Working Well: Cultivating the skill to bounce back

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC., RP
Specialist in High-Stress Workplaces, Co-Executive Director, TEND

Françoise MathieuWe live in a world where being “busy” is the accepted norm. We work harder, longer, under tighter timelines and often with smaller budgets. We ratchet-up our “productivity” by scheduling every moment of every day, and while we seem to understand the risks associated with high-pressure lifestyles, 70% of employees report being concerned about the impact of workplace stress on their health and well-being. With thousands of books, apps and videos flooding the market, where should you start? How do you navigate the deluge of material available and create a sustainable plan and real change? This session will focus on the steps needed to cultivate the skill to “bounce back” in the face of burnout and overwhelm.

10:00 – 10:15


10:20 – 12:30

Developing Your Plan for Resilience

Mary Ann Baynton, MSW, RSW
Program Director, Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Many of us juggle personal, family, social, financial, and work demands. While we try to manage, any of us could be blindsided by an unexpected situation or overwhelmed when too many stressors happen at once.
Stress is a fact of life. Stress is not always bad or the result of a negative situation. In fact, stress can help motivate us to develop positive coping strategies and find effective solutions to problems.
This workshop will help you develop YOUR plan so that you can move from merely surviving to actually thriving by helping you build resilience and plan for stressful situations.

12:30 – 1:15



The Neurobiology of Stress

Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW
Coordinator, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences

Diana Tikazs

Do you ever find yourself asking “Why am I reacting this way?” How come I don’t have more control?”

The pace, content and competing demands of the modern workplace has left many of us operating in constant stress overdrive.  As a result, we see many negative physical, emotional, behavioural and relational consequences in the workplace.

This session will teach the basics of our physiological stress wiring – how our brain and body react to stress, and introduce you to some techniques to move you out of states of reactivity into the place of possibility where we are centered amongst chaos and can choose how we wish to respond.

There’s a lot we can do: Compassionate, collegial mental health support in the workplace

Dr. Mike Condra
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University

Mike Condra

A recent survey revealed that mental health problems are rated as one of the top three drivers of both short- and long-term disability claims by more than 80 per cent of Canadian employers.

In the face of increasing work demands and pressures, it is even more important that we understand how to recognize when our colleagues may be experiencing mental health problems, and how to respond to them supportively, compassionately and effectively.

This session will focus on understanding our roles as colleagues and team members in decreasing the stigma about mental illness and will teach some tools to recognize the signs and respond effectively to colleagues who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.




Grounding Techniques for Focus, Energy and Motivation

Amanda Muhammad, MA, DMCT
Specialist in Stress Management

Amanada Muhammad

Being effective at work, means staying focused, energized, and showing up motivated every day. In the face of constant stress and pressure this can feel difficult, or even impossible.

In this session, participants will explore the use of mindfulness practices to build resilience to stress and recover after high-pressure situations.
Leave with a solid understanding of the power of mindfulness practice, and the tools to help stay centred, grounded and manage stress.

Leadership Tools: Supporting the team in high pressure work environments

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC., RP
Specialist in High-Stress Workplaces, Co-Executive Director, TEND

Françoise Mathieu

Leaders encounter so many complex challenges in today’s high-pressure workplaces – sometimes it can feel like all your time is spent addressing crises rather than moving forward. Many of these challenges involve 4 specific issues that this session will help you understand and address:

  1. Turnover and Transition: Evaluating the current and future impact on your team
  2. Stress: Evaluating the effects of stress on individuals and teams
  3. Team Capacity: Estimating the capacity of your team, today and in 1 year
  4. Distressing Events: Recognizing and addressing the effects of the most highly charged and overwhelming situations


If I Knew Then…

Moderated by: Françoise Mathieu
Panelists: Dr. Mike Condra, Dr. Pat Fisher, Diana Tikasz, Mary Ann Baynton, Amanda Muhammad

TEND Conference Presenters share what they have experienced and learned in the face of their high-stress, pressure-filled work and that of clients – from every sector, across Canada and the US. Personal stories, eye-opening examples, and inspiring anecdotes of overcoming and thriving. Got a burning question? We will open the floor to questions and discussion.