Together, we can create a healthier and more inclusive future for all workers.
Join the Alberta Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Edmonton on March 7 and 8, 2023 for our sixth annual Working Stronger conference!
As Alberta’s workplace mental health conference, the Working Stronger conference is two days of immersive workshops, empowering keynotes and inspiring stories designed to create and maintain mentally healthy workplaces. Senior leaders, employees, union personnel, diversity and inclusion specialists, frontline service workers, consultants, occupational health and safety specialists, human resource professionals, first responders and health professionals will join us for this in-person workplace mental health conference that brings together attendees from all areas of the workforce who are committed to advancing the mental health conversation in their organizations.
The Working Stronger conference brings together creative and inspiring mental health leaders, engaging panel discussions and workshops, and inspiring stories from individuals living and working with a mental health struggle. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect and gain tools, strategies, resources and supports to become mental health champions in their workplaces.
The Working Stronger conference uses a population health approach that aims to improve the psychological health of the entire workplace and reduce psychological health inequities. The conference is promoted across Alberta and will benefit supervisors, managers, human resource and occupational health and safety coordinators, and workplace champions.
For the first time, four generations are employed in the Canadian workforce, and organizations must adapt their workplace mental health strategies to meet their employees’ changing and diverse needs. The way we work has shifted. We are more connected than ever, greater work-life balance has become a priority for many, and employees are demanding a better workplace culture. Workers now value opportunities to work virtually, flexibly and within more collaborative environments. Wellness programs have become the standard, and leaders recognize the value of investing in their employee’s wellbeing from both the human resources and financial perspectives. Further, stigma around mental illness is breaking down, forcing workplaces to face the impacts of burnout, trauma and other mental health issues head on. Together we will continue to create a healthier and more inclusive future for all workers.
Working Stronger: Back to the Future will feature three conference streams:
1. Reflecting on the Past
Workplace mental health first became a priority in the 1950s when Employee Assistance Programs were introduced. By the 1970s, research began to show the true costs of negative employee health and wellness. Since then, Canadian workplaces have been evolving their workplace mental health policies and employee programs to respond to the emerging need for reduced stigma and better education on mental illnesses. Those who came before us helped shape the way we work today. Parental leave, psychological health and safety standards and peer support are just some examples of how the experiences of workers in history have influenced and created a better economy for everyone.
  • Delegates will have an opportunity to Reflect on the Past by learning from:
    – those who have experienced mental illness or occupational stress injuries in the workplace;
    – researchers who share data trends on effective mental health practices and policies;
    – Indigenous People in Alberta who are gifted with teachings of history and connection to the land; and
    – a diverse group of professionals with experience in multi-generational workforces.
    in multi-generational workforces.   
2. Envisioning the Future 
To build a better future for all, we must work together to visualize a roadmap for psychologically protected workplaces. By asking ourselves what a mentally healthy workplace looks like, we can build connections to tools and supports that enhance safety, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity. Roadmaps help us shape the culture, working conditions, and expectations that create rewarding and impactful careers for the diverse workforce in Alberta. Collaboration is key, and by working together we can bridge gaps and create innovative solutions to industry-wide mental health issues.
Delegates of the Working Stronger conference will be Envisioning the Future by: 
    • – engaging in interactive sessions on visioning a mentally healthy workplace;
    • – speaking with equity, diversity and inclusion experts to create welcoming spaces for everyone; 
    • – discussing the future of the psychological health and safety standards in Canada; and
    • – collaborating on solutions to workplace wellness and mental health. 
3. CELEBRATING RIGHT NOW 
Workplaces play an essential role in maintaining positive mental health for their employees, and many organizations have done it well! The COVID-19 pandemic pushed organizations to embrace new technology and change operations. This need to quickly adapt created new innovations and opportunities for better balance in many Albertan’s lives, allowing some employees to work from home with more flexible schedules, while others added low-barrier mental health supports and programs to their annual budgets. Mental health is now important at all levels of an organization, with Peer Support and EFAP programs becoming the norm. Additionally, workplaces are evaluating their efforts, with research showing the immense return on investment of addressing mental health at work.
The Working Stronger conference will have delegates Celebrating Right Now by:
    • – preparing the workforce for the generation to come; 
    • – engaging in strategy sessions that help organizations use what they have already to create mentally healthy workplaces; 
    • – joining facilitated discussions about successful pilot programs, initiatives, and policies; 
    • – being inspired by motivators of action; and 
    • – learning about programs, resources, and services available to organizations of all sizes and sectors. 
Since 2017, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division has hosted Working Stronger, Alberta’s Workplace Mental Health Conference. The conference is dedicated to supporting mentally healthier workplaces across the province. Each year, the Working Stronger Conference brings together the most creative and inspiring mental health thinkers and leaders in the field to share their experiences and expertise. With informative speakers, engaging panel discussions and comprehensive workshops, we empower delegates to become mental health champions in their workplace.
Tansi — Cree | Oki — Blackfoot | ​Aba washded — Stoney (Nakota) | ​Ɂedlanet’e — Dene |  We respectfully acknowledge that we are on the traditional lands and territories of Indigenous people in Alberta. We want to recognize the significance of our relationships with the land and the peoples who call this ‘home.’ We commit to a reciprocal relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews that honour and respect ways of knowing and being.