Hello and welcome.
I hope all of you are well.
My name is Garvia Bailey,
and I will be your moderator
for today’s symposium.
Welcome on behalf of the MacKinnon Trauma
Lab Back Project Health Care Salute.
This is symposium
number two Risk and Resilience
in health care providers during the COVID
Now, before I go much further,
it would be rude of me
not to share a little of myself with you.
I am a journalist by trade,
a storyteller by nature.
I’m honored to be with you today.
family came here from Jamaica in the 1970s
and we continue to be ever so fortunate
to have come to this country on this land
and on this terror territory.
As immigrants and settlers.
I live and work on land that we recognize
as the traditional territories
at the Haudenosaunee
and Anishinaabe nations and recognize
and act on the responsibility
that comes with that.
I’d also like to acknowledge the land
on which McMaster University is located,
which is also the traditional territory
of the heart, nation and honest
Nabi nations and within the lands
protected by the dish with one spoon.
Wampum belt that wampum uses
the symbolism of a dish
to represent the territory and one spoon
to represent that the people are to share
the resources of the land and only take
what they need further to that.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
94 calls to actions and reaffirms
that the Treaty with Indigenous peoples
must be lawfully honored.
We are all treaty
peoples and are responsible for honoring
and upholding those agreements.
Again, I welcome you to this symposium.
Over the past close to three years,
we’ve heard much about the strain
of the health care system and on health
care providers due to the pandemic.
This research project seeks to shine
a light on the impact that the pandemic
has had on mental health.
Of all those health care providers
who have given
to give so much of themselves.
So some of you here today
will hear it will be
it will be a difficult process.
We’re going to hear a lot of stories.
We will be discussing instances
of moral distress and moral injury
and the challenges at home and at work
that health care providers have faced
and continue to face
during the COVID 19 pandemic.
We’ll be here together for a while.
So take the time you need.
If you need to break, please do so.
Do whatever it is necessary
to take good care of yourselves.
We also have links in the charts
that link to wellness support.
Take a look.
And if you need anything, please
do take advantage of those resources.
Please note that there is closed
and transcription and French translation
available for this event For those
who would like to access those services.
You’ll see interpretation
on the bottom of the zoom screen
and you can just hit that and
you can have this in French or English.
A huge thank you
to the public Health Agency of Canada
and all of our partners
for their commitment and support.
This symposium is being recorded
as part of a broader research project,
so you’ll have the opportunity
to revisit the information
that you’ll take in today.
There is an open chat function
for this virtual event.
Please be respectful in your interactions
and try and keep the chat on topic
and it would be great right now
if you’re here to get a sense
of where you are logging in from.
I’m sorry that I don’t have any prizes
for someone that’s coming from far away,
but we should test this chat
function really quickly.
Where are you coming from?
Remember that each section
today will also be.
Oh, Innisfil St Thomas.
Hello. Good to see you.
today will be open to audience questions.
You can use the Q&A box
to drop in your questions.
Again, at the bottom of your zoom screen
you will see the Q&A box.
Now, we won’t be able to get to all of
your questions, but we will do our best.
Now, links to the extended bios of all
participants can be found on the screen.
It’s as important.
So if you’re hearing someone speak
and you want to learn more about them,
you’ll see that the sessions will be in
three parts, 1215 will take a break.
And that, my friends, is the
how of all of this happening today.
Now I want to tell you
why this research is
a crucial part of establishing
the spirit of today’s session.
And with that, I’d like to introduce
and welcome Dr.
who leads the team on this project.
Garvia, lovely to see you.
It’s wonderful to see you as well.
Now, can you tell me first
what you and your colleagues were hearing,
that kind of set the table for conducting,
collating this research
that will go through today?
Thank you so much, Garvia.
And I want to begin first by thanking
those of you
who are here today for your service.
I’ve worked for a very long time
with the military, with veterans
and first responders, and we often say
we salute you for your service.
Today, we would like to salute health
care workers across the country,
in North America and beyond
for their service during the pandemic.
