Past Event: Mental Health Summit Toronto

November 08, 2016
TODAY at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

Untitled Document

Welcome to the official website for the 2016 Mental Health Summit, Toronto. This half-day conference will feature practical content for plan sponsors interested in imporving the mental health of their workforce.

The theme of this year's conference is-

The Elephant in the Workplace: Tackling Mental Health Challenges

You may not always be able to see mental health in your employees, but you can see the results in your workplace. Did you know that approximately 30 per cent of short and long term disability claims are due to mental health issues? As well, mental health issues account for over $6 billion in productivity costs. What causes and exacerbates mental health issues, how can you recognize when an employee is having difficulties and how can you help?

At the 2016 Mental Health Summits, experts will provide insight into mental health issues in a work environment and provide actionable takeaways for how to address these issues and create a mentally healthy and productive workplace.


Price: $129 + TAX


For information on the speakers, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada

For information on the speakers, please contact Danielle Walker, Experience Manager

Join the conversation on Twitter: #mentalhealth16 @BenCanMag

Mental Health Summit Toronto

November 8, 2016
Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto

ALL presentations except session three can be downloaded through Dropbox.

Any questions? Please email

7:30 - 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

8:15 - 8:20 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:20 - 8:50 a.m.
Session One

Guiding employers towards successful workplace mental health strategies

No matter what business you’re in or how big it is, your employees are among your key assets. But your business can only be successful when they are functioning at their best. So how can employers help employees bring their best to work? Based on the SALVEO study, this session provides insight on the various factors employers need to consider regarding their employees’ emotional welfare. Organizations can bring positive change when they understand and apply specific, practical, and evidence-based strategies for optimal workplace mental health, ensuring their employees are both less stressed and productive.

Eric Pfeiffer,
senior health management consultant, Manulife

8:50 - 9:20 a.m.
Session Two

Choosing Antidepressant Therapies in a Climate of Precision Medicine

Precision medicine implies the selection of treatments that are targeted to individual patient characteristics. While there has undoubtedly been progress in identifying biological differences between groups of depressed and non-depressed people, there is a lack of precision in diagnosis and treatment selection. Individual differences based on genetics, brain activity, psychosocial experiences, stress response, as well as individual variation in drug metabolism, are important avenues of research that have not yet resulted in validated diagnostic tests to inform individual treatment selection. Plan sponsors will learn how individual differences based on genetics, brain activity, psychosocial experiences, stress response, as well as individual variation in drug metabolism, are important avenues of research that have not yet resulted in validated diagnostic tests to inform individual treatment selection.

Dr. Sidney Kennedy,
professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto
(Participation made possible by Lundbeck)

9:20 - 10:05 a.m.
Session Three

The Medicalization of Unhappiness

Peter Gove, GSC’s Health Innovation Leader, examines the past few decades and zeroes in on the changing medical and social landscape that has led to the proliferation of mental health diagnoses and the widespread prescribing of anti-depressants. Have normal, expected bouts of sadness become “medicalized”? And are we in turn medicating large portions of the population - young, middle-aged, and old - that could be better served by other strategies for care? Last, given this new environment, what is the implication for organizations aiming to create impactful strategies to manage mental health in their workplaces?

Peter Gove,
health innovation leader, Green Shield Canada
(This presentation is not available at this time.)

10:05 - 10:25 a.m.
Networking Break

10:25 - 10:55 a.m.
Session Four

An elephant and an insurer walk into a room…

Managers and employees aren’t talking enough about mental health in the workplace. But insurers ARE having that conversation with employees who are on leave because of mental health issues. Travis Kelly will share valuable insights on how to handle mental health issues, and give concrete examples of what employers can do to help eliminate the stigma.

Travis Kelly,
director, group disability claims and operational support, Desjardins Insurance

10:55 a.m. - 11:25 a.m.
Session Five

Connections: Linking Financial and Physical Wellness to Mental Health

Financial stress is a driver of mental health challenges. In fact, the stress that employees may feel from personal financial issues can significantly impact both mental and physical health. The Sun Life Canadian Health Index cites top drivers of excessive stress among Canadians are related to finances. Learn about the dynamics of this issue, such as how financial stress may affect different groups in the workforce and whether they differ based on generation or economic contexts. You'll hear how targeted programs and overall mental health strategies in the workplace can mean positive change for employees.

