A highly motivated visionary and an expert at building partnerships, fostering stakeholder engagement and aligning strategic objectives, Ed has led innovation and improvement in health care for over two decades.
As Vice President of Programs and Priorities at the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ed is dedicated to promoting mental health in Canada and changing the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and illnesses. By collaborating with stakeholders to improve mental health services and supports, he leads the way to change. Ed pays particular attention to reducing stigmas and increasing mental resiliency through innovative measures like Mental Health First Aid, the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, Suicide Prevention, and the Mental Health Strategy for Canada.
Ed is also a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, holds a Master’s of Science Administration, and is a Certified Health Executive.
Stigmatization towards persons with mental illnesses is a major quality of care problem, with negative consequences for patients at all points along the spectrum, from access, to care and treatment, to outcomes. It also remains a key concern for workplace mental health and a barrier to maintaining positive and healthy workplace cultures. The problem is thus both an inward-facing and an outward-facing one.
Since 2007, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has been a catalyst for change for mental health in Canada. This presentation will focus on some of the MHCC’s key initiatives propelling that change, with specific attention to the healthcare sector. The presentation will show how stigma reduction, psychological health and safety in the workplace, and recovery-oriented practice are three key vehicles through which system transformation through culture change can be achieved.
Anti-Stigma. MHCC conducted a large scale multi-year evaluation study of anti-stigma programs targeting various healthcare provider audiences. The MHCC partnered with organizations conducting anti-stigma interventions for the purpose of evaluating program effectiveness and to help identify key ingredients and best practices for programming success. In this presentation, key learnings will be highlighted and information about specific programs that have shown to be effective and which are available for sharing and replication will be described. Findings include the identification of healthcare providers’ main learning needs for stigma reduction, the identification and validation of key content ingredients for program effectiveness, the development of a model describing key strategies for successful program implementation, and identification of successful programming models and programs. In addition, results from a mixed methods evaluation of the ‘Recovery Narrative’ program delivered to nursing students in Canada will be highlighted.
Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: While the workplace plays a part in positive mental health, it can also contribute to mental health problems and illnesses. Healthcare workers are not immune, in fact, they are 1.5 times more likely to be off work due to illness or disability than people in all other sectors. In 2013, the MHCC released a National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Healthcare Collaborative is comprised of over 20 health leaders and organizations from across Canada designed to leverage learnings and experiences from a multi-year case study project related to implementing the Standard in healthcare workplaces with the goal of system transformation and culture change.
Recovery-Oriented Practice. Encompassing all this is the MHCC’s development and promotion of the Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice, a blue print for mental health service delivery change. The guidelines represent a new approach and paradigm for thinking about mental health and mental health care. In its application, a recovery-oriented system takes a value-based approach. It asks healthcare organizations and providers to reflect on the way we think about mental health problems in order to enhance value and improve patient-centred care.
Audience Take Away
• The audience will be exposed to ideas relating to the possibilities of system transformation through culture change. Key concepts to be explored include psychological health and safety in the workplace, the impacts of mental illness-related stigmatization from both an inward-facing (i.e., within healthcare culture as a workplace) and an outward-facing perspective (patient care and outcomes), and the paradigm of recovery-oriented practice in healthcare.
• The audience will develop a greater understanding of ‘what works and why’ for successful anti-stigma programming in healthcare contexts, based on empirical research findings.
• The audience will learn about available programs, resources and tools that can be implemented by health professionals and healthcare organizations to reduce mental illness-related stigma, improve quality of patient care, and support workplace mental health within healthcare environments.
• The audience will learn about the MHCCand its role as a catalyst for change in mental health, and as an international leader in stigma reduction research in the healthcare sector.