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The Costs and Benefits of Recruiting and Retaining People with Mental Illness

Tuesday September 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

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The term Aspiring Workforce describes those people who, due to mental illness, have been unable to enter the workforce, or who are in and out of the workforce due to episodic illness, or who wish to return to work after a lengthy period of illness.  The Aspiring Workforce are an untapped source of labour who can play an important role in addressing urgent business needs and skills shortages.  Join Rebecca Gewurtz from McMaster University, Michael MacDonald from Jazz airlines and Krista Benes from the Mental Health Commission of Canada as we explore the business case for hiring and retaining individuals with a mental illness.​

In this webinar we will:
  • Review the business case for hiring, accommodating and supporting workers with mental illness.
  • Share the results of a study, led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, that builds the business case for employers to recruit and retain individuals living with a mental illness.  The business case includes qualitative and quantitative findings that outlines the benefits, and ongoing challenges, of hiring and supporting individuals with a mental illness.
  • Share the experiences, from an employer perspective, on actively recruiting and retaining individuals with mental illness – starting with a critical understanding of the work being done. we creatively look for ways to allow individuals opportunities to contribute to productivity goals while respecting their health management needs.  Tactics such as alternative scheduling, modified tasks, and informal support will be explored.  ​

Rebecca Gewurtz PhD​

Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz is an occupational therapist and associate professor in the School or Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Her research is focused on work disability policy, income security, employment supports among people living with mental illness and other episodic disabilities in Canada. She uses primarily qualitative methods in her research but has collaborated on projects using quantitative and mixed method approaches to examine the experiences of people with disabilities in Canada as they seek and retain employment, or apply for income replacement benefits.

​Krista Benes​

Program Manager, Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Krista Benes is a Program Manager in Workplace Mental Health at the Mental Health at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Her experience working in frontline mental health and conducting research in career development, unemployment and underemployment, give her a unique perspective to lead the Aspiring Workforce file and to identify ways to reduce employment barriers for those living with a mental illness.

Partially funded by:​
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Last Modified: 1/26/2018 3:58 PM