MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT

November 12-13, 2020

 

For more than a decade, Benefits Canada’s Mental Health Summit has been a trademark in the industry. In its 12th year, the event is going virtual. This November, the Mental Health Summit will bring together leading mental-health speakers in an exciting and interactive way. We hope to see you there.

 

FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
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INFORMATION
FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Francesca Allman
francesca.allman@tc.tc


Cassandra Williamson-Hopp
cassandra.williamson-hopp@tc.tc
Katerina Galkina
katerina.galkina@tc.tc


Please note: Online registration will close on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. EST.

 

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MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT

 

November 12, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Managing a life of uncertainty: Strategies for protecting mental health in 2021
As 2020 — a year of great challenge — draws to a close, many Canadians are looking forward to a new start in 2021. The reality, however, is that the new year will bring more uncertainty and change as we continue to take steps, both forward and backward, as a nation navigating a pandemic. It’s difficult to manage a life of uncertainty, especially for a prolonged period of time, and the stats proving this are alarming. In this session, Dr. Diane McIntosh will share practical strategies for protecting mental health, explore the link between physical and mental health and examine the value of virtual care.

Speaker:
Dr. Diane McIntosh, psychiatrist and chief neuroscience officer, TELUS

[Download Diane's presentation.]


 

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Mental health matters: Insights from 2020 claims data and survey results
This past year has been challenging for many Canadians. In this session, Julie Gaudry will report on RBC Insurance’s claims data and service utilization rates to help understand the pandemic’s impact on Canadians’ mental health. She will also present the latest findings from an RBC Insurance poll that sheds light on how reactions to the pandemic differed by demographics and access to insurance coverage. The poll also reveals how working Canadians are more willing to turn to virtual support as they continue to struggle with mental and financial health in 2020 and beyond.

Speaker:
Julie Gaudry, senior director, group insurance, RBC Insurance

[Download Julie's presentation.]


 

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
iCBT: Has it delivered on its promise?
When first made available to Canadian plan sponsors in 2017, digital cognitive behavioural therapy promised evidence-based treatment across a myriad of costly conditions. With the ability to overcome barriers to mental-health care access, this form of therapy pledged to deliver measurable improvements and returns for plan sponsors. Fast forward to 2020, with thousands of Canadians treated, does iCBT truly deliver on its promise? The short answer is yes, but the data is getting stronger and more compelling. In this session, Adam Kelly will bring to life several real-world case studies across different contexts, from private to public sector workplaces, from early intervention to disability management, to help plan sponsors deploy this valuable tool within their employee mental-health strategy.  

Speaker:
Adam Kelly, chief commercial officer, MindBeacon Group

[Download Adam's presentation.]


 

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Break


 

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Taking action: Meeting the growing demand for mental health with virtual care
According to a recent study, 50 per cent of Canadian respondents have reported their mental health has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. The crisis has caused individuals worldwide to experience new acute stress disorders — from sleep disturbances to complicated grief — and the demand for reliable mental-health resources has never been greater. In this session, Karen Grant and Ken Bowman will discuss the changing landscape of mental health and how leading Canadian benefits plan sponsors are harnessing the power of virtual care to bring their members off of mental-health disability and back to feeling better faster.

Speakers:
Karen Grant, vice-president, strategy and operations, Teladoc Health
Ken Bowman, vice-president, claims, RBC Insurance

[This session is not available for download.]


 

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Depression: Understanding the patient journey
In this session, Dr. Diane McIntosh will provide insight into a typical treatment journey for an individual with major depressive disorder. MDD patients require an individualized approach to care and Dr. McIntosh will share her perspective regarding the role of medication. She will address why all anti-depressants could be effective but may not work for every patient, as well as why it often takes several trials — and sometimes two or more medications — to help a patient recover from depression.

Speaker:
Dr. Diane McIntosh, psychiatrist and chief neuroscience officer, TELUS

(This session has been made possible by Janssen)

[This session is not available for download.]


 

November 13, 2020

 

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Mental health: From technological innovation to human progress
Mental health accounts for 30 per cent of disability cases in Canada, but 70 per cent of costs — and this situation may worsen after the pandemic. While psychological health has previously been unreceptive to technology, artificial intelligence is now at the heart of a lucrative market, where the need to sell can take precedence over the will to cure. With this in mind, real innovation — the kind that prevents illness and ensures a safe work environment — may come from elsewhere. In this session, Charmaine Alexander will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at new technologies and into the heart of organizations where the future of mental health is unfolding.

Speaker:
Charmaine Alexander, senior advisor, disability management, Desjardins Insurance

[Download Charmaine's presentation.]