Marie-Hélène Pelletier, assistant vice-president, workplace mental health, integrated health solutions, Sun Life Financial


11:25 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Session Six

Expert Panel: Supporting Employees with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone, whether the affected employees are first responders and encounter emergencies daily or have experienced distressing situations in their personal or work lives. Being exposed to trauma can trigger reactions that may affect employees' daily lives and interfere with their ability to remain active and productive members of the workforce. In this session, join us as a panel of experts outline what PTSD is, what can trigger it, how it can manifest in the workforce and how you can provide your employees with the support they need to cope. The panel will also dig into peer support and how it can have broader applicability beyond PTSD.

Christine Devine,
wellness specialist, Michael Garron Hospital
Stephane Grenier,
founder and lead innovator, Mental Health Innovations
Ann Malain
, executive vice-president, clinical practice, Homewood Health
Lyne Wilson, director, talent acquisition and organizational health, NAV Canada

12:15 - 12:45 p.m.
Session Seven

Maintaining Mental Wellness with Creativity and Open Dialogue

While the business applicability for supporting wellness initiatives in a corporate environment has made leaps forward in recent years, demonstrating the ROI in this arena still remains a challenging task for HR and Wellness professionals. When it comes to tackling the topic of Mental Health, this challenge is exponentially greater. During this session, learn how Lakeside, took this challenge head on by developing creative and innovative activities to implement a ‘total health’ focused wellness program that is designed to stimulate and maintain both physical and mental wellness.

Stephanie Enright,
manager, human resources, Lakeside Process Controls

12:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Mental Health Summit Toronto


Christine Devine

Christine Devine

Christine Devine is a wellness specialist at Michael Garron Hospital. Devine has over 20 years of experience in the fitness and wellness industry. She holds several certifications and has had the privilege of working with teams, athletes and everyday warriors in both training and rehabilitative capacities. Devine has had the great pleasure of administering physical and mental wellness programming to Michael Garron Hospital staff for the past seven years. She is an Emotional Intelligence and Conversations of Leadership instructor and a Compassion Fatigue facilitator. In her spare time, Devine volunteers as an assistant skate coach for the Special Olympics and serves on the Board of Aloha Toronto, a surf camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Stephanie Enright

Stephanie Enright

Stephanie Enright is the human resources manager for the Lakeside Group of Companies. She is a certified human resources professional and is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a post-graduate certificate in Human Resource Management from Sheridan College. In 2008, Enright started her professional career in Human Resources as a co-op student with Lakeside Process Controls. Since then, she has quickly progressed her career, now playing a lead role in Lakeside's Human Resources practices. Enright plays a key role in the evolution of Lakeside's corporate employee engagement strategy including program development and engagement measures. Of primary focus is her creation of wellness programs in the workplace; specifically using creative platforms to stimulate interactions, promote mental health and control benefit costs. She also recently completed her Yoga Teacher Training and is a certified Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.




Peter Gove

Peter Gove

Peter Gove is innovation leader, health management with Green Shield Canada (GSC). He has oversight for initiatives under GSC's Change4Life banner. Prior to coming to GSC, Gove was responsible for the national disability management and life insurance claims program for a large Canadian life insurance company. Gove has a master's degree in social work and is a registered social worker. Continuing his education, he started a PhD program in Applied Health Science at the University of Waterloo. He has presented internationally in the areas of health management and disability management and was the recipient of the 2014 Vision and Values Award presented by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.



Stéphane Grenier

Stéphane Grenier

Stéphane Grenier retired as a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Canadian military after serving for just over 29 years. He participated in several Canadian missions overseas, most notably nine months in Rwanda in 1994-95 and six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2007, as well as numerous shorter deployments which include Cambodia, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, and Haiti. Faced with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression upon return from Rwanda, he took a personal interest in the way his workplace 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. In 2012, he retired from the military and created Mental Health Innovations Consulting (MHI) in order to dedicate his full attention to developing non-clinical mental health interventions as a complement to traditional clinical care.




Travis Kelly

Travis Kelly

Travis Kelly is the director of group disability claims and operational support with Desjardins Insurance. He is a financial and insurance institution professional with over 15 years of experience in the group insurance sector. He has successfully partnered with companies in all aspects of group insurance throughout his career, including the areas of underwriting, R&D, business development, marketing and human resources. He joined Desjardins Insurance in 2003 and is currently the Director of Group Disability and Rehabilitation. Kelly holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Western Ontario and an honours BA in Economics and Human Resources from the University of Toronto.





