Getting to Know Thyself: Being an everyday advocate for mental health
If you have a brain, you have mental health. And, like with the rest of the body, sometimes even otherwise good mental health gets interrupted. With about 20% of people experiencing a mental health problem or illness at any given time, it is shocking to learn that so few seek help and receive treatment. A major barrier is the attitude that we have toward mental health. Mark uses his own experience, both as a patient and as a professional, to provide insight. He collapses the difference that we construct between ourselves and those who happen to experience mental health problems and illnesses by demonstrating how common these experiences are. He argues passionately in favour of embracing our vulnerability, tuning in to our psychological needs, and living everyday as an advocate for mental health.
Why We Choose Suicide
A leading cause of death among new mothers in the first year after childbirth is suicide. First nations communities are being ravaged by a suicide rate five to six times higher than the national average. Almost a quarter of 15 to 25 year olds who die at all, die by suicide. That is not acceptable. That is the message that Mark delivers in this deeply personal talk. Mark explores the complicated relationship between suicide and choice. He breaks down the experience from an insider’s view – his own. He then analyses it from the perspectives of biology, psychology, and society. Mark argues for more compassion and greater attention toward the public health concern that is suicide.
The Business Case for Better Mental Health
More than 6.7 million people in Canada are living with a mental health problem or illness. The economic cost of these problems and illnesses is at least $50 billion per year, representing approximately 30% of disability claims. If we could reduce this by 10%, after ten years we could save an estimated $4 billion annually in health and social care costs. Tailored for the corporate context, Mark shares the most current data on mental health and the workplace from the leading sources in the field. He explores and advocates for emerging and promising practices directed toward improving workplace mental health, thereby improving both quality of life and the bottom line.
Mental Health: Awareness at Work
In this 45 minute keynote, Mark shares an insider’s view that is rooted in his personal experience with mental illness, as well as his professional experience managing a national workplace mental health training program. He addresses the newest research, most interesting trends, and most promising practices in workplace mental health. A deeply personal keynote, audiences of all industrieswill leave with the realization that workplace mental health is more than a compassionate cause – it’s good business.
Workshop | Mental Health: Awareness Workshop for All
This half day (3 hour) workshop introduces participants to a new way of thinking about mental health and mental illness. It begins with what most people already know about health and mental health, and then intuitively reframes it into a more evidence-based and solutions-focused approach. It helps participants in diverse workplace settings, virtually any employee, to begin to build a better understanding of their own mental health, as well as that of those around them. Some common mental health problems are discussed along with a few strategies and suggestions for how to help. This workshop can also be offered in a full day format with greater detail.
Workshop | Mental Health: Awareness Workshop for People Leaders
This full day (6 hour) workshop builds on the topics of awareness and intervention discussed in the half-day session. The information is presented in a manner that is relevant to people leaders such as executive leadership, managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and union representatives. A mental health lens is applied to issues such as accommodation, return to work, and organizational culture change. Practical tools are provided to better inform the management of mental health at work.
Consumer Leadership Award | CMHA Fredericton
Community Outreach Award, St. Thomas University Students Union