 

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
The impact of coronavirus on mental health in the era of AI
In this session, Bill Wilkerson will explore containment of the depression, anxiety and suicide crisis during the age of artificial intelligence. Further, he’ll discuss how this is driven by human isolation experienced throughout the coronavirus crisis, as well as malignant uncertainties for employers and employees unleashed by the pandemic. Wilkerson will offer a new approach to the promotion and protection of mental health in the workplace during these challenging times.

Speaker:
Bill Wilkerson, executive chairman, Mental Health International and advisory board member, EQ Care

[This session is not available for download.]


 

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Removing barriers: Creating a group benefits plan that promotes timely access to care
Many employees rely on their group benefits plan for access to essential mental-health support. However, in spite of all the positive benefits to having this coverage, barriers still exist. These barriers can range from cost to the availability of therapists to stigma. In this session, Dr. Sam Mikail and Glenn Brimacombe will discuss these barriers, share research and provide key recommendations on improving access to care.
 
Speakers:
Dr. Sam Mikail, director, mental-health solutions, Sun Life Canada
Glenn Brimacombe, director of policy and public affairs, Canadian Psychological Association

[Download Sam and Glenn's presentation.]


 

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Break


 

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Mental-health therapy: The future is digital
A partnered approach on mental health has us moving into the future. While drugs and in-person therapies have been the standard treatments for mental-health issues, the need for virtual care has become more important than ever. In this session, Joe Blomeley will go into detail about cognitive behavioural therapy as a virtual treatment, explain how it works, who it helps and how it’s among the most cost-effective and successful treatments available in the market.

Speaker:
Joe Blomeley, executive vice-president, individual, public sector and mental health, Green Shield Canada

[This session is not available for download.]


 

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Your mojo is back: Getting people with depression back to work, productive and loving
Depression is rapidly becoming the primary reason for workplace impairment and disability claims. Although many Canadians with this mental illness are still working, very few are functioning at their optimal level. This leads to absenteeism and poor productivity, resulting in  billions lost to our economy. In this session, Dr. Pratap Chokka will present challenges posed by depression and offer solutions experienced by benefits payers, employers, employees and health-care providers. Further, he’ll provide practical tips and steps on returning depressed individuals back to the office and how to help them achieve a functional and meaningful life.

Speaker:
Dr. Pratap Chokka, clinical professor, psychiatry, University of Alberta and consultant psychiatrist, Grey Nuns Hospital

(This session has been made possible by Lundbeck)

[This session is not available for download.]


 

MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT

November 12-13, 2020

 

EVENT SPEAKERS

 

Charmaine Alexander

Derek Weir

Charmaine Alexander is a senior advisor in disability management at Desjardins Insurance. She has more than 20 years of experience in group disability management, spanning a variety of industries and working for employers as well as insurance carriers. Within her client base, Alexander promotes a focus on prevention and challenges employer groups to encourage their employees to take charge of their health. She believes the future of group disability plans will require a collaborative approach between all stakeholders. As part of the best practices and innovation team, Alexander partners with several organizations within Desjardins’ portfolio of clients to deliver educational presentations to employers, employees and union leaders across Canada, with an aim to strengthen best practices in their management of disability claims. In July 2018, Alexander became the first insurer-sponsored mental-health first-aid instructor certified by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She continues to deliver this course to client organizations and their workforces. Alexander holds a fellow in life and health claims from the International Claims Association. She completed a bachelor’s degree in English at York University, as well as a nursing degree at George Brown College.


 

Joe Blomeley

Derek Weir

Joe Blomeley is Green Shield Canada’s executive vice-president, individual, public sector and mental health. In the role, Blomeley identifies future needs and trends to strengthen partnerships and operational excellence for GSC’s individual and public-sector clients. He's also responsible for building out GSC’s mental-health strategy, which will focus on addressing mental-health issues with affordable, on-demand and clinically validated digital mental-health services. Blomeley’s extensive career spans public and private sector organizations, including leadership positions with the Business Council of Canada and, most recently, at Morneau Shepell Ltd. as senior vice-president, Ontario region leader and public sector. He has an impressive track record as a thought leader and also rolls up his sleeves to put vision into action. He holds a master of arts, international affairs from Carleton University and a bachelor of arts, honours political science from Western University. 


 

Ken Bowman

Derek Weir

In his current role as vice-president of claims at RBC Insurance, Ken Bowman is responsible for developing and leading the execution of strategies to drive better outcomes for clients, remove process friction and be a source of innovation for the individual and group life, disability and travel products. Bowman is a key member of RBC Insurance’s leadership team, which creates innovative approaches to help improve the lives of their clients every day, especially when faced with challenging mental-health conditions.