In many instances,
it is felt like with that war
footing over the past three years,
and as a clinical psychologist,
I have the privilege of being on
some of the COVID 19 and ICU units
to provide mental health supports
to health care workers during the pandemic
and to hear their stories,
to learn of the sacrifices that they
and their family members were making,
and to see the distress
that many of them were in over
the course of the pandemic
as it now continues
and into the aftermath, we hope, one day.
We just want to be there to support
health care workers, to hear
and know their stories,
and also to thank them for their service.
Now, Margaret, why are risk and resiliency
in tandem for our discussion today
so much Garvia.
You know, all of us have individual
reactions to what’s happening right now.
And for some people,
there will be things that contribute
to making things a bit easier
to to cope with, with what health care
workers are facing.
There are also factors
that contribute to risk.
And we know, for example,
having experienced childhood abuse
and neglect, for example,
can make one more vulnerable
to experiencing strong emotions
from the situations that people face.
We know that not having a support system
or not having access to a support system
is also very much a risk factor
for experiencing mental health
difficulties and during the pandemic,
what we heard from many health
care workers, we’ve interviewed over
124 health care workers
across the country
and survey close to 600 now.
And what we hear
is that, you know, during the pandemic,
there were access to gyms
being able to see friends and family.
These were things
that often weren’t available.
And so we want to look at what
are some of the factors that help people
on their mental health journey
and what are some of the factors
that contribute to risk
if we know what those risks are?
And we’re going to hear that today from
the work that we’re going to hear about.
And we can target these areas
to try to prevent
or at least to help heal
some of the mental health workers there.
So, for example, can we set up social
support systems for via the Internet
or other means where we can support health
care workers and what they’re facing?
You know, being on the units, what I saw
so often with the strength of team
and the strength of together nurse
and health care workers often talked about
how they didn’t
want to go home because they felt
they were letting their team down.
We want to find that space
and putting the oxygen mask on ourselves
so that we can help others and also
strengthening and building our teams.
Mm hmm. Absolutely.
You know, we’re going to
have a very deep conversations.
We’re going to hear a lot of stories.
And I wonder about where you’d like
this conversation to go next.
Once we’ve, you know, all the researchers
we’ve had, all the this
this what I will probably,
I think is going to be like
a real groundswell
of of support for this project.
What happens next?
And, you know, I’m going to think
about where I was last night.
So I was speaking to the Saskatchewan
And you know what we’ve heard in these
interviews from health care workers,
The first thing that they ask
for people to know their stories,
they don’t want to have to tell
the stories over and over again.
Many people feel alone in the struggles
that they face.
I mean, they want policymakers,
they want clinicians.
They want members of the public
to know what their struggles have been.
And we think about how we support health
care workers as both thanking them,
knowing their stories
and setting up systems and supports
that will be available
to these healthcare workers.
A lot of the work that we’re doing
for the Public Health Health
Agency of Canada and other groups across
the country are doing is really to set up
that are available to health care workers
and also first responders and public
safety personnel who have served
in other essential workers
who have suffered because of the pandemic.
I think at the federal level,
we really want to talk about
organized supports that are equitable
and available to all Canadians.
So we think about individuals,
who are joining us
from the Northwest Territories today.
How do we ensure that the supports that we
provide are available to all Canadians,
those who serve,
and also the general population
who have really experienced
a lot of mental health
difficulty throughout this as well.
But we place here a very special emphasis,
a very special thank you
to those who have served a great sacrifice
not only to themselves,
but also to their families.
And we’ve heard from nurses,
physiotherapists, occupational therapists
say, when I get home,
I have two words maybe left for my family.
I’m so tired.
We know that the partners
parents have taken over
there has been a great deal of service
and sacrifice and we need to be available
and have mechanisms
to support those individuals
and their families.
Well, thank you so much.
We’re going to dive in right now.
Thank you, Margaret.
Now I’m going to turn it over to Dr.
