Mental health impacts all Canadians

What’s your workplace strategy? Take action.

Mental Health in the Capital 2019 Apr 8–9

#MHCap2019   @CBoC_Wellness   @CBoC_Events


Days Hours Minutes Seconds

Conference Overview

The Mental Health in the Capital 2018 conference brought together public and private sector experts for one day to explore the challenges and best practices in workplace mental health. Building on the discussions from last year, we are lengthening the program and offering more opportunities to engage in the conversation at Mental Health in the Capital 2019 #MHCap2019.
You can’t miss this!


April 08 April 09

April 08

8:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks from the Co-Chairs

8:45 a.m.

Plenary Session 1
The State of Workplace Mental Health in Canada

The importance of workplace mental health continues to rise nationally and internationally and is expected to continue to rise with no end in sight. As a result, many Canadian organizations are becoming more engaged in taking steps to create psychologically safe workplaces. With over 25 years experience in the areas of strategic HR, mental health and addictions, and leadership, Dr. Howatt will discuss the state of workplace mental health in Canada now and into the future.


9:15 a.m.

Plenary Session 2
Leadership Matters: A Non-Partisan Issue for an Undivided Approach

Today you will hear from three Parliamentarians who bring to this conversation diverse backgrounds, but have come together to tackle arguably one of the biggest issues facing Canadians, mental health in the workplace. Canadian Senators will share their experiences and candid thoughts on workplace mental health and why this is so important to Canadians. This session will discuss how leadership can play a vital role in effecting change and the important role of all parts of society and governments.

10:15 a.m.

Plenary Session 3
Table Discussions

One of the best ways to learn is from each other. In this interactive table discussion session, you will have an opportunity to discuss with your peers and address successes you've achieved and challenges you've encountered leading a mentally healthy workplace. Come prepared with questions and be curious to learn from others!

10:30 a.m.

Productive Mindfulness and Networking Break


The scientific evidence that mindfulness has positive impacts on all areas of life is substantial, and it continues to grow. Dr. Neda Amani (Amani Health) will teach you simple techniques to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life and experience the powerful benefits it has to offer.

11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions—Set A (please select one session)

Making it Real: Peer Support and Resilience with Ottawa Police
Mental Health in the Virtual Workplace

Session A1

Making it Real: Peer Support and Resilience with Ottawa Police

Making workplace mental health feel REAL is not side of the desk work—it’s carving out dedicated team members to walk the talk. Workplace mental health is an everyday conversation for police officers who respond to calls with people in crisis and often see people on their worst day. Equipping officers with tools to better support themselves will have positive impacts on the communities they serve. In this session you will learn how peer support and resilience is operationalized in a workplace context, and how these tools support the member's families and retirees. This session will leave you inspired by two officers who are walking the talk and changing the way Ottawa Police officers take care of themselves and each other.

Session A2

Mental Health in the Virtual Workplace

More and more organizations and businesses are looking at incorporating remote working options for their employees. While these initiatives can help increase productivity, and ensure greater employment opportunities for individuals with accessibility issues, among other benefits, they can also contribute to worker isolation and disconnect between manager and employee. How can organizations use virtual programs and services to ensure employee health and wellness through proactive engagement, preventative and productive interventions?

12:00 p.m.

Networking Luncheon

1:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions—Set B (please select one session)

Accommodation for Employee Success
Taking Action on Workplace Mental Health

Session B1

Accommodation for Employee Success

Disability due to mental disorders exacts a tremendous personal and economic cost on individuals, their families and employers. For those affected by mental disorders re-entry into the workplace following a disability leave can be a daunting task. This session will discuss some of the essential components of accommodations for employees who are returning to the workplace following a disability leave due to a mental disorder. The session will underscore that successful reintegration into the workplace requires collaboration between human resource personnel, managers, clinicians, case managers and the employee.

Session B2

Taking Action on Workplace Mental Health

Since 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has been a guiding light in supporting organizations implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Commission studied the implementation of the National Standard in 40 Canadian organizations and have identified key promising practices from these case studies. Building on this work, this panel session will dig-in on the practical elements of taking action on workplace mental health. This will include discussions on:

  • What everyday workplace mental health looks like within an organization.
  • Overcoming the status quo and getting started.
  • How to measure success and how to know you're making a real difference.
  • Facing challenges during implementation of a mental health strategy.
  • Real-life keys to success in taking action on workplace mental health.