 

 

 

Glenn Brimacombe

Derek Weir

Glenn Brimacombe joined the Canadian Psychological Association as its director of policy and public affairs in January 2020. In the role, he’s responsible for bringing the science and practice of psychology to public policy and programs in the service of Canadians. Previously, he was vice-president of strategic partnerships and priorities at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and chief executive officer of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Brimacombe was also president and CEO of the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations – now HealthCareCan – where he created a national voice and presence for the country’s research hospitals, academic health sciences centres, regional health authorities and their research institutes. He was co-chair of the Health Action Lobby, a coalition of 41 national health organizations focused on the role of the federal government in health and health care. He was the chair of the Science Media Centre of Canada and a founding member of the Canadian Health Leadership Network. He also served as a board director of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Trained as an economist, Brimacombe worked for the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association as director of health economics, was a visiting senior policy analyst at Health Canada and was the inaugural director of health programs at the Conference Board of Canada. Throughout his career, much of his focus has been on a range of strategic policy issues related to the organization, management, financing and delivery of health care, in addition to the federal role in research, innovation and commercialization. In different capacities, Brimacombe has focused on the identification, development and nurturing of a number of strategic alliances and partnerships. He has also supported medical profession-government fee negotiations in several provinces. Of his 32 years working in the health sector, he’s spent more than 26 working for national health organizations. Brimacombe has an honour’s and master’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family, keeping active through sport and playing music in a local band.


 

Dr. Pratap Chokka

Derek Weir

Dr. Pratap Chokka is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta and a consultant psychiatrist at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton. He graduated as a doctor of medicine from the University of Alberta and subsequently completed specialist training in psychiatry, obtaining a fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Chokka’s main areas of interest are mood and anxiety disorders, reproductive psychiatry and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and he has been the principal investigator in more than 60 clinical trials and published several papers in these areas. He established the Chokka Center for Integrative Health, which embraces an integrative, multidisciplinary team approach in the assessment and management of mental disorders by applying conventional medical treatments alongside complementary and alternative therapies. The centre has also developed the integrative medical and evaluation treatment program to improve assessment, reduce stigma and treat mental-health disorders in the workplace.


 

Julie Gaudry

Derek Weir

As head of RBC Insurance's group life and health business, Julie Gaudry leads a team with overall responsibility for the product development and strategic direction of the insurer's group benefits solutions. With a focus on innovation and thought leadership, Gaudry is committed to differentiating RBC Insurance through product and service enhancements that make it easier for its clients to lead a healthy lifestyle, manage their benefits programs and return to health if faced with a serious medical condition. Prior to joining RBC Insurance in 2014, Gaudry spent eight years in human resources at RBC, with responsibility for the design, financial management and communication of the benefits and wellness programs and the financial education and planning strategy for the bank's employees and retirees in Canada. Before joining RBC in 2006, Gaudry was practicing as a doctor of chiropractic, where, as a core part of her patient care, she was an advocate for healthy living, encouraging her patients to make healthy lifestyle choices.  Gaudry holds a bachelor of kinesiology from McMaster University and a doctor of chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, is an avid volunteer for youth sports and is a five-time marathoner who continues to love running for both the physical and mental-health benefits. 


 

Karen Grant

Derek Weir

Karen Grant leads strategy, product development and operations for the Teladoc Health Canada business. She develops market entry strategies, deploys regionally relevant services in new markets and assures customer service readiness across the service offerings. With a breadth of experience in technology innovation, Grant has built a successful track record of business transformation, deployment and process improvement. Prior to Teladoc Health, she held several operational leadership roles at TransUnion, most recently as vice-president, operations and data management. Grant holds a bachelor’s degree of applied science in consumer studies from the University of Guelph and an MBA in global leadership from Sandermoen School of Business.


 

 

Adam Kelly

Derek Weir

At MindBeacon Group, Adam Kelly leads partnerships and engagements with employers, insurers and health services organizations in both private and public sectors. His focus is to broadly reach and deliver effective care that measurably helps people experiencing issues related to mental health and helps organizations see return on mental-health-care investment. Kelly has more than 20 years of experience in health and wellness businesses. Prior to joining MindBeacon Group, he was a senior vice-president in the health and productivity solutions practice at Morneau Shepell Ltd., where he supported hundreds of national and regional clients with health and productivity programs targeting cost reduction, cost avoidance, employee/supervisor engagement and attendance/absence management. He holds an honours BA in economics and international development from Dalhousie University and has his group benefits associate designation.


