September 2014

Working with Mental Health Illnesses

11:30am-1:30pm | The Fairmont Château Laurier - 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Every day, approximately 500,000 Canadians are absent from the workplace due to a mental health condition. How do employers foster a psychologically healthy and inclusive work environment that allows for individuals to feel safe enough to seek support from their superiors and how do managers obtain the tools to address mental health in the workplace and offer timely and confidential assistance? Join a seasoned group of experts for an armchair discussion regarding mental health in the workplace.

Member Pricing:
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $801 +HST

Guest Pricing:
Individual: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST

Working with Mental Health Illnesses

Chris Anderson

Medaca Health Group

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is president of Medaca Health Group, which he co-founded in 2003. Medaca facilitates proactive care for employees absent from work and in the early stages of a mental illness. It helps 90 per cent of the employees it sees return to work before moving to long-term disability. In his role as president, Chris is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and operation of the company.

From 2004 to 2009, he was senior advisor to the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.

He was co-chairman of the Canada/U.K. Task Force on the Mental Health of Children from 2006 to 2009. The task force comprised mental health care professionals from England and Canada who met regularly to discuss potential improvements to the mental health care system in Canada as it relates to children.

Prior to forming Medaca, he held a wide range of senior management and executive positions with two major Canadian banks. He is a recognized expert on how to drive and communicate large-scale change in major corporations.

Chris has a BA in journalism from Ryerson University and a Master’s in international management from McGill University. For the McGill program, he studied leadership and management at business schools in England, Canada, Japan, India and France.

He has served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards, including the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Chicago, from 2001 to 2003, and the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, Toronto, from 2005 to 2007.

Karen R. Cohen Ph.D., C. Psych.

Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Karen R. Cohen Ph.D., C. Psych.

Dr. Karen Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), a position she has held since 2008. Dr. Cohen’s current activities on behalf of CPA span a range of management and professional responsibilities and revolve around the association’s mandates to promote the science, practice and education of psychology across Canada and internationally.
Dr. Cohen has prepared and presented briefs to standing committees of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on matters pertaining to health and mental health as well held a ministerial appointment to a national advisory group on disability. She has written and been invited to present widely across Canada and internationally on the science, practice and education of psychology and related topics. She holds and has held leadership roles on many health and science related alliances. Dr. Cohen currently serves as Co-Chair of the Health Action Lobby, member of the Management Committee of the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), and has been Co-Chair of the Mental Health Table and past Chair of the Canadian Consortium of Research. She maintains her registration as a psychologist in the province of Ontario.

Mike Schwartz

Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits & Executive Director
Great-West Life & Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Mike Schwartz

Mike joined the Company in 1984, and is a member of the Group Insurance Division senior management team, with functional responsibility for group claims operations (life, disability, health and dental) and contact centre operations.

Mike has also been very involved in efforts to better prevent or reduce the impacts of mental health issues in workplaces. He has served as Executive Director of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, since its launch in 2007. The Centre is a public service initiative with two main objectives: to support increased knowledge and awareness of mental health as it affects workplaces; and to help turn knowledge into action, by providing information and resources which help employers and employees prevent and reduce the impacts of mental health issues.

Mike’s combination of leadership responsibilities – large staff operations, group disability, and the Centre – positions him to bring a unique perspective to mental health in the workplace. Besides initiatives in his own operations, such as conducting Guarding Minds @ Work (an organizational assessment for mental health) Mike has been involved in many broader developments, such as serving on the Technical Committee for the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Currently, his activities include serving on the steering committee for the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s three year project to study organizations working toward the Standard, one of which is the Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life group of companies.

The Honourable Dr. K Kellie Leitch

Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Government of Canada

The Honourable Dr. K Kellie Leitch

Dr. Leitch is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and an associate professor of surgery. In addition to her work as a surgeon and professor, she is the former Chair of the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership and she also served on various councils and boards, including the YMCA and Community Living.

Dr. Leitch earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1994, MBA from Dalhousie University in 1998, completed the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program in 2001 at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles/University of Southern California in 2002.

As a volunteer, Dr. Leitch served as council member on the NRC (National Research Council of Canada), was a board member of Genome Canada, a director on the YMCA (GTA) board of directors, Vice-President of CANFAR (Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research) and founder of The Sandbox Project. In addition, Dr. Leitch has hosted an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Leitch was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for her work in both medicine and business in 2005. She has published in the clinical and best practice model areas of the health care field. In 2010, Dr. Leitch received the Order of Ontario for her work advocating for children and youth.

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