2:00 p.m.

Networking Break

2:30 p.m.

Plenary Session 4
Connecting The Dots: Cannabis, Mental Health, and Addiction

Cannabis is the most widely used psychoactive substance after alcohol. With legalization, there is a growing acceptance and curiosity for many Canadians and yet we are only at the infancy of our understanding of the significance of this plant on our brains and bodies. Whether used for medical or recreational purposes, it can have a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. This session will review not only the impairing effects of cannabis, but the potential consequences on employee health. The increase in potency, upcoming availability of legal edible cannabis and the growth of concentrates all play a significant role in the potential concerns with cannabis. We will take a deeper dive into these noteworthy changes along with cannabis use disorder and how and why you need to be knowledgeable. Did you know that over 69% of individuals with a substance-use disorder are current employees still in the workplace? Substance use disorders have far reaching effects and do impact the workplace. We will connect the dots between cannabis, mental health, and substance use disorder.

3:15 p.m.

Plenary Session 5
Help Your Employees Thrive: The Power of Positive Psychology

Thriving at work and in life doesn't need to happen by accident, there are teachable skills that can help you reach your potential. Jean François has developed these skills with athletes at the past 2016 Summer and 2018 winter games where his clients reached the podium six times: four golds, one silver, and one bronze. With proven success at moments that matter most, Jean François is now taking the power of positive psychology to the workplace to help employees thrive everyday.

Where once these skills were reserved for professional athletes, increasingly, workplace professionals who want to reach their own podium are enhancing these skills. In this dynamic action-packed session, you'll hear stories of positive psychology in practice, learn ways you can incorporate these skills into your work, and be inspired to make positive changes to your work and life.

4:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks from the Co-Chairs

4:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

5:30 p.m.

Day One Adjourns

April 09

7:45 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks from the Co-Chairs

8:30 a.m.

Plenary Session 6
Workplace Mental Health Rests on What Your Organization Tolerates and Ignores

We frequently focus on the additive policies, programs, and actions needed to support workplace mental health. But underneath these important elements, our workplace culture shapes and is shaped by seemingly unrelated behaviours that organizational leaders ignore or tolerate. Left unaddressed, incivility and a disregard for mutual respect contribute to cultures that are prone to bullying and harassment.

We know the individual mental health impact these hostile interactions have on employees. Jane Watson will explain that our organizational response to patterns of negative workplace behaviour can increase the likelihood that bullying and harassment will arise, further undermining workplace mental health efforts. Jane will argue that an effective workplace mental health strategy must concern itself with leaders' approach to addressing negative everyday behaviours that often go ignored.

9:15 a.m.

Plenary Session 7
Innovative Strategies to Support Workplace Mental Health

Through the emergence of technological innovations and forward thinking strategies, more Canadians now have access to timely high-quality mental health-care. Canadian employers have increased options to support their employees through the continuum of mental health from anxiety/depression to more complex mental illnesses. During this panel session you’ll hear from several senior-level health professionals who will share success stories on how innovations have provided positive outcomes for employees, their expert opinion on the latest tools and resources available, and how the future of mental health-care is evolving.

10:15 a.m.

Yoga for You and Networking Break


The benefits of yoga are numerous, but sometimes the simpler, the better. Shelley Murdock (Amani Health) will teach you some easy yoga moves that you can easily incorporate into your day to help you feel great.

10:45 a.m.

Plenary Session 8
Building Workplace Communities is the Key to Your Culture

Scott Moorehead, the CEO of TCC Verizon, hired Ryan McCarty to create a Culture of Good for the largest Verizon Authorized Retailers network of 3,000 employees at 800 stores across the U.S. What the duo began as a powerful movement—in which employees have done everything from dressing up as superheroes for a children’s hospital to distributing hundreds of thousands of backpacks for kids-has grown into a business teaching other companies that inspired employees ignite positive change in the world and impact your bottom line—positively. We’re moving into a world with less human connection which is adding to the loneliness epidemic sweeping across Canada and the world. Creating a sense of community and belonging at work is not a top down approach but rather a grass roots initiative that can have a tremendously positive impact on your workplace.

