BEYOND THE CHECKBOX
Beyond the Checkbox is a podcast hosted by Dr. Ryan Todd, a psychiatrist, award-winning filmmaker, and founder/CEO of mental health tech company, headversity.
The goal of the show is to help listeners future-proof their organizations through stories of innovation and progressive leadership that pertain to mental wellbeing at work, where they’ve gone above and beyond checking the box. This is accomplished through Dr. Todd diving into hard-hitting topics of mental wellbeing in the workplace with some of the world’s top business leaders, executives, and technologists that are leading exemplary initiatives.
The finale of Season 2 of Beyond the Checkbox features Krista Pell, VP HR at Cenovus Energy, who had the herculean task of leading employee culture during Cenovus and Husky Energy’s merger, which nearly tripled their total employee population. For this episode, Krista speaks on the unique challenges of managing and building culture through a merger of two large organizations, including how to accommodate long established practices of both organizations.
Shannon Abeda is a 2x Olympic athlete in Alpine Skiing, and the only Winter Olympian to represent the country of Eritrea. Just two weeks before the Olympics in Beijing, after three and a half years of training and preparation, Shannon got the devastating news that his funding through the Eritrean National Olympic Committee had fallen through, all but ending his hopes of returning to the Olympics. Enter Patricia Phillips, CEO of PBA Group of Companies, who spearheaded a last-minute sponsorship of Shannon to make his Olympic dreams a reality. This special episode covers Shannon’s amazing story of getting to Beijing, persevering through adversity on every turn, and touching on how mental health impacted his journey.
Samantha Coker is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Apache Industrial Holdings, a Houston-based company the industrial services industry with an industry-leading commitment to safety. Not unlike other industrial organizations who’ve experienced high rates of turnover during the pandemic, Samantha unpacks these issues her industry has faced and some of the unique challenges experienced the past two years. She also talks about building a culture of psychological safety and how that is factoring into retention.
Katherine Salucop is the Vice President of Organizational Development at Alberta Innovates, a purpose-driven organization that has thrived through the pandemic. From her extensive background in elevating employee experience, Katherine discusses how purpose has taken a front and centre role during the pandemic, detailing some of the strategies that have helped build a winning culture in her organization.
Craig Dowden is an award-winning author, a renowned speaker, and a thought leader when it comes to progressive leadership styles and positive psychology in today’s workplace to take organizations to the next level. From his 20+ years consulting business leaders on best practices, Craig shares some tips from his methodology that help leaders and organizations get through turbulent times, which has been especially instructive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the son of a superintendent, Zeke Smith literally grew up in construction. Now as the head of the People Operations at a large Houston commercial construction company, Satterfield & Pontikes, he’s seen the ugly side of construction rear its head in recent years: suicide. Suicide is now the leading cause of fatality in construction, an industry that prides itself on worker safety. This episode dives into why construction has been hit so hard with suicide, and some ways Zeke is lending his voice to build awareness of mental health in the industry.
Leigh-Ann Ing is the Director of Global Wellness and Benefits Strategy at OMERS. Beyond her professional experience in employee mental wellbeing, she has lived through burnout at various points in her career. In this episode, she walks us through handling burnout in high performance cultures and how organizations can better support employees dealing with excessive stress to build a culture of psychological safety.
Season 2 Episode 14 | Piecing Together the Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 | ft. Dr. Scott B. Patten
Dr. Scott B Patten is a professor at the University of Calgary and one of the leading Psychiatric Epidemiologists in the world. Dr. Patten’s research focuses on Major Depressive Disorders, and in this episode he talks about how machine learning is influencing his field, how the pandemic has impacted his work, as well as the research around how our mental health has been affected through the pandemic.
How does social support impact physical and mental injuries? Stephane Grenier is a Canadian veteran, Mental Health Innovator, and author of “After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture”. Stephane is known for his efforts to rehumanize workplaces through peer support, as well as for coining the term Operational Stress Injury to describe psychological injuries caused by military service. In this episode, Stephane discusses his transition out of the military, social support and its impact on mental health, how to develop a support network within your organization, and more details about his experiences.
Do you ever wonder how athletes like Andre De Grasse deal with immense stress so they can perform consistently under pressure? How they appear so calm in the big moment despite the gravity of the situation? Elite athletes are not just physical specimens – they put in serious work on the mental side to prepare for big performances. This special episode we had a special chance to visit with 10x Olympic and World Championship Medalist, Andre De Grasse, in his last hours on North American soil before the Olympics in Tokyo. He takes us through what it takes to perform mentally and some of his routines that have led to him becoming the most decorated Canadian male Olympian of all time.
