Anca, Morenike and I were fortunate to attend the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) annual National Bottom Line Conference this year, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The discussion was focused on bringing attention and generating discussions that pertained to workplace mental health. As Beedie MBA candidates, we are developing skills to become business leaders in our community. It is important for us to realize the value of having a healthy workforce, to recognize the barriers that we or our colleagues may encounter, and what support systems are available.
The conference started off with a memorable keynote speaker, Journalist and Author Jan Wong (http://www.janwong.ca). She shared with us her experience with workplace depression at a prominent newspaper firm and the subsequent steps she took towards recovery. A couple of key take home messages that we received were:
– Depression has nothing to do with strength or personality
– Be supportive- do not take it personally if a person doesn’t feel better
Other keynote speakers that stood out in my mind were Dr. Max Cynader, Director of the Brain Research Centre at UBC who spoke about the plasticity of the brain, and Dr. Michelle Haring, a Registered Psychologist who led the audience in going through a series of exercises to demonstrate an evidence based solution towards “Living Life to the Full.”
The website www.notmyselftoday.ca is useful resource for those who would like to learn more about improving their mental health in the workforce. It is a campaign supported by the national charity, Partners of Mental Health.
Wing Ka is a full-time SFU Beedie MBA Student with an undergraduate degree in Cell Biology and Genetics. She is a runner, a traveler, a news junkie, and a foodie- but from recent experiences her true passion is connecting with people. Wing Ka is the VP of Communications for the Graduate Business Student Association. Connect with Wing Ka on LinkedIn, @_WingKa on Twitter or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org