 

Dr. Diane McIntosh

Derek Weir

Dr. Diane McIntosh obtained an undergraduate degree in pharmacy before completing her medical school training, two years of a pediatric residency and then an adult psychiatry residency. She’s a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia and has a community psychiatry practice. Dr. McIntosh is extensively involved in providing continuing medical education programs to colleagues nationally and internationally, with a focus on rational pharmacology and the neurobiology of mood and anxiety disorders and ADHD. Every year, she delivers more than 200 lectures, always coming back to an essential, central theme: We must strive to improve the quality of care and the treatment options available for people diagnosed with a mental illness. Dr. McIntosh is chief neuroscience officer at TELUS, a Canadian communications and information technology company. She’s responsible for optimizing all mental health-related products, services and innovations, leveraging TELUS’ world-leading technology to enable improved health outcomes for all Canadians. Dr. McIntosh is the co-founder of SwitchRx, the online psychotropic switching tool for prescribers and pharmacists. She has her own continuing medical education program, PsychedUp, which was developed to encourage the appropriate, confident, rational prescribing of psychiatric medications. Dr. McIntosh has published blogs in Psychology Today and the Huffington Post and op-eds for newspapers focusing on mental-health issues. She is also the founder of We Do Matter, which advocates for more compassionate care for psychiatric patients and their families. Dr. McIntosh’s new book, This is Depression: A comprehensive and compassionate guide for those who want to understand depression, was launched on Oct. 10, 2019 and quickly became an Amazon Canada bestseller. It’s written for those who have depression, for those who love someone who is depressed and for anyone who wants to better understand the disorder.


 

Dr. Sam Mikail

Derek Weir

Dr. Sam Mikail is a registered psychologist in the province of Ontario and is board certified in clinical psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology. He holds the position of director, mental-health solutions at Sun Life Canada, where he drives thought leadership in the prevention, management and treatment of disability claims attributable to mental-health disorders and contributes to the development of strategic initiatives focused on mental health. Throughout his career Dr. Mikail has remained an active clinician, researcher, consultant and educator. He has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. In 2017, he co-authored a book on the conceptualization, assessment and treatment of perfectionism and has just co-authored a second book and training video on psychodynamic-interpersonal group psychotherapy. Dr. Mikail has served on the boards of several professional associations. He maintains a private practice in Newmarket, Ont. and holds an appointment as adjunct faculty at the University of Waterloo.


  

Bill Wilkerson

Derek Weir

In 1998, Bill Wilkerson began fighting for mental-health initiatives in Canadian workplaces and has sustained that effort internationally as executive chairman of Mental Health International, chairman of the pan-European business leadership forum to target the impact of depression in the workplace and general chairman of the U.S./Canada forum on mental health and productivity. He blends his knowledge of business with a studied approach to the scientific and economic issues facing large employers and the working populations of nations due to the rising rates of mental disorders — prominently depression — and economic loss among men and women in their prime working years. Wilkerson has been recognized widely for his work, including by the Public Service of Canada. He was also sworn in as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s first civilian mental-health adviser. Before his mental-health advocacy, Wilkerson served in a wide range of chief and senior executive roles in business, broadcasting and the arts and was a crisis management and news media consultant to major corporations and major league sports, including the National Hockey League. McMaster University has conferred its highest recognition, an honourary doctor of laws, to Wilkerson for his work in mental health across international borders and appointed him as industry professor of international mental health. He sits on EQ Care’s advisory board.  


MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT

November 12-13, 2020

 

What to expect from the virtual Mental Health Summit event platform

The virtual Mental Health Summit event platform will allow you to explore different sections of the venue just like you would at an in-person event. The virtual venue has sections where you can view and download conference resources, read up on speakers and learn more about their sessions, visit sponsored booths to gather more information about the companies that made this event possible, consult the agenda to ensure you don’t miss any of the presentations and ask questions in real-time during the live stream.

We invite you to register for the conference today and hope you enjoy the new virtual format of the Mental Health Summit. A platform access link will be provided to all registrants via email before the event goes live.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is this event free?
A: Yes, this event is free.

Q: Do I have to download any software to be able to watch this event?
A: No, the platform is web-based and it can be accessed from most devices.

Q: Which browser is most compatible with the platform?
A: We recommend using Google Chrome.

Q: How do I access the virtual event platform?
A: We will send you a link to the Mental Health Summit virtual event platform a few days before the event goes live.

 

Please make sure to access the platform using the same email address with which you registered, otherwise you won't be able to enter.

Important: we will be sending regular email reminders leading up to the event date(s). Please be aware that your registration is non-transferable. If you have any questions, please contact Katerina Galkina at katerina.galkina@tc.tc