Gregory John is the President of Four Peaks Development, a company built around creating opportunities for Indigenous people in the energy sector. As someone who is Metis, Gregory has done amazing work brokering relationships between First Nations and organizations, particularly in resource development. Gregory speaks with us about Indigenous relations with corporate partners in the oil & gas sector and the important work of building bridges that is being done in this space.
Andrea Hardie is the Director of Health & Safety at Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), an organization that looks after important health, safety, and environmental initiatives in the Oil & Gas sector, working with over 200 organizations in Canada. She and Ryan discuss the progress of mental health in the Oil & Gas sector, how stigma still affects change, and how mental health now sits front and center in the health & safety discussion.
A special episode of Beyond the Checkbox took place live at the HRD HR Mental Health 2021 conference on May 11th, where Ryan had the opportunity to moderate a panel that included Nabeela Ixtaban, EVP of People & Corporate Affairs at Walmart Canada, Sandy McIntosh, EVP People & Culture and CHRO at TELUS, and Sapna Mahajan, Director, Genomics and Society and Genome Canada. This group of powerhouse leaders discussed how to shape the workplace of tomorrow by building a strong foundation for mental health and employee wellbeing.
Rob Vanstone is a Sports Editor and Columnist with the Regina Leader-Post, where he is well known for covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team. On Bell Let’s Talk day in January of 2021, Rob disclosed to the world that he has been suffering from mental illness for much of his life, living in the shadows of stigma, where it took years to even admit to his wife what he was going through. Rob discusses his mental health story, how he’s lived with anxiety and depression, and how it’s impacted him since disclosing to the world.
Gethin Nadin is an award-winning psychologist and employee wellbeing expert. His book, titled A World of Good, saw him travel around the world and glean lessons from what organizations are doing – or not doing – when it comes to engaging with employees on a human level. This episode covers the shift to putting employee experience front and center for organizations and why this is now so critical.
Dr. Bill Howatt joined us nearly one year ago, early in the pandemic, and spoke about the effects he anticipated COVID-19 would have on workforce mental health. Now one year later, and on the cusp of releasing his new book, “The Cure for Loneliness”, this conversation covers the full spectrum of workplace mental health, where we’ve been, and where things are going. If you enjoyed the first conversation with Bill, this follow-up is a must!
Rob Stephenson is the founder and CEO of FormScore and InsideOut LeaderBoard and has had personal experience living with bipolar disorder, where he was first diagnosed at the age of 30. Rob lived through mental health stigma throughout his career, where he hid his mental-ill health from colleagues and said he was attending physio appointments when he was in fact receiving regular mental health therapy. Upon disclosing of his illness, Rob became a public speaker and mental health thought leader, where he’s also become an entrepreneur to chase his passion of smashing the stigma of mental health through his work.
Dr. Rahim Kachra has been instrumental on the front lines of the healthcare system during the COVID-19 struggle, training physicians at Foothills Hospital to help when cases surge and supplies are limited. Dr. Kachra joined us on the podcast in the early stages of COVID, and now almost exactly one year later he joins us for an update on how things are going for him and his colleagues as the pandemic continues.
Karla Kochan is the Chief People Officer at Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), and joined us on the podcast to talk about the unique mental health challenges faced by the farming community during the pandemic. She also spoke about how they’ve had to train employees who interface with farmers in how to have the mental health conversation, the urgency of doing this and the overall shift to prioritize mental health within their organization.
The modern workplace is one that must create safe spaces for employees to live their truths and be their authentic selves. In the case of David McDine, this safe space provided by their employer as they came out as genderqueer was a life-changing experience. David McDine is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NAIT and walks us through their journey of coming out as genderqueer, how their employer put on a masterclass of allyship and how the experience has been so transformative.
Tyler Smith and Ryan Straschnitzki are survivors of the devastating bus crash in April, 2018 that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos organization and shook everyone around the globe. Coming up on 3 years since the tragedy, Tyler and Ryan walk us through life after the accident, how they are coping mentally with everything they’ve experienced and how they’re helping others by sharing their stories.
Part 2 of our season’s best of, featuring some of our favorite interviews from Season 1. This episode highlights conversations with the CEO of EdApp, Darren Winterford, workplace mental health thought leader and multi-published author, Dr. Bill Howatt, and former NHL goaltender and TV broadcaster, Kelly Hrudey.
One full season of Beyond the Checkbox is in the books! In this ‘Best of’ episode, we feature clips from some of our favorite conversations including former NHL player, anti-abuse and anti-bullying advocate, Sheldon Kennedy, ATB Financial CEO, Curtis Stange, and Founder of Depressed While Black, Imadé.
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