Kim Ritchie and Mina Pichtikova
with a summary of the research
findings on moral injury
in Canadian health care
My name is Mina Pichtikova to cover,
and today I’ll be presenting alongside
my wonderful colleague, Dr.
Kimberly Ritchie on the topic
of resilience among health care workers.
So before we get started,
it’s important to highlight
what resilience is
and why it’s so important.
So there are a lot of different
definitions of resilience,
but the most straightforward one
and the one that we’ve used
for the purpose of this study
is that resilience is the ability
to bounce back or recover from stress.
And what resilience really allows
one to do
is to cope with adversities
that occur during stressful periods,
which may otherwise trigger mental
or psychological problems.
And to highlight that point,
there is ample evidence to suggest
that during stressful events
such as disasters
or disease outbreaks,
in the case of the COVID 19 pandemic,
people are more likely to
suffer negative mental
health and psychologic consequences
when they’re not equipped with ample
levels of resilience.
Now, this is especially true
for health care providers
in recent years during the pandemic,
as they’ve repeatedly been faced
with increasingly stressful situations
for a very prolonged period of time now.
And now what we’re seeing
is that as a result, health
care providers have suffered
an immense deterioration
in their mental and psychological health
during the pandemic
on a number of different measures,
PTSD and psychological distress.
And they’re experiencing
these this deterioration in mental health
at higher levels than the general public.
So that being said, resilience
isn’t something that’s set in stone
and it can be influenced either positively
by a number of different factors,
including individual factors,
or even societal factors.
So all those things considered resilience
is an incredibly important concept
for us to explore.
And what we’ll be talking about
today is our study
on the relationship between resilience
and a number of different variables,
including mental health,
burnout, organizational support
and social support, just to name a few.
And ultimately, doing
this is incredibly important,
as it seems that resilience is likely
a strong safeguard of mental health
among health care providers.
these questions will ultimately allow us
to develop and implement interventions
that are aimed towards using evidence
based interventions to enhance resilience
and strengthen health care providers
defenses against the various mental
health and psychological consequences
of the pandemic.
So just to give you
a little bit of a brief overview of
how our study was set up.
So we started off with the recruitment
stage where we invited
Canadian Health care workers
who were directly or indirectly involved
in patient care during the COVID 19
pandemic to participate in.
The first thing they did was fill out
a collection of online questionnaires.
So a total of 460 health care providers
filled out the questionnaires
May 20, 22 to January 2023.
And then some of those participants
were also that indicated
they were interested in being interviewed,
were invited to a virtual interview,
and the interview was semi-structured.
That was kind of to get more
into the nuances of their experiences.
And then a quantitative and qualitative
analysis was done on the
questionnaire data and the interview
So in terms
of the demographics of the individuals
who participated in the study,
the average age was 43 years old,
and about 50% of our participants
The majority of them came
from the province of Ontario.
Specifically, it’s 64%
and 89% of them identified as female.
So another questionnaire
that we used to capture resilience,
this is the brief resilience scale.
And essentially like we discussed earlier,
one’s ability to bounce back
or recover from stress.
And I’ve put items up here
just so you can kind of get a sense
of the kinds of questions
people were asked.
And the brief resilience scale
is an established, reliable
and valid measure of assessing resilience.
So now that we know why resilience
is so important, let’s explore what our
what story does
our data tell us and unfortunately, it’s
not a very good one.
So out of the 460 participants,
51% scored in the range of low
scored in the normal resilience range
and only 3.5%
scored in the high resilience range.
So what we did next was a correlation
analysis, which is essentially
just a statistical test
to explore how variables are related.
Specifically, we were interested in
how resilience is related
to all the variables that I’ve listed here
in blue on the right.
And all of this was done
using the questionnaire data.
And what we see by this is that resilience
is significantly negatively
with all these variables in blue,
which means that people
who reported higher levels of resilience
reported experiencing less moral injury,
burnout, insomnia, depression,
stress and emotional dysregulation.
