Conference coverage: 2019 Toronto Mental Health Summit

On Nov. 29, the 2019 Toronto Mental Health Summit featured sessions on how employers can approach mental health in the workplace, including removing the stigma and facilitating positive return-to-work transitions.

Here’s what you missed!

Social connection can build or erode mental health, resilience
Between 2017 and 2019, the number of individuals reporting mental-health issues has risen by seven per cent, according to Dr. Sam Mikail, psychologist and senior mental-health consultant at Sun Life. Read more.

Treatment access, innovation integral to supporting employee mental health
Mental-health symptomology — such as difficulty concentrating, feelings of isolation and lack of motivation — is incredibly impactful in the workplace and makes it difficult for people to function at or return to work. Read more.

10 key factors for ensuring the success of a digital therapy program
In recent years, advancements in technology have led to the development and cost-effective delivery of sophisticated digital mental-health programs, with burgeoning resources for common mental-health problems. Read more.

Considering the connection between chronic illnesses and mental health
Over the last 40 years, the mortality morbidities of cancer, HIV and cardiovascular disease have dropped dramatically, but the mortality of suicide has gone up, according to Dr. Sam Ozersky, president and chief executive officer of FeelingBetterNow. Read more.

A look at how internet-based CBT programs are evolving
Internet-based programs are the future of mental-health therapy, according to Peter Gove, the former innovation leader in health management at Green Shield Canada. Read more.

Harnessing analytics, data to support employee mental health
Mental health is the third largest health spend in terms of benefits plan management, according to Derek Weir, manager of health benefit solutions at Medavie Blue Cross. Read more.

Employers providing options in mental-health care extremely important 
When Mark Henick, principal and chief executive officer at Strategic Mental Health Solutions, was younger, he felt he had no choice but to take his own life. Read more.

Awareness, education key parts of a mental-health action plan
Among the ways employers can encourage better employee mental health is to focus on prevention by raising awareness, reduce structural barriers and provide mental-health education, said Manulife’s Gillian Wells. Read more.

The comorbidity link between migraine and mental health
A migraine sufferer herself, Dr. Rose Giammarco, founder and director of Hamilton Headache Clinic, told the audience that migraine can be very disabling and cause tremendous burden of disease. Read more.

The role of nutrition in improving mental health
Since good nutrition contributes to better mental health, what people eat has a direct relationship to their mood and how they function, said Charmaine Alexander, senior advisor of disability management at Desjardins Insurance. Read more.