VRA Alberta Education Day and 2015 AGM

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Friday, February 6, 2015
Registration opens at 8:30 am
Program runs from 9:00 am to 4:15 pm

Continuing Education

VRA Alberta's Education Day and 2015 AGM is approved for the following Continuing Education credits:

Organization Status General Ethics
VRA Canada Approved 6.5 0
CVRP Approved 6.5 0
CCRC Not applicable: VRA Alberta will not be applying for CCRC credit.

Ethics Opportunity - Earn 2 CEUs Free*
Following your confirmed participation in the VRA Alberta Education Day, you will be given the unique opportunity to earn 2 Ethics CEUs for free.

On February 9, 2015 all VRA Alberta Education Day participants will be sent the course opportunity below via email.  You will have until March 9, 2015 to complete and submit.  No late requests or completions will be accepted.

Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (#9173)
Continuing Education; Becoming Familiar with the Code of Ethics

If you have not received your ethics course opportunity by 5:00 pm on February 9, 2015 please contact the office for assistance at info@vracanada.com.


9:00 am to
10:15 am
Micheal Pietrus
Director, Opening Minds, Mental Health Commission of Canada
10:15 am to
10:30 am
Coffee Break
10:30 am to
11:45 am
Margret Vivian, BA (Psych), RRP, CCRC
Lead Rehabilitation Consultant, Great-West Life Assurance Company
11:45 am to
12:00 pm
Working Lunch for AGM Attendees
Lunch Break for non-members
12:00 pm to
1:00 pm
Annual General Meeting (AGM Alberta Society)
1:00 pm to
2:30 pm
Lesley McIntyre, B.A. Hons. Psych, RRP
Vocational Consultant, Manager Regina Region;
Project Manager, SaskEnergyTransGas
2:30 pm to
2:45 pm
Coffee Break
2:45pm to
Lesley McIntyre, B.A. Hons. Psych, RRP (cont'd)
Vocational Consultant, Manager Regina Region;
Project Manager, SaskEnergyTransGas

Micheal Pietrus

Director, Opening Minds
Mental Health Commission of Canada

  • Under Micheal’s leadership as Director of Opening Minds, the Commission launched its 10-year anti-stigma / anti-discrimination initiative designed to change the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians towards people living with mental illness.
  • Opening Minds is the largest systematic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Canadian history.
  • Opening Minds is an important priority for the Commission because many people living with mental health issues say that the stigma associated with mental illness is often worse than the illness itself. It is a significant barrier keeping individuals dealing with mental health illness from seeking help.
  • Organized and Co-chaired Together Against Stigma. More than 700 delegates from 29 countries attended this international anti-stigma conference in Ottawa in 2012.
  • Micheal is the Co- chair of the Global Alliance Against Stigma, which is composed of close to 20 organizations from around the world working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness
  • He is a member of the advisory committee for the Centre for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment, San Francisco, CA and until recently sat on the Albert Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addictions
  • Micheal was also a Director with the Alberta Mental Health Board (AMHB).

Presentation Topic:
Healthcare providers are compassionate people who seek to help others. They also carry a huge responsibility…a covenant to do no harm. But what happens when they become a barrier to wellness? The stigma associated with mental illness is one of the major obstacles preventing people from seeking help. Many report the stigma they experience is often worse than the illness itself. Some of the most deeply felt stigma comes from frontline healthcare providers. This presentation will provide an overview of the work conducted by Opening Minds, the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s anti-stigma initiative. Its goal is to identify and evaluate programs that reduce stigma and then promote the replication of successful programs. One of the areas of study for Opening Minds has been anti-stigma programs specifically aimed at healthcare providers.

Margret Vivian, BA (Psych), RRP, CCRC

Lead Rehabilitation Consultant , Great-West Life Assurance Company
Margret Vivian (B.A. Psych, RRP, CCRC) has worked with children, families and adults in both the for profit and non profit sectors since 1989.  Margret has provided Rehabilitation Consulting services in a vendor capacity to various Insurance Providers and has worked at a Chronic Pain Clinic.    Margret has been with Great West Life/Canada Life since 1997.  She worked as the GWL Best Practice Team’s Calgary Mental Health Mentor for 3 years.  She is currently the Lead Rehabilitation Consultant with GWL’s Calgary Disability Intervention Services. Margret has completed the Mount Royal University Conflict Resolution Program (Mediation) and has provided Mediation Services with the Alberta Civil Court Mediation program since 2003.

Presentation Topic:
The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre) was established in 2007 and has three main objectives to:

  • Increase knowledge and awareness of workplace psychological health and safety.
  • Improve the ability to respond to mental health issues at work.
  • Turn knowledge into action through practical strategies and tools for employers.

The Centre works to achieve these objectives by:

  • Funding and sponsoring research and initiatives aimed at improving understanding, prevention and management of mental health issues, particularly as they impact the workplace.
  •  Promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange including the sharing of research and survey results.
  •  Supporting the development of programs and resources aimed at improving psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • Supporting psychological health and safety.

The Centre plays a leading role in helping employers foster psychological health and safety in Canadian workplaces:

  • It has been instrumental in funding and developing resources for employers including Guarding Minds @ Work™, Managing Mental Health Matters, Working Through It™, On the Agenda, and much more.
  • Since 2007, we have been conducting national surveys that help inform the development of solutions for employers to foster psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • Survey results reinforced the value of a voluntary standard that provides a framework and guidance for employers who wish to foster a workplace that is psychologically healthy and safe.
  • We have played a key role alongside the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and others in developing the voluntary National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, and will continue to work collaboratively with the MHCC and other organizations to promote psychological health and safety.

Free public resources for employers and employees:

The Centre is a leading source of free, practical tools and resources designed to help Canadian employers with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. All of the Centre's tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, at no cost, on the Centre's website at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com.

Our Workplace Strategies for Mental Health website is the primary vehicle through which we make these resources available to employers and organizations which recognize that a healthier workplace can result in significant and sustainable gains in productivity, recruitment and retention, cost reductions due to lower disability and absentee rates, conflict reduction, and operational success. We're dedicated to helping turn knowledge of mental health issues into cost-effective action plans for employers in Canada.

Lesley McIntyre, B.A. Hons. Psych, RRP,

Vocational Consultant, Manager Regina Region;
Project Manager, SaskEnergyTransGas

Lesley McIntyre completed her BA Honours in psychology at the University of Regina and joined IRC Rehab in 2003. She provides expertise in administering and interpreting vocational assessments, employment preparation, Myers-Briggs and psychometric testing, job search and counselling. She also has extensive experience working with people who suffer from ABI, PTSD and mental health related disabilities. Lesley participated as the Regional Manager for IRC’s CanVet project where she was responsible for hiring and overseeing all vocational rehabilitation specialists who worked directly with the veterans.

Prior to IRC, Lesley worked with a post-secondary vocational facility assisting re-careering clients in resume writing, employability and interview skills, work placements and job search. Lesley took over as President of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada in June 2012 with goals to maintain and expand the national membership, as well as assist in the development of our Centre of Excellence. She is also a member of the Regina Chamber of Commerce and has taught the Youth Worker and Vocational Rehabilitation Worker Certificate Program (Ethics and the Professional Role) through SIAST. Lesley further provided insight on employment, and employment challenges by writing a monthly article in the Regina Leader-Post “Our Tyme” magazine.

Presentation Topic:
Vocational Testing Alternatives. Exploration of various types of vocational assessments used in vocational rehabilitation.

*Ethics Course Disclaimer:  If you have previously taken this course within the past year, please note that you are not eligible to receive additional ethics credit with this special VRA Alberta 2015 Education Day offer.