Michelle Semotiuk and Adrianne Lozinski, Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), Alberta
Psychological Injury claims are on the rise in Alberta and across Canada. Presumptive WCB coverage for First Responders diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was passed into legislation in Alberta effective December, 2012, and presumptive WCB coverage for traumatic psychological injuries of all types was passed into legislation in Alberta effective April, 2018. Each of these pieces of legislation have generated conversations and initiatives Province-wide. WCB Alberta has been fortunate to be a ground-level partner in many of these initiatives.
D4 – Occupational Stress and Wellness in Health Care, Public Services and Indigenous Agencies
Presented by: Stew Schmidt, Maskwacis Ambulance Authority; Jackson Heraid, Maskwacis Ambulance Authority; Kim Younger-Laboucan, Miskanwah; Beverly Delion, Miskanwah and Ronni Abraham, Miskanwah
D4-1 – Preventing Occupational Stress Injuries in Health Care and Public Services, Stew Schmidt and Jackson Heraid, Maskwacis Ambulance Authority
Much has been written about the rates of PTSD among health care practitioners, emergency services personnel, and other front-line care providers; with some estimates suggesting rates of PTSD are higher than 30% in some occupations. Competitively little, however, is written about how that the majority of individuals in these occupations do not develop PTSD. The rates also vary significantly between regions and organizations, even within similar working conditions. This suggests there must be ways to reduce psychological stress even in occupations where many assume high rates of PTSD are an inevitability. This seminar will present a careful examination of the research, occupational health and safety literature, and current legal precedent that can help develop a framework for workplace policies and practices that will improve resiliency in high stress environments, reduce rates of PTSD, mitigate costly litigation or occupational stress leave, and ultimately improve employee wellbeing.
D4-2 – Well in the Work: An Indigenous Agency’s Wellness Journey, Kim Younger-Laboucan, Beverly Delion and Ronni Abraham, Miskanwah
Supporting people who are struggling can be very meaningful for those of us who work in the field. Many times, though, this work and the situations we are exposed to can be a source of stress that negatively impacts our well-being. This is especially true of individuals who share lived experiences with those they support. Miskanawah is committed to supporting the wellness of our staff members so their work can be a source of enrichment in their lives. This workshop explores ways of recognizing protective factors in ourselves, in workplace situations, and organizationally that can mitigate work-related stresses. We will present Miskanawah’s multi-faceted staff wellness plan that is grounded in Indigenous culture, designed to strengthen our people to be “well in the work.” We share examples of policies, activities, and approaches we have taken that may be helpful to organizations and leaders on their own journeys towards wellness at work.
D5 – Taken on Strength – Strength is Support – Support is Strength
Presented by: Brad Ison, Leadership Coach and Disaster Management Professional
Everyone can get a little ‘NUTS’ from time to time. Taken on Strength is a presentation and workshop that introduces participants to the universal recipe (with ingredients) that makes situations stressful. There will also be a coaching demonstration to show how coaching can be used as a support tool to manage stressful situations at home and at work. Taken on Strength is built from Brad’s experience helping disaster survivors recover. It is built on the value of respect and focuses on helping others to become more agile in their life. Taken on Strength provides attendees with information and tools that can help them bring awareness to the situations in their life that cause negative thoughts and emotions.
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – E Workshops
E1 – Building an Evaluation Plan for your Wellness Program
Presented by: Victoria Grainger, Wellness Works Canada
In this practical workshop, you will learn the key ingredients to a successful wellness program and develop measurable outcomes and strategies. Once all is said and done, you will take home an evaluation framework catered to your organization that you can start using right away. Victoria Grainger, MBA, BPE; is a passionate advocate for the impact wellness has on performance. She is the founder of Wellness Works Canada and has worked in health promotion for 20 years. She specializes in workplace health with the belief that mental health is the foundation of health and performance.
E2 – Immediate Tools for Easing Workplace Conflict and Stress
Presented by: Pete W. Desrochers
Communications and Workplace Rights courses are great when looking at long-term changes to toxic or stressful workplace situations. But what about right now?? What immediate remedies can we have at our disposal to ease the bullying and the stress? This workshop offers concrete tools and real solutions to put out immediate brushfires in three ways. First, using tools that help you control the immediate situation through controlling the conversation. Second, using tools that can instantly strengthen your ability to stand your ground without anyone realizing you are changing. Third, using tools that help you follow up any incident or encounter to build your own infrastructure of stress mitigation.
E3 – Workplace Mental Health: an approach to make an impact
Presented by: Carmen Bellows, Senior Consultant, Mental Health, SunLife
As the incidence of mental health disability claims is on the rise it is imperative that employers create safe and healthy workplaces that foster mental well being. Attendees of this session will learn how a strategic plan, effective policies and a culture that prioritizes well being can help make workplaces safer and close the gaps in access to mental health care. It is through a multifaceted approach that employers can drive real change in the mental health of their employees, ultimately making their workplaces healthier and safer for all.
E4 – Treating the Psychological Injury of Workplace Bullying and Harassment
Presented by: Linda Crockett, Alberta Bullying Research, Resources and Recovery Centre Inc.; and Pat Ferris, Janus Associates
Clients exposed to workplace bullying: WPB can present in mild to extreme distress in counselling settings presenting a range symptoms including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Counsellors who have worked with targets of WPB note how challenging providing effective treatment can be; and the emotional toll this can take on the treating professional. This presentation will focus on providing counsellors with knowledge on evidence based phases, processes and therapies thought to bring about therapeutic change. Strategies for those limited to short term work will be presented. The presentation will first provide an overview of terms, legislation, and employer’s responsibilities. Presented by WPB experts Pat Ferris and Linda Crockett who collectively have seen thousands of targets over the past 20+ years and who have participated in numerous international conferences, moderated international groups, and provided interventions to organizations, participants will have access to the most current and international thinking on treating targets of WPB.
2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Health Break
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – David Granirer, Plenary Session
David Granirer is a counselor, stand-up comic, author, and founder of Stand Up For Mental Health (SMH), a program teaching stand-up comedy to people with mental health issues. David, who himself suffers from depression, works with mental health organizations to train and perform with SMH groups in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks
Thank you to our sponsors
Sherry Sim, Event Planner
Phone: 1 (866) 655-8548