Now, PTSD in moral
injury is something that we’re hearing
about a lot lately
amongst health care providers,
and so we thought it would be worth it
to explore these two variables further.
So along the horizontal, horizontal axis,
we have resilience,
low normal and high resilience,
and we see very similar
trends amongst the two graphs.
So on the graph on the left,
we’re looking at
how resilience is associated
with PTSD symptoms,
which were assessed
using the PCL five questionnaire.
And what we see is that individuals
who have low resilience
have significantly higher levels of PTSD
symptoms than those with high resilience.
And then the same trend is seen
on the graph on the right, which explores
moral injury, and that was measured
using the moral injury outcome scale.
So once again, we see that individuals
who have low resilience
higher levels of moral injury
than those with high resilience.
We also looked
at a number of questionnaires related
to organizational, social
and self-compassion factors.
And what we see here
is that resilience is significantly,
with all these variables.
So what that means is that
people who reported higher levels
of resilience reported experiencing
more organizational support,
more social support
and more product unity in their workplace.
was also associated
with the years
someone has worked and their age,
such that individuals
who had worked in the field longer
or were older reported
higher levels of resilience.
So now I’ve just put up the actual names
of the questionnaires that we use
to capture these different factors.
In case anyone is interested.
And now I’m going to pass it off
to my colleague, Dr.
Kim Ritchie, who’s going to explore
the qualitative bit of this study
a bit more with you.
Thank you, Mina.
And as Mina mentioned, my name is Kim
Richey, and today I’m going to present
some of our preliminary findings
from the qualitative part of our research.
And in this part, we took a deeper look
at some of the work and personal factors.
Associate with resiliency of health
care providers during the pandemic.
For this part of our study,
we included health care providers
who completed an interview.
In addition to the survey,
and we included those participants
who scored either in the lower
or the higher ranges
on the brief resilience scale,
which was part of the online survey.
We then analyzed their interview data
in two groups
the health care providers who had lower
scores on the brief resilience scale
and those who scored in the higher score
On the brief Resilience scale.
This analysis included
23 participants in total
and they represented
several different health care occupations,
including nursing, occupational therapy,
respiratory therapy and so on.
In our analysis,
we found three themes that cross-cut
and higher resiliency group today.
those three themes, along with a quote
from each group to describe that theme.
In the first theme, participants in
both groups described many similarities
in the type of coping strategies, say,
utilized during the pandemic.
Overall, many participants reported
had a drastic impact on their ability
to practice usual coping strategies
with the loss of going to the gym
or visiting friends and family
and so on, due to especially during
the during the periods of lockdown.
And because of that, they really had
to adapt and develop new ways of coping.
The most common coping strategies found in
was an increase
in their use of alcohol, use of marijuana.
Sometimes for the first time,
eating more increased use of social media,
going for long walks
and increased risk taking behavior.
And these were all ways to manage
the increased stress they were
experiencing during the pandemic.
So, for example, the quotes on this slide
four in both the higher and Lower
Resilience Group report, similar
use of increase are similar increased
use of alcohol
as a way to help them cope
with their stress after work.
participants also reported
that they recognized
that they were struggling
and they had a lot of increased stress.
They were to the point of exhaustion
and they came to realize that they had
to really prioritize their own self-care
over their need to care for others.
And we heard also about this
from health care
providers in both the lower
and higher resilience groups.
And they also they talked about having
this real difficulty or even a tension
when it came to prioritizing their health
and well-being over others.
And the reason for this
was that health care providers
really see themselves
as individuals who care for others.
And it is a big part of their identity.
Therefore, it’s really hard for them
to turn that same care towards themselves
or even to balance care for themselves
with their care for others.
Some of the health care providers
we talked to reported
that they had to give themselves
permission to care for themselves.
And this was the word that they used over
and over again in the data.
Sometimes some health care
providers said that they were able
to give themselves permission
to care for themselves
or to balance caring for themselves
And others said that they
they really wanted
and needed this permission
to come from someone else,
such as a family member,
a colleague, or even a supervisor.
