Mental Health Summit
November 23-24, 2021 | Virtual event
Day 1: November 23, 2021
Please note all times listed below are in Eastern Time. This agenda is subject to change.
11:15 – 11:45 AM
Mental health at work: Reflections and avenues to optimize well-being at work in a "post-COVID" world
While many workplaces are adjusting their plans to the “post-COVID-19 era," it seems that many organizations will focus on flexibility by giving their employees the possibility to continue working from home. In this context, the question of well-being and mental health while teleworking is an important issue for employees, managers and leaders and for stakeholders in the insurance industry. The presentation will review the scientific literature and will draw on two studies conducted by the presenter and his team on the risk and resilience factors influencing worker well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and its resolution.
Simon Coulombe, associate professor, Department of Industrial Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, Université Laval
This session has been made possible by Beneva.
11:45 – 12:15 PM
Mental health as a part of overall health
This fireside chat features an open discussion, during which the speakers will discuss mental health as part of our overall health and the role employers can play in supporting their employees.
Dr. Joby McKenzie, managing director, Canada, Teladoc Health
12:15 – 12:45 PM
Resilience reimagined: Managing mental health in today’s workplace
With our country’s mental health crisis reaching unprecedented levels, how do we manage and support mental health challenges as we consider the workplace of the future? Given that traditional therapy support is almost considered an essential offering for companies, employers must consider what more they can do to instill and enhance resiliency among employees.
Colleen Adams, manager, health and digital product solutions, Medavie Blue Cross
12:45 – 1:00 PM
1:00 – 1:30 PM
Helping employees become fearless and in control of their diabetes journey
Learn about the mental health impact of diabetes on employees who are living with diabetes, including diabetes stress. In this session, attendees will hear about drug claim trends on depression and chronic pain associated with plan members with diabetes and how diabetes impacts the plan members’ quality of life. This will include several recent research studies on the relationship between diabetes and mental health due to current challenging times.
Lisa Maks, clinical nurse specialist, Juravinski Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital sites
This session has been made possible by Abbott.
1:30 – 2:00 PM
Achieving desired outcomes for plan members through pharmacogenetic testing
Pharmacogenetic testing is quickly gaining recognition as an important tool to engage plan members while helping plan sponsors contain drug costs and avoid extended disability…but how can we help ensure these outcomes are achieved and return on investment in pharmacogenetic testing is realized? Hear important insights arising from a pharmacist’s extensive experience managing one of the first community pharmacist directed pharmacogenetics clinics in Canada and learn about some of the critical factors plan sponsors should consider in ensuring the benefits of pharmacogenetic testing are realized in a real world scenario.
John Papastergiou, expert pharmacist
This session has been made possible by Inagene.
2:00 – 2:30 PM
A paradigm shift: Rapid access, rapid recovery, rapid RTW: A review of intensive outpatient programming
Research shows that intensive outpatient programs can speed the rate of recovery for many people suffering from mental illness, addiction and chronic pain. In this session attendees will hear about:
- The current state of mental health conditions in Canada and the complexity of conditions such as PTSD, moral injury, chronic pain and addiction requiring a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach
- The medical science of Intensive Outpatient Programs for occupational psychological injuries, addiction, and chronic pain
- Why this approach to intensive treatment works to reduce the duration of disabilities and increase recovery rates over traditional approaches to treatment
Dr. Rob Tanguay, vice-president and chief medical officer, The Newly Institute
2:30 – 2:45 PM
2:45 – 3:15 PM
Women’s mental health: COVID’s impact
There are a growing number of reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s health including delayed screening and mental health. In this discussion, we will reference the latest stats to this effect, and also speak to what some Governments are doing to address this – as well as the hurdles (like the often long wait lists for mental health support). We will also touch on access to mental health therapy and resources, and the need to provide support by way of paramedical benefits.
Harriet Ekperigin, vice-president, mental health, Green Shield Canada
3:15 – 3:45 PM
Any positive change: The case for harm reduction in substance use treatment in the workplace
Attendees will learn about a case study that broadens the substance use benefits beyond disability management. Join this talk to hear about tools that can provide comprehensive benefits for early interventions in the treatment of alcohol and drug use, which represents over 30% of mental health issues.
Elliot Stone, chief executive officer, co-founder, ALAViDA
Leslie Allan-Reed, director of absence and disability management, Fraser Health Authority
Day 2: November 24, 2021
11:00 – 11:30 AM
Mental health: Get inspired to take action in the workplace
Employers play a critical role in shaping workplace mental health; they control several factors that influence it, from culture, to internal processes, to direct employee supports. Results don’t come overnight. Strategies that deliver significant results require commitment and time to mature. Some employers have started to take action, and others don’t know where to start. This session can provide guidance and inspire your actions/next steps. Join this session for a more in-depth discussion on why employers need to take a strategic approach. You’ll also learn how one employer started their journey.
