2nd Annual Mental Wellness in the
Workplace Conference

Better Minds.
Better Business.

Summary of the Mental Wellness in the Workplace Conference held in February 2020



8:00 AM – 4:45 PM

Agenda is subject to change without notice

Speaker's Info


Belleville Harbourview
Conference Centre

11 Bay Bridge Road, Belleville, ON, K8P 3P6   |  +1-613-968-3411

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast Provided
Visit Our Community Showcase

9:00 a.m.


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Leo Phillips

Human Resources and Projects Administrator

Sandra Leslie

Executive Director, META Employment Services


Wihse (Michael) Green ~ Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

Greetings and Thanksgiving Address


David Joyce

Director of Riding Affairs at Todd Smith, MPP Bay of Quinte


Kelly McCaw

Councillor, City of Belleville

9:30 a.m.

Funny, You Don’t Look Crazy

Funny, You Don’t Look Crazy is the much anticipated ‘sister’ keynote presentation to Victoria Maxwell’s hit Crazy for Life. This award-winning high energy, irreverent one-woman show is the second installment of her bipolar escapades, capturing the world of work before, during and after bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis.

Follow her mad dash from acting to cashiering to wearing backless hospital greens, participating in vocational rehab with job coaches and back into employment again.

This true-life story both entertains and educates, exploding stigmas and revealing glimpses of one face of psychiatric illness and the journey back to work. But at its essence, the play is a celebration of the richness of life, the strength of the human spirit and the power of the human heart. Audience members walk away with an expanded vision not of what’s improbable, but instead of what is possible.

10:30 a.m.

Visit Our Community Showcase

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Morning Breakout Sessions



Katharine Davis

Participants will learn about the importance of living their practice. Beyond a kitchy or trendy movement, mindfulness is, by design, transformative. I will be helping participants work their wellness practice into every day, not just game day.


Jeannette Campbell ~ CEO, ODEN

Discussions of various strategies on ways to have conversations with businesses around creating a culture of diversity & inclusion.

Enterprise ROOM

Cheryl Dupré

Victoria Maxwell, Gary Gzik, Sandra Leslie, Gary MacDonald

A facilitated question and answer session on the importance of Mental Wellness in the Workplace from the lens of lived experience, business case, programming, and human resources perspectives.

12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.


Lunch Provided

Visit Our Community Showcase

12:45 p.m.


Midday Reset

We Thrive

1:00 p.m.



Melissa Davis

Representative, Office of Neil R. Ellis, MP Bay of Quinte

The Orange Popsicle, Gary Gzik ~ BizXcel Inc.

Only when people feel their best, are they able to bring their best. In this keynote, Gary Gzik shows you how to create a happier, more fulfilling life by working on yourself first. This starts by clearly identifying your “someday” and then working towards it by removing mental blocks around attitude, resiliency, confidence, and motivation.

2:15 p.m.

Visit Our Community Showcase

2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions



Suzanne Witt-Foley

Prioritizing what is important can be challenging in today’s world. Many of us feel pulled in so many different directions. With multiple demands and responsibilities piling up, it can seem that the only way to protect our sanity is to withdraw, cocoon and isolate. It turns out this might not be the best solution. The fact is, we live in a growing culture of individualism and isolation. A time when electronic connection has taken the place of human connection.

Join Suzanne Witt-Foley and explore the powerful antidote that runs counter to these forces. Turns out that our very sanity hinges on our social connectedness, our sense of inclusion and feelings of belonging. This keynote presentation will help us understand the true power of connection.


Stacey Love Jolicoeur

“Creating LGBTQ2S Cultural Competency”, is a learning opportunity to provide the tools and resources to better equip you when dealing with someone from this community. In this interactive workshop you will take away:

  • gained insight and knowledge of the LGBTQ2S culture;
  • understand some of the struggles of this sector of people;
  • have gained terminology and understanding of how to effectively communicate with LGBTQ2S folk without offending and or unintentionally hurting someone.

Enterprise ROOM

Todd Buchanan

Presentation set to music with statistics on how others view individuals with an addiction or mental health concern. This includes how people are treated in the workplace.  Discussion and presentation of experiences and difficulties people face.

4:00 p.m.



Dr. Julie Gowthorpe

How can we create mental resilience proactively to reduce the financial and emotional cost for employees and employers?  Based upon research showing, for every dollar employers spent on mental health, the median return on investment was $1.62 by the third year and increases over time (Deloitte, 2019). This talk delivers a blueprint to get the conversation going within any organization. 

4:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Please visit our Community Showcase, to learn about resources for mental wellness directly from the organizations that provide them!
Please visit our Community Showcase, to learn about resources for mental wellness directly from the organizations that provide them!


Victoria Maxwell, BFA, BPP

A performing artist and workshop leader.

Blending 30 years as an actor, and 15 as a wellness warrior, Victoria inspires people to take immediate action to improve their well-being.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has endorsed her one-of-a-kind keynote performances as one of the top anti-stigma interventions that creates lasting shifts.

