Meet Our Speaker: Denyse McFadden

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Spark Conference 2024, Speaker Series

This week we are learning about our SPARK speaker Denyse McFadden

Please introduce yourself in 10 words or less.

I am the AVP of Disability Management and Occupational Health

What is the name of your presentation?

Return to Work and Accommodations for Mental Health

What is a key takeaway you’re hoping the audience leaves with?

A better understanding of how employees with Mental Health conditions can be accommodated in the workplace

Why should this topic be important to our conference attendees?

1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health condition, and it is estimated that 1 in 3 will take time away from work. The cost of MH illness to the Canadian economy is estimated at over $50 billion annually. Finding ways to provide accommodations for these employee can decrease costs, improve employee morale and retention and help reduce stigma.

What’s a question you hope to be asked following your session?

What is the best way to stay connected with an employee who is away from work due to a mental health condition?

What is something people may not know about you?

Throughout my career I have worked in many different ‘sides’ of disability management (WSIB, group benefits insurer, self-employed consultant to WSIB, employers, lawyers, third party provider, employer). This provides me with insight to see things from different perspectives.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why? What question would you ask them?

Ashok Vaswani – past CEO of Barclays UK. Was the executive sponsor of the launch of the This is Me campaign; a program that encourages employees to share their personal stories, with an aim to foster a more supportive workplace and reduce the stigma of MH conditions. I would ask him to share the strategies he used to get support and buy-in for this program and if the program results lead to what he had envisioned.

What is a book do recommend for people in the audience?

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. It highlights the importance of creating supportive environments and identifies how making employees feel valued/putting people first is key to building strong teams and achieving results.

How do you see the industry evolving over the next five years?

I am hopeful we get to a place with no stigma, or at least less stigma with MH conditions where workplaces are more open to accommodations.

How can people connect with you after the conference? or 519.820.1574

Anything else you’d like to add for people attending the conference?

Come with your questions – I love it when I can help with challenging situations.