Michelle Desnoyers, benefits and human resources information system lead, Fluor Canada
Sylvana Leclerc, organizational health consultant, Integrated Health Solutions, Sun Life
11:30 – 12:00 PM
Supporting the evolving mental health needs of the modern workforce
In this session, attendees will learn how organizations can and should adapt their group benefits plans to meet the increased needs and expectations of the modern workforce. With both theoretical evidence and practical insights drawn from claims data and survey results, this session will demonstrate how mental health impacts different employee populations – and what employers can do to address their unique needs.
Julie Gaudry, head of group insurance, RBC Insurance
12:00 – 12:30 PM
Mental health and obesity: The hidden face of the pandemic
While COVID-19 has taken a toll on our morale, the health measures imposed to combat it have altered our lifestyles, especially our relationship with food. Today, two thirds of Canadians are overweight and over one quarter are struggling with obesity. The situation is becoming so critical that experts are talking about an "obesity pandemic" and calling for urgent action to be taken. But where to begin?
By drawing up a portrait of pandemic psychology and food consumption, this session analyzes the obesity-related health risks faced by both individuals and companies and looks at what employers can do to help employees dealing with obesity.
Stéphanie Ipavec-Levasseur, product director, health insurance, Desjardins Insurance
12:30 – 12:45 PM
12:45 – 1:15 PM
Tech insights spotlight session: iCBT – The self-led therapy your employees have been waiting for
Many organizations are looking for unique ways to support their employees’ mental health the best way they can. Join us in this session as we walk you through our key learnings around building a robust corporate mental health product and our recommended best practices. Moreover, you’ll be introduced to an evidence-based program with a proven track record of over 20 years of patient services. We’ll dive into Dialogue’s Integrated Health Platform and unpack the features offered through our iCBT program. Self-led therapy could very well be the missing piece in organizations’ overall mental health strategy.
Anna Chif, co-founder, chief strategy and product officer, Dialogue
1:15 – 1:45 PM
Mental health is health: Three perspectives on caring for employees post-COVID
From disability management to treatment options to medical care, COVID-19 has changed the way insurers and employers support and prioritize the mental health of employees. This panel discussion provides insights and observations from three perspectives: insurer; medical service provider; and psychiatrist. They will share their experiences on what has changed and the trends that will become permanent as we build and sustain healthy workplaces.
Chris Anderson, president, Medaca Health Group
Georgia Pomaki, leader, mental health specialists, wellness, disability and life, Manulife
Dr. Edward S. Yuzda, psychiatrist and psychotherapist
1:45 – 2:00 PM
2:00 – 2:30 PM
Expanding your disability and mental health toolkit with Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Learning about the innovative combination of ketamine and traditional psychotherapy could provide relief to the unmet disability and mental health needs of your employees. This treatment which is rapidly becoming a mainstream tool is helping Canadians improve their mental health and return to work. This session will delve into the science behind the approach as well as the tangible results that it brings to patients and employer benefit plans.
Dominique Morisano, chief psychologist, Field Trip Health
Dr. Michael Verbora, medical director, Field Trip Health
2:30 – 3:00 PM
Migraine and mental health: A workplace perfect storm
Chronic pain, migraine and mental health issues are among the most common conditions impacting employees and disability costs in the workplace. Too often they go together creating an even bigger challenge, especially during stressful times like today. Attendees will learn about the prevalence and impact of the co-existence of migraine and mental health issues in addition to the treatment challenges and implications for getting people back to work.
Dr. Rob Tanguay, psychiatrist and president, Pain Society of Alberta
This session has been made possible by Lundbeck.
3:00 – 3:30 PM
Case Study: The power of employer support in recovery
Attendees in this session will follow a client journey from initial struggle, to seeking help, to starting on the path to recovery. We will illustrate a scenario in which intensive therapy and work commitments can co-exist and highlight the critical role of the employer throughout.
The learning points for this session include:
- Recognizing when worsening symptoms in the workplace warrant treatment
- Understanding how virtual treatment can facilitate recovery and still allow an employee to maintain commitments to work and family
- Establishing post-treatment supports and important workplace considerations
- How employers can best support employees throughout
Lanie Schachter-Snipper, registered psychotherapist and national director of outpatient services, EHN Canada