She was named one of Canada’s top leaders in Mental Health by the National Centre for Addiction and Mental Health centre (CAMH) and honoured with the National Difference Makers award.

Her plays, keynotes and other efforts have won or been nominated for over 14 awards. They include the Entertainment Industries Council PRISM Award, SAMHSA Voice Award, best foreign stage play at the Moondance International Film Festival, and one of Top Ten Entrepreneurs with Disabilities.

Gary Gzik

Presenter, trainer

Gary Gzik is a well-respected CEO. An exceptional speaker known for his fierce passion for organizational management, his ability to engage workplaces and help them achieve success.

Gary transformed into an inspirational, admirable and successful business man with his unique management techniques and soon joined with a data solutions company to ensure clients were making healthy organizational decisions through their people, processes, planning and information – known as BizXcel Inc.

He has written two personal development books, The Orange Popsicle and The Power of Re. Gary is defined by his love for teaching and building the great leaders of tomorrow. He inspires others with his enthusiastic character.

Gary is actively involved in every area of leadership development at BizXcel Inc., with his talent of a dynamic, corporate soft-skills trainer it allows his clients to gain a vast amount of value in every interaction.

Dr. Julie Gowthorpe, RSW


Dr. Julie Gowthorpe, RSW provides individual (adults, teens and children), couple therapy, and family therapy for a wide range of issues. In addition to counselling services, she, along with her associates, offers custody assessment, mediation services, parenting capacity assessment and parenting plans. She also offers clinical consultation and expert opinion in the area of child welfare, adolescent therapy, parental alienation and clinically managed access.

Katharine Davis

Facilitator, Wellness Coach

Company Name: Strategies On Purpose
-Facilitate sustainable change in behaviours
-Identify personal values
-Transforming goals into ‘next steps’
-Encouraging Inner Wisdom

Stacey Love-Jolicoeur, CCDI

Presenter of Diversity, Acceptance and Inclusion

Stacey is an Educator and Support Worker for the LGBTQ2S community primarily much of her work is within correctional institutions where she provides training on “Creating LGBTQ2S Cultural Competency”. she also facilitated and co- facilitates LGBTQ2S & friends groups for offenders, along with 1:1peer support. Stacey created and facilitates a Reintegration program for Trans specific offenders with a set release date. This reintegration program works diligently to allow the person sucess back into the community.

Suzanne Witt-Foley, BSc Health Studies

Professional Speaker & Educator

Suzanne is a dynamic and experienced speaker and educator, having created and delivered hundreds of presentations nationally. Passionate to build understanding about mental health and addiction, she engages her audience by exploring our fast paced, toxically stressed culture and why now, more than ever, building relationships and community connectedness is essential to our wellbeing. As an innovator in knowledge exchange, training and education, Suzanne has over 25 years of experience in community development and capacity building. Recently, Suzanne was honored to co-present with world renowned Canadian addiction expert, Author and Speaker, Dr. Gabor Mate at the Grounding Trauma 2016 National conference. She is a contributing author in a new self-help book by Elke Scholz titled, “Anxiety Warrior”. In the book, Suzanne presents a chapter on “The Power of Connection”.

Amy Widdows

Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, ODEN

The Ontario Disability Employment Network is a professional body of employment service providers united to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability.
We have over 140 member agencies, all in the business of helping people with a disability get into the workforce. Members are from every corner of the province and support people of all disability types. Beyond Ontario, we have connections with organizations in most provinces and territories of Canada

Todd Buchanan

Business & Operations Manager of Peer Support South East Ontario

Todd Buchanan is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and Loyalist College.  He has been involved in the Social Service field since 2003, holding various roles at a number of agencies, primarily in the field of Mental Health and Addictions. Currently he is the Business & Operations Manager of Peer Support South East Ontario and is a Professor at Loyalist College in the Social Service Worker Program.

He is a strong advocate for the rights of those who are dealing with Mental Health and/or Addictions concerns, and provides presentations across Ontario to help educate employers, the public, students and organizations about the impact of stigma.

We’ve made it easy!

  • In this section we’ve gathered resources to help you gain a better understanding of coping with everyday challenges

Resource Manuals

Our informative and easy-to-follow manuals contain 35 to 70 pages of practical and helpful material. They are available in PDF or print format. Click on the manual titles for more information and to order.

  • Print Manual – $21.99
  • E-Manual – $15.99






Community Resources








"The speakers were amazing! What a great program!"

"Impressed with the presenters. Food was excellent. Excellent, central, accessible location"

"Great range of speaker within the mental health topic. Very engaging and informative thank you for an amazing day! Excellent content."

"The quality and quantity of resources at this event were fantastic. Learned quite a few new things and hope this will better our workforce. Thank you!"

"Thank you for the inspiration! All of the speakers were excellent and I found the information helpful, insightful, and very relevant. Very well organized and I also enjoyed the humour and laughter injected throughout the day."


Belleville Office

Unit 8, 161 Bridge Street W. 
Belleville, ON K8P 1K2

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357

Bancroft Office

Unit 3 124 Hastings St. N
Bancroft ON

Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 1-866-705-4520