Beyond the Checkbox is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Dr. Ryan Todd, a psychiatrist, award-winning filmmaker, and founder/CEO of mental health tech startup, 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 wellness 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 wellness in the workplace with some of the world’s top business leaders, executives, and technologists that are leading exemplary initiatives.


Episode 19 | The Evolution of Mobile Learning in a COVID World [NEW]

Darren Winterford is the CEO of EdApp, an Australian-based tech company that has built a market-leading mobile LMS platform and have gone against the trend, experiencing 300%+ growth during COVID-19. This episode covers everything from managing a culture in a fast growing and international workforce, to how mobile learning is paving the way for organizations in the new COVID world. 

Episode 18 | The Mental State of the Energy Sector

A recent study published out of the University of Houston reports employee uneasiness of returning to work due to COVID-19 in the energy sector. Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti is the Chief Energy Officer and Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller is a Professor of Industrial Organizational Psychology, both at the University of Houston. The two of them were principal researchers in the study, and they joined the podcast to speak about their findings.

Episode 17 | How Workforce Mental Health is Affecting HR | with Kaitlyn Apfelbeck

Kaitlyn Apfelbeck is an HR Consultant and founder of Hello HR. Her extensive HR background includes being in a high growth business that quadrupled in size in a very condensed period, and now consults small and medium sized businesses on their HR needs with Hello HR. Kaitlyn joins us to discuss the ‘compassion fatigue’ of HR professionals as they deal with a spike in mental health conversations throughout the pandemic and how HR are acting as front-line psychologists for the workplace today.

Episode 16 | Building Towards the Post Pandemic Workplace | with Jared Lindzon

Jared Lindzon has been an authoritative voice during the pandemic, penning articles that are helping guide businesses and leaders to survive in this ‘new normal’ we are all facing in the pandemic. His work has been featured in the Globe & Mail, The Guardian, the Toronto Star, Fast Company, and Rolling Stone, to name a few. Jared talks about why ‘soft skills’ are so important now, and what businesses will need to do to have staying power in the post pandemic workplace.

Episode 15 | How Our Brains Respond in the Brave New Workplace| with Dr. Michael Mousseau, PhD

Dr. Michael Mousseau is a PhD in neuroscience, studying neurotransmitters in the brain such as oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, which he now applies to workplace productivity and best practices for employee engagement with Gallagher Benefit Services, one of the largest consulting firms in North America. Dr. Mousseau talks to us about all things workplace productivity and in particular, how our brains are responding to the added stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 14 | The Evolution of Police Force Mental Health| with Sergeant Beth Milliard, PhD

Dr. Beth Milliard is a Sergeant with the York Regional Police in Ontario, Canada. She’s developed a Peer Support Unit that is dedicated to providing York Regional Police members and their families with important mental health services and support. Beth is tasked with creating and implementing a mental health strategy for all York Regional Police Employees, and shares with us how this has evolved in her 17 years on the force. She also touches on the important happenings of black lives matter and how the police are being trained to handle escalated mental health situations on the front line today.

Episode 13 | What it's Like to be Depressed While Black| with Imadé [NEW]

With everything going on with Black Lives Matter, this week’s episode takes a critical look at mental healthcare and how it too plays a part in systemic racism in today’s society. Our special guest, Imadé, is an award-winning writer that’s been featured in major publications including Vice, The Huffington Post, Refinery 29, Forbes, The Mighty, and many others. She’s also the co-founder of Depressed While Black, a movement that has created a voice for the black community who’ve been affected by mental illness.

Episode 12 | How COVID-19 Has Elevated the Mental Health Focus Globally | with Wendy Poirier

COVID-19 has brought many issues to light, but arguably its biggest impact collectively has been on our mental health. Global Well-being Leader, Wendy Poirier of Willis Towers Watson, has consulted organizations all over the world on best practices in leading mental health programs through this pandemic. Wendy joins the podcast as a leading expert in organizational well-being and mental health, and shares her worldly experience on this issue as it has been elevated through COVID-19.

Episode 11 | How to Lead from the Heart and Still Get Results | with Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley is the author of the Amazon top 100 best seller book on workplace culture, ‘Lead from the Heart’. Mark reveals how the movement behind Lead From the Heart initially had slow adoption in business circles, and discusses how the concept is now gaining traction with leaders of top organizations around the world. The episode centers on a key finding that leading through empathy doesn’t mean compromising your business goals, rather that it can be a tremendous help in achieving them.

