Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canada

Title: Stigma in health care settings: a barrier to care, for providers and patients alike

Louise Bradley

Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canada

Biography

Louise Bradley, CM MS, RN, CHE, has dedicated her professional life to improving the mental health of Canadians.
Ms. Bradley’s own deeply personal experience with recovery has informed a leadership style that is both compassionate and courageous. Unwavering in her commitment to reimagining a recovery-oriented, person-centred mental health system, Ms. Bradley has influenced improved patient care through large-scale hospital administration and pioneered recovery within a forensics and corrections setting.
An impassioned advocate, Ms. Bradley feels her professional perspective is enriched and authenticated by her lived experience. In her current role as President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), Ms. Bradley oversaw the development of Canada’s first Mental Health Strategy, undertook the signature Opening Minds anti-stigma initiative, and created a globally recognized Knowledge Exchange Centre. A tireless advocate for workplace mental health, Ms. Bradley has overseen the creation of the world’s first workplace psychological safety standard, which has gained international acclaim.
Lauded as a transformational leader by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), Ms. Bradley received the 2017 Humanitarian Award for her work to enhance the psychological well-being of Canadians. Ms. Bradley is also the recipient of the Innovation Award for Health Care Leadership, bestowed by the Canadian College of Health Leaders, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In June 2019, Ms. Bradley was invested as a member of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour, for her contributions to advancing mental health care for Canadians.
She holds degrees from Dalhousie University and Northeastern University in Boston and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from St. Mary’s University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta. She is frequently called upon to speak and write nationally and internationally on various mental health topics. Ms. Bradley uses her platform to urge increased mental health funding, and highlight the need to work inclusively to address the mental health needs of vulnerable and at-risk populations.
Ms. Bradley has a passion for nurturing emerging mental health leaders, and prioritizes the mentorship of young champions in the hope of inspiring the next generation of transformational leaders.

Abstract

In a powerful and poignant address, Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) will reflect on a career dedicated to improving the mental health of Canadians – with a specific focus on the need to bring psychological health and safety into workplaces across the country.  Drawing on decades of experience in mental health nursing and clinical practice, Ms. Bradley will deliver a thought-provoking and honest look at how stigma in health care settings acts as a barrier to care, for providers and patients alike.
She will address both sides of the coin – as a compassionate leader who leverages her own lived experience.
With frank honesty and keen wit, Ms. Bradley is living example of the “contact-based” education the Commission has found most effective at breaking down stigma. As a former nurse and person with lived experience of mental health problems, Ms. Bradley doesn’t shy away from taking a tough love approach. She holds up a mirror to her audiences, imploring them to confront the self-stigma that too often prevents nurses, doctors and first responders from seeking help for their own mental health concerns.
Nurses face sky-high rates of burnout, are weighed down by the crisis of compassion fatigue, and are contending with rising rates of operational stress injuries. And it is within this context that Ms. Bradley boldly calls on nurses to acknowledge their authentic experience and build on their innate resiliency to work together to better serve patients and support each other as colleagues.