And having this permission
given to them really helped them
to resolve some of this tension or guilt
they were experiencing
when it came to turning
that care towards themselves.
And the last thing today
really focuses on the types of ways
health care providers during the pandemic.
Most of the health care providers
we spoke with talked
about long standing challenges
related to being short staffed,
which was, of course, amplified
during the pandemic and contributed
to their increased workload and stress
where there were differences in the data.
So between the two groups within
how their health care providers
perceive their organizations managed
some of these increased work challenges.
What we found
was that health care providers
in the Lower Resilience Group
reported that they didn’t feel supported
or their organization
wasn’t receptive to their opinions,
so it didn’t feel safe
to them or they didn’t have an opportunity
to voice their opinions
about some of these challenges
that they were experiencing.
Whereas health care providers
in the Higher Resilience Group talked
about having a more open environment
in their organization, which was flexible.
There were established channels
of communication through regular meetings
or even daily huddles,
and during these times they felt able
to give their thoughts and opinions
and they felt their voice was heard.
So in conclusion,
what we found from our research
was that health care providers
with higher levels of resilience
may experience less negative mental
health symptoms such as PTSD,
moral injury, depression,
anxiety and stress.
Higher resilience is also associated
with health care providers
who have more social support,
more self-compassion and perceived,
more supportive organizations.
Secondly, health care providers
with both higher and
lower levels of resilience
have similar types of coping strategies
and difficulty prioritizing
or balancing their own self-care.
But there’s differences
in their perception
of how their organizations were able
to support them during the pandemic.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
That was a fascinating Dr.
Kim Ritchie and Mina pitch to cover.
I do have some questions for you,
and I’m sure the audience
will have questions as well,
those that are listening.
And just a reminder
that if you’d like to ask
Mina and Kim any questions,
you can put your questions in the Q&A
box as you see that running below there.
And and I would be happy to to pass
on to our panelists for you.
But for now, Mike, I have some questions
of my own, if that’s okay.
talked you touched on the personal factors
that influence resilience.
And I’m wondering if we can unpack that
just a little bit for for individuals
when we go back and take this information
and think about
what are those personal factors
that can be shifted or can be that
we can think about
in terms of individual resilience?
What are those personal factors
Thank you for having me and for this
opportunity and for the great question.
So like I mentioned earlier,
the good thing about resilience is that
it’s not something that’s set in stone
and it’s something that can be influenced
and something that we can change
at the individual or personal level
and also at the organizational level.
In some ways,
to build resilience on a personal
level is through connection, for instance.
So building connections
with those that support you because it’s
very easy to isolate yourself
during hard times,
but building a sense of community
and being around people that have a common
understanding can really allow you
to connect with others
and overcome challenges as a group
and really allow you to bounce back
from that stress.
And then another thing
is taking care of your personal wellness.
So stress is not something
that’s just felt psychologically,
but it’s also felt in the physical body.
So of course, self-care is often
easier said than it’s done,
but it’s important to make it a priority
and give yourself
and that space to take care of yourself.
Like Kim was mentioning earlier.
Yeah, and take care of the stress,
not only emotionally but physically,
so that you kind of have
the ability to push through.
So this can be like little things
that people build into their wellness
getting enough sleep, exercising,
building healthier habits,
and even small changes can make really
kind of big effects down the road.
And another thing is healthy thinking.
So acknowledging and accepting
your thoughts and emotions during
stressful times, it’s very natural
for these thoughts and emotions to come up
yourself grace when they do come up.
So kind of reflecting on your thoughts,
are they positive or negative?
Are they realistic?
Are they grounded in fact
and identifying areas of hope
that you can lean on
as well as accepting
that can’t be changed right now
and focusing on the things
that you can change?
finding meaning and purpose
in what you’re doing.
Of course, health care is an incredibly
meaningful and purposeful profession,
but kind of celebrating your own strengths
and goals and moving towards