In this session Ryan will share how it is possible to put the question “What happens when companies offer more than jobs or careers and get in the business of offering callings to employees?” at the heart of your organization. The result is that when companies give their employees permission to care, they create a movement of people who share their value for social responsibility. When employees are empowered to bring their soul to work they join a movement that redefines their role in their work that drives retention and heightens performance.

11:45 a.m.

Closing Remarks from the Co-Chairs

12:00 p.m.

Conference Adjourns

12:00 p.m.

Networking Luncheon for Workshop Attendees

1:00 p.m.

Post-Conference Workshop

Operationalizing Workplace Mental Health

While there are many components to a successful Psychological Health and Safety Management System (PHSMS), a program will not work without the buy-in of leaders and champions within an organization.

In this session we will operationalize workplace mental health to dig into common pain points, challenges, and opportunities organizations face. This ranges from how to create an atmosphere where employees feel safe, how to support employees who are healthy, and how to support employees when they need help. When it comes to workplace mental health this can be challenging as employees and leaders lack training, lack confidence, and don't know what to do. This session will build your confidence and abilities to address workplace mental health by:

  • Strengthen your ability to have conversations with employees about mental health.
  • Understanding what to do when an employee needs help.
  • Building coaching and leadership tools to positively support a mentally healthy workplace.
  • Develop coping skills that can facilitate your resiliency.

4:00 p.m.

Post-Conference Workshop Adjourns

April 08 April 09


Conference Only



Conference & Workshop Bundle



Rates for groups of 5 or more are available upon request, contact our marketing team.


Bill Howatt

Bill Howatt

Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity The Conference Board of Canada

Melissa Snider-Adler

Melissa Snider-Adler

Chief Medical Review Officer DriverCheck Inc.

Ryan McCarty

Ryan McCarty

Co-Founder The Culture of Good LLC

Jane Watson

Jane Watson

Senior People Partner Klick Health

Jean François Ménard

Jean François Ménard

Founder and President, Kambio Performance Mental Performance Specialist, Consultant and Speaker

Sandra Koppert

Sandra Koppert

Director, Programs and Priorities Mental Health Commission of Canada

Other Speakers

Advisory Committee

With the guidance of our Advisory Committee of workplace health and wellness professionals we have put together an agenda that will touch on the latest issues and strategies in workplace mental health. See what our Advisory Committee is saying about the importance of workplace mental health and how this conference can help you make a positive change in your organization.

Committee Members

Benefits of Attending

This year #MHCap2019 will explore topics that matter most to workplace health professionals. You need to know what’s new, what others are doing, and how to engage new colleagues to tackle your biggest challenges—together.

How are you going to do this? We’ve got you covered. Some of the topics we are interested in exploring at #MHCap2019 include:

Accommodations for Employee Success—better understand what mental health accommodations look like and considerations that set them apart from physical accommodations; strategies to get your employees and managers on board with stay-at-work and return-to-work plans.




Marketing Partner


Venue and Hotel

Fairmont Château Laurier
1 Rideau Street
Ottawa ON  K1N 8S7

Conference fees don’t include accommodations. Please contact the hotel directly for reservations, and mention The Conference Board of Canada to receive the preferred rate of $229.00, available until Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Cancellation Policy: 48 hours prior to arrival with no penalty.

Parking Notice

Fairmont Château Laurier’s on-site parking garage is closed. Valet parking is available to all registered guests at a daily rate of $45 plus tax. Alternate parking is available within walking distance for non-registered guests. See a list of nearby parking options.

Air Canada

We are pleased to be partnering with Air Canada to offer 10% discounts on flex fares for Mental Health in the Capital 2019. Simply add code 7F7G8BU1 in the promotion box when you book your flight at and the discounts will automatically calculate for you. Discounts also apply 7 days pre- and post-event dates to provide more flexibility. Enjoy your flight.

Program or Registration Questions?

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Insights. Understanding. Impact.

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© Copyright 2019 The Conference Board of Canada*
255 Smyth Road, Ottawa ON K1H 8M7 Canada
*Incorporated as AERIC Inc. Agreement No. 40063028

The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.