06 Oct Episode 55: How Can Organizations Support Workers’ Mental Health?
At one time mental health may have been a subject that organizations wanted to avoid discussing, but those days are rapidly disappearing . With the pandemic still ongoing, this is a very difficult time for many and as it is taking a toll on mental well-being. In turn, organizations are starting to realize that supporting their workers means supporting their productivity. Our guest today is Paula Allen, Global Leader and SVP, Research and Total Wellbeing at Lifeworks. Lifeworks has done considerable research into the subject of workers’ mental health, and Paula talks to us about the challenges facing workers and what organizations should be thinking about as we move through this next phase of the pandemic and its aftermath.
This episode is part of a series sponsored by Microsoft looking at the issues we face in the workplace as we move into this next phase of the pandemic and eventually into post-pandemic life.
Global Leader and SVP, Research and Total Wellbeing
Lifeworks (formerly Morneau Shepell)
Paula Allen is the Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing and a Senior Vice-President at LifeWorks. In this role she manages the research agenda for LifeWorks, which includes primary research, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Given her focus on industry leading research, Paula also leads LifeWorks’s thought leadership and is co-chair of the organization’s product and innovation strategy.
Paula is focused on the current and emerging issues that impact health and productivity and related costs. Her scope includes all areas of wellbeing – social, physical, financial and mental. She is also a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She designed and led the most comprehensive employer response to the H1N1 pandemic and is currently LifeWorks’s business response and resource lead for the COVID-19 pandemic. She also works directly with many of Canada’s leading organizations.
Paula is a member of the Women’s College Hospital’s Board of Directors, a member of the Virtual Learning Advisory Board consulting to the public sector’s post-secondary online learning strategy, a member of the International Women’s Forum, a Civic Action Diversity Fellow mentor, on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Club of Toronto, on the Guiding Council and ESG task force of One Mind@Work, was Co-chair of Civic Action’s Champions Council on workplace mental health, was a member of the Income Security Working Group providing advice to the Ontario Government on issues relating to disability and income support, and sits on several research and strategy advisory boards that address issues ranging from e-mental health solutions to substance abuse in the workplace.
Paula completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto in psychological research and neuropsychological testing and clinical intervention.