Beyond Stress

June 25, 2012 
Beyond Stress - Supporting employees coping with high stressors and anxiety for optimal mental health 

The 12th BLN Breakfast Series Event sponsored by KPMG

The Ontario JOIN 11th Employer Breakfast Series event was held on Monday, June 25, 2012. KPMG hosted “Beyond Stress – Supporting Employees with High Stressors and Anxiety for Optimal Mental Health” where almost 100 BLN members and new employers attended.

The morning began with a very engaging MC, Michael Bach, National Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion KPMG spoke from a personal perspective on what the day meant to him. Kristy Carscallen, Partner, KPMG and Chief Human Resource Officer for KPMG in Canada, welcomed and delivered opening comments on behalf of KPMG.

Kristy’s comments were followed by: Donna Hardaker - Workplace Mental Health Specialist at the York Region branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA); Deanna Matzanke - Director, Global Employment Strategies Scotiabank; and finally Dr. Carolyn Dewa - Work and Well-Being Research and Evaluation Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Donna shared her personal story with the audience, the signs and symptoms to watch for when healthy stress moves to anxiety and mental illness, health-related best practices from her perspective, the relationship between mental illness and workplace productivity, and finally, how to support someone when their behaviours shift or when they become removed from their team.

Deanna spoke both from a personal and organizational experience. She shared some of Scotiabank’s best practices in supporting individuals from a management and organizational perspective. Using herself as an example she shared how Scotiabank supports her when required and how Scotiabank cultivates a supportive culture.

Dr. Dewa shared insights into a study completed with University of Toronto on return to work best practices, interventions to improve return to work from STD, and examples of evaluating effective interventions for mental illness and mental health in the working population.