Dr. Sidney Kennedy

Dr. Sidney Kennedy

Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy is professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in Suicide and Depression Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital, and a Scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Canada. Dr. Kennedy is the lead investigator for a large depression biomarker initiative, the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). He has published extensively on new drug evaluation, neuroimaging and neurostimulation therapies, personality factors in depression, antidepressant effects on sexual function and treatment guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Kennedy is the Immediate Past President of the International Society for Affective Disorders, former President of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the founding chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and co-lead in Guidelines for MDD and Bipolar Disorder. He has published more than 350 peer reviewed publications (h-index 67) and 11 books on depression and related topics.



Ann Malain

Dr. Ann Malain

Dr. Ann Malain is Homewood Health's executive vice-president, clinical practice and Stay at Work Services. Dr. Malain is responsible for leading Homewood Health's national clinical service delivery and clinical network. Dr. Malain is a registered psychologist with more than 20 years experience in employee and family assistance programs, community mental health, psychological assessment and substance abuse treatment. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Washington. She also has extensive experience with depression, anxiety and the treatment of trauma. Prior to Homewood, Dr. Malain served as clinical director of a community mental health agency, directed a domestic violence perpetrator treatment program, developed substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment programs, taught graduate courses on psychodiagnostics and clinical interviewing at several universities and has also provided expert witness testimony in legal proceedings.

Marie-Hélène Pelletier

Marie-Hélène Pelletier

Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier is assistant vice-president, workplace mental health, integrated health solutions with Sun Life Financial. Throughout her 15 years in business management and psychology, Dr. Pelletier has spearheaded a national dialogue on the crucial issue of workplace health. Her work continues to this day. As assistant vice-president Workplace Mental Health at Sun Life Financial, she oversees the organization's mental health strategy for its Canadian group clients. She also oversees the financial health pillar of the company’s Integrated Health Solutions mandate. She holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from UBC and an MBA from the UBC Sauder School of Business. With her unique background in both psychology and business, she continues to evolve business and human resources strategies to critical new areas – most recently to the integration of financial, physical and mental health.




Eric Pfeiffer

Eric Pfeiffer

Eric Pfeiffer is a Senior Health Management Consultant at Manulife. Throughout his career, Pfeiffer has held various positions including Disability Analyst, Consultant, and Trainer. In his current role, Pfeiffer supports clients by helping them with the strategy, design and implementation of health and wellness programs. He also presents sessions on psychological conditions in the workplace. Pfeiffer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo with a focus on work and sports injuries.




Lynn Wilson

Lynn Wilson

Lyne Wilson is the director, talent acquisition and organizational health for NAV CANADA, the owner and operator of the country’s civil Air Navigation Service. She is responsible for HR based activity within the organization from both an operational and strategic perspective. Since 2000, Lyne has held a number of positions at NAV CANADA. She is currently responsible for Talent Acquisition, Employee Health and Wellness Programs and Employee Relations complaints. Lyne has championed mental health in the workplace by developing a mental health strategy in 2009 and oversees NAV CANADA’s peer support programs. Before joining NAV CANADA, Lyne worked at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).





For more information on the speakers, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada



Fairmont Royal York Hotel Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto
100 Front Street West, Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

Telephone: 416 368 2511
Fax: 416 368 9040

The Fairmont Royal York luxury hotel. Just steps away from our famous doors in the heart of Canada's largest metropolis is an exciting mix of activities and attractions that will leave you exhilarated. From the theater, entertainment and financial districts, to shopping, sightseeing, and world-class sports facilities, The Fairmont Royal York hotel truly is ''at the center of it all'' in Toronto.

Driving Directions:

From Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Follow signs to 427 South
From 427 South, take the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound
Follow along the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound
Take the Yonge/York/Bay Street exit
Follow along Bay Street going Northbound
Turn left onto Front Street for valet parking; entrance is on right

From Highway 401 (Eastbound or Westbound)
Exit on the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) Southbound
Exit on the Gardiner Expressway Westbound
Exit on Yonge Street North
Left on Front Street (Westbound)
Pass one set of lights (Bay Street)
Hotel is on right-hand side, across from Union Station

Valet Parking:
Valet Parking is available at the east doors of the hotel, off Front Street. In-and-out privileges are included.

Overnight rate for Registered Guests: $42.00
30 minutes or less: $11.00
One hour or less: $16.00
One hour, 30 minutes or less: $21.00
Two hours or less: $26.00
Daytime maximum (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or over two hours: $34.00
Evening function rate (5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.): $31.00

For directions or other information on the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, please contact Danielle Walker.