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Words to Lead by: Mental Health


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Editor’s Note: Our 2019 Benefits3 Conference series provided the forum for an important dialogue on innovative solutions and strategies that are proving effective in preventing and managing mental health issues, led by some of the brightest minds in the industry. Here are some of our favourite, insightful quotes from the series. We hope these words inspire you, as much as they did us, to take action toward a healthier future for all.

  • "Safety gets you home and wellness gets you back to work the next day."
Dave Miller, Vice President, Human Resources, Loss Prevention, Safety & Compliance, Armour Transportation Systems
  • “Your commitment to wellness and mental health can dictate your destiny.” 
Dr. Paul Oh, leader at Acceleration 2.0, GoodLife Fitness chair
  • “When the weight is too heavy, let it break your heart. That’s when you learn the art of falling apart.”
Serena Ryder, Juno Award-wining artist and mental health advocate
  • “If you're not well, that's normal. No one gets up every morning in the best mood.  But if you've been having trouble for a while, don't be afraid or ashamed to consult (a therapist). Saying I was going to therapy took the pressure off me.”
Étienne Boulay, former Canadian Football League player and Grey Cup Champion
  • “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Jessie Jollymore, Founder and Executive Director, Hope Blooms
  • “A mentally healthy work environment is going to be key to our economic advantage in an increasingly fast-paced global economy and massive planetary change.”
Jordan Friesen, National Director, Workplace Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Think beyond mental health as a singular objective or area for action; it is actually the outcome of doing business differently across multiple domains: leadership, commitment and visibility, smart business processes, policies and programs, benefits and culture.”
Greg Kyllo, National Director, Program Innovation, CMHA
  • “Communication is key. Get to know your employees. Learn who the person behind the role is.”
Alexandre Desjardins, Spécialiste, Gestion des Invalidités Molson Coors Canada
  • “It is important to check in with an employee during a disability leave. We would if they had a broken leg. Why is it different when it comes to a mental health problem? Quite often it’s because we don’t know what to say.”
Jonathan Galarneau, Manager, Disability Management, Medavie Blue Cross
  • “Enhancements to coverage for mental health services are an investment to be leveraged, not a cost to be managed. It’s time to stop admiring the problem and focus on providing access to solutions that mitigate the impact on plan members”
Derek Weir, Medavie Blue Cross
  • “Mental health concerns us all. It is important to take care of ourselves, to give meaning to the ordeal we are going through.”
Élyse Désilets, Therapeutic Clown, Dr. Clown Foundation
  • “Effective treatments are available. For example, about 85 to 90 per cent of depression can be effectively treated with a combination of evidence-based psychotherapy and medications. If we just reduced the number of people experiencing a new mental illness in a given year by 10 per cent, after 10 years we could be saving the economy at least $4 billion a year.” 
Dr. Peter Farvolden, Chief Science Officer, MindBeacon Group
  • “Sixty per cent of Canadians will not seek help because they cannot afford it, because of stigma or because they do not have access to resources. This is a major concern.”
Marie Grégoire
  • “Stigma is still present in organizations when you hear a manager talk about his employees as if they are all ‘mounted on a mosquito frame’ (weak).”
Rose-Marie Charest, Psychologist, Author and Speaker
  • “As a health solutions partner, Medavie Blue Cross is committed to helping employers build mentally healthy workplaces in Canada. We will continue to form strategic partnerships, invest in resources and leverage new technologies to develop solutions. For example, our new digital health platform Connected Care, increases accessibility to care, elevates mental resiliency and ultimately improves the lives of Canadians affected by mental illness.”
Eric Laberge, President, Medavie Blue Cross
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Medavie Blue Cross

For over 75 years, Medavie Blue Cross has been a leading health services partner for individuals, employers...