Episode 10 | The Mental Side of Sport | with Evan Rand

Evan Rand is the Director of Hockey Operations at the United States Hockey League. His organization has taken a leading stance among amateur and professional sports leagues on a number of social issues including diversity and inclusion, and this past season, mental health. Evan joins the podcast to discuss this shift in preparation as teams, coaches, and players begin to embrace the mental side of the game to improve their overall wellbeing.

Episode 9 | The Importance of Mental Fitness | with Dr. Bill Howatt

Dr. Bill Howatt is one of the most influential thought leaders in workplace mental health today. Dr. Howatt is the Chief of Research and Workforce Productivity for the Conference Board of Canada. He also runs Howatt HR Consulting which has worked with leadership groups on addiction and mental health for over 25 years, is the co-creator of the Your Life at Work initiative through the Globe & Mail, and is a multi-book author, including his most recent entry ‘Stop Hiding and Start Living’. Dr. Howatt discusses his fascinating back story, how we should be prioritizing our Mental Fitness, and the mental health of the workforce as back to work plans have begun.

Episode 8 | Breaking Down the 'Standard' for Psychological Health & Safety | with Mary Ann Baynton

Mary Ann Baynton has been dubbed the ‘Godmother’ of Psychological Health & Safety. She’s formerly Co-Chair, and now member, of the Technical Committee for the National Standard of Canada: Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Mary Ann breaks down ‘The Standard’  and helps shed light on how employers today can develop a psychologically safe workplace.

Episode 7 | The Toll of COVID-19 on Physicians' Mental Wellbeing - with Dr. Rahim Kachra

Dr. Rahim Kachra is a General Internal Medicine Specialist at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. He is also on a task force of about thirty doctors that are planning for this COVID-19 crisis and what is coming, including: increase in death rates, shortage of ICU beds, limited medical supplies, recommending social distancing measures, and emergency planning around deaths of front-line medical professionals. Dr. Kachra speaks about the crisis at hand, what he terms ‘preTSD’ about what’s coming, and how he and his colleagues are handling everything mentally.

Episode 6 | Employer Obligations in COVID Crisis Mode - with Ben Kormos and Kent Jesse

The worldwide COVID pandemic has everyone looking for answers. From an employers perspective, what are your obligations during this time of crisis? Benjamin Kormos and Kent Jesse, partners at the law firm Walsh LLP, specialize in employment law and dive into all the burning questions that employers are asking themselves as we navigate this transition to a remote workforce.

Episode 5 | Finding the Right Balance - with Kelly Hrudey

Kelly Hrudey is a Canadian hockey icon. From his NHL playing days to his broadcasting career with CBC, Sportsnet, and Hockey Night in Canada, few have touched the game of hockey like Kelly has. In recent years Kelly has also been a vocal advocate for mental health, inspired by challenges his family faced through his daughter’s personal experiences. Kelly opens up about his daughter Kaitlin’s story, challenges of his own, and how he managed to find the right balance of work, family, and relaxation throughout his illustrious career in hockey. All this…and many legendary hockey stories from his 30+ year career in professional hockey.

Episode 4 | Pushing Past 'The Way We've Always Done Things' - with Kara Gillespie

Kara Gillespie is the VP of People and Culture in one of the largest transport companies in the world – Trimac Transportation. In such an established company it can be hard to break the mold of tradition. Kara takes us through her experience in HR of navigating change in a traditional organization and industry, and why invoking a culture of psychological safety is so critical in the industrial sector.

Episode 3 - Taking Responsibility for Your Mental Health - with Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon Kennedy is a former NHL player and has led numerous initiatives that have advocated for children and victims of abuse. Most recently he’s founded the Respect Group, which has certified over 1.3 Million people in workplaces across Canada in bullying, harassment, and discrimination training. On this episode, Sheldon shares his remarkable story as an abuse victim and how these experiences have shaped his life, including the revelation where he discovered he was responsible for his mental health.

Episode 2 - Maintaining Culture in a Growing Company - with Stephanie McDonald

Parkland Fuel is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, expanding from about 300 employees in 2016 to 5,000 in 2019. Stephanie McDonald, Senior VP of People & Culture with Parkland Fuel, talks with Dr. Todd about the challenges this expedited growth brings to an organization’s culture, and how it affects their recruitment strategy and talent retention when trying to maintain that culture.

Episode 1 - Why Mental Wellness Makes Good Business Sense - with Curtis Stange

Curtis Stange is the President and CEO of ATB Financial, and is highly involved with mental health in the Calgary community and throughout Alberta. Curtis highlights the business case for why mental wellness matters at work and outlines the responsibility leaders have to build a culture of care. He also talks about how he’s done this with ATB Financial, and how they’ve laid the foundation for metrics to measure impact of mental health programs.



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