Jorgen Gullestrup | CEO, MATES in Construction
Jorgen Gullestrup is the founding CEO of MATES in Construction, Australia’s ground-breaking mental health campaign in the construction industry. MATES in Construction has reduced suicide deaths in the construction industry from over two times the national average.
Gullestrup advocates a strengths-based approach that has resulted in a program with wide acceptance across the industry. He is a passionate voice for co-design that starts with listening to the audience. “I am first and foremost a plumber, and my qualifications to do this work are that I am a plumber,” says Gullestrup. The project has drawn from extensive qualitative and quantitative research, with powerful results.
A licensed plumber by trade, Jorgen migrated to Australia in 1988. He was an elected official of the Plumbers union for 13 years, six as the Queensland state secretary. He became the founding CEO of MATES in Construction in 2007. He holds a Masters in Suicidology, Grad Certificate in Suicide Prevention, a Diploma in Community Welfare and Development and an Associate Diploma in Labour Studies.
Megan McPhee | Principal, Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC
Megan B. McPhee is a principal with Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers. Practising in both the prosecution and defence of class actions, Megan acts on a wide range of cases including securities, competition, insurance, medical product liability and pharmaceutical class actions. She has served as counsel before all levels of court in Ontario and at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Megan appears in the Thomson Reuters 2012 and 2013 issues of the US/Canada Guide to Leading Cross-border Litigation Lawyers as a Litigation Lawyer to Watch and was named a 2012 Lexpert Rising Star, Leading Lawyers Under 40. Megan’s significant retainers include representing the plaintiff in a class action against the Attorney General of Canada alleging gender- and sexual-orientation based discrimination, bullying and harassment of female RCMP members.
Megan is Co-Editor of the Kim Spencer McPhee Class Action Monitor, a reporter published by Thomson Reuters. The Kim Spencer McPhee Class Action Monitor provides bi-weekly updates on material developments in the class action practice across Canada. A regular publisher, she has also appeared as a panelist at several class action conferences.
Dr. Evan Wood | Executive Director, BC Centre on Substance Use
Dr. Wood is an addiction medicine physician, a UBC Canada Research Chair and the Executive Director of the BC Centre on Substance Use. He is an advocate for all evidence-based interventions to prevent and reduce the challenges presented by substance use from harm reduction programs to recovery oriented systems of care. Dr. Wood is engaged with all levels of government as well as with family groups, persons in recovery and peer groups representing persons who use drugs, working to chart a new course for society’s response to substance use. A Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, he received a Physician of the Year award from the British Medical Journal for his ground-breaking research in the area of drug addiction, has consulted for the World Health Organization and US National Institutes of Health and provided expert advice to the BC Supreme Court and Supreme Court of Canada.
Dr. Joti Samra | R Psych, Dr. Joti Samra & Associates
Dr. Joti Samra is a national thought leader on issues relating to mental health. She is the Principal and Founder of MyWorkplaceHealth.com. She is an innovator in the area of psychological health and safety in the workplace, and has been the lead on a number of pivotal national workplace projects that have contributed to policy change in Canada. Dr. Samra pursues a full spectrum of research, consulting, and educational activities in the field of workplace health. She is the lead developer of Guarding Minds @ Work (GM@W) : A Workplace Guide to Psychological Safety and Health, and the principal developer of Managing Emotions, both commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. Born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Dr. Samra holds a Ph.D. in clinical-forensic psychology from Simon Fraser University and is a registered clinical psychologist with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia.
Victoria Maxwell | BFA/BPP, Crazy for Life Co.
Since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis, Victoria has become one of North America’s sought after speakers on the lived experience of mental illness, recovery and work. Her one-person shows tour across North America and have garnered awards in both the United States and Canada. You will also find Victoria blogging for Psychology Today under ‘Crazy for Life: Escapades of a Bipolar Princess’
Since 2004, she has been presenting keynote performances and workshops to conferences in Canada and the States helping health professionals, individuals and families better understand the ‘insider’s’ experience of mental illness and recovery. Her programs and shows offer tools and hope to build wellness and reduce stigma of this, one of the very last taboos.
*Bachelor of Fine Arts / Bi-Polar Princess
Jordan Friesen | National Director, Workplace Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health Association, National
Jordan is an enthusiastic, committed, and forward-thinking leader at the helm of CMHA’s workplace programs and services across the country. He draws experience from a wide variety of roles including clinical service delivery, case management, education, and organizational development to ensure that CMHA remains at the forefront of workplace wellness trends and in tune with the needs of Canadian workplaces. Jordan brings a strengths-based approach and focuses on long-term, sustainable change in order to improve the health of today’s evolving workplaces.
Emma Ashurst | Senior Occupational Health & Safety Specialist and CCOHS Mental Health Champion
As senior occupational health and safety specialist at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Emma provides technical advice and guidance through the Inquiries service to employers, employees and government officials on a variety of workplace health and safety topics such as mental health, ergonomics, how to address physical hazards, health promotion and wellness initiatives, violence and bullying prevention strategies and building comprehensive health and safety programs.
Emma works on various projects at the Centre such as researching and writing OSH Answers fact sheets, and providing client support for the Guarding Minds at Work web tool. Emma travels the country speaking on workplace mental health and is a media spokesperson for CCOHS. She is also widely involved in many of the Centre’s internal initiatives, and is one of two appointed mental health champions at CCOHS with responsibilities that include implementing the CSA Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace at the Centre.
Emma received both a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Post Graduate Degree Diploma, in Occupational Health and Safety Management from the University of Western Ontario.
Lucette Wesley | CIM, CMHA Certified Trainer
Lucette is a certified trainer for Mental Health Works and Psychological Health and Safety Advisor for the Canadian Mental Health Association. She understands the impact presenteeism, absenteeism, and disability has on an organization and the challenges managers face in addressing these, particularly in the area of workplace mental health.
Lucette has over 25 years of experience as Manager/Director of large disability claims operations responsible for up to 200 staff. Her expertise in disability management and her broad understanding of related fields is the foundation for providing support and innovation in disability management programs with employers, including large corporate, union and municipal plans. She was selected as one of the top 50 Women of Influence in the Canadian Insurance Industry by The Insurance and Investment Journal in 2014.
Lucette has been a long-time supporter of the CMHA as a Steering Committees member for the Bottom Line Conference and Women & Wellness events. She has trained in Mental Health First Aid and the Community Gatekeeper Program (Suicide Prevention). She is the Past President of the BC Collaborative for Disability Prevention and the BC Lymphedema Association where she was an Editorial Board member for the national magazine Pathways. Lucette has actively promoted and supported mental health initiatives in her current and past workplaces and the external community.
Dr. Dan Bilsker | Psychologist, Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC and Adjunct Professor, School of Health Sciences, SFU
Psychologist Dan Bilsker, PhD, provides individual psychotherapy, conducts applied research to change the way mental health services are delivered and provides consultation to organizations on psychological health and safety. His academic appointments are Clinical Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University. He is Co-Director of Vancouver Psych Health & Safety. Dan has developed and disseminated workbooks to build psychological resilience, with 800,000 of these downloaded worldwide since 2009.
Dr. Greg Anderson | Dean of Applied Research and Graduate Studies, JIBC
Dr. Greg Anderson is the Dean of Applied Research and Graduate Studies at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and an Associate Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment.
In both positions, Greg carries his passion for improving the well-being of Canadian public safety personnel, their colleagues, their organizations, and their families through world class research resulting in evidence-informed practices, policies, and programs for all public safety personnel in Canada.
Trudi Rondou | Chair, BC First Responder Mental Health Committee
Trudi Rondou is a senior manager in industry and labour services at WorkSafeBC. She’s spent the last decade working with numerous industry and labour groups to reduce workplace injuries and improve return to work outcomes. Over the last three years, Trudi’s focus has expanded to include workplace mental health. She currently serves as Chair of the BC First Responders Mental Health Committee. Trudi speaks at conferences and gatherings around the province on new and young worker safety, health and safety management systems, and promoting positive mental health in the workplace. She was recently the Master of Ceremonies at the inaugural BC First Responders Mental Health Conference.
Steve Fraser | Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
Steve Fraser is an Acting Captain of Mental Health and Wellness for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VF&RS) and the coordinator for VF&RS critical incident stress management team. With over 20 years of experience in the fire service, he has taken his knowledge and expertise in the field and applied it to firefighter-specific programs, training, and education. Steve is the co-author of the Resilient Minds program of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vancouver Fraser Branch. Steve is also an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and a certified Field Traumatologist with the Canadian Traumatology Institute. In 2017, Steve was the recipient of the Firefighter of the Year award for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service. In addition to his work with VF&RS, Steve also sits on the BCPFFA Mental Health task force and is involved with nationwide research groups, collaborating with the University of Regina, Western University, McMasters University and Firewell, a health and wellness community for firefighters.
Richard Consalvi | Lookout Society
Since 2012, Richard has been working within the vulnerable sector working with adults that live with and experience mental health, addiction and homeless issues. He started getting involved with the British Columbia Government and Services Employees Union in 2017 as a Shop Steward, Occupational Health and Safety Rep and Labour Management Rep. In 2018, Richard was elected as a Provincial Executive Member of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union to represent members within the Community Health Sector. Born in New Westminster and residing in Surrey BC, Richard studied Addiction and Community Support Work at CDI College.
Laird Cronk | President, BCFED
Laird Cronk was elected BCFED President in November 2018. Laird is a Red Seal Electrician and a 33-year member of IBEW Local 230. For the past four years, he chaired the BCFED’s Apprenticeship and Skills Training Working Group and is a board member of the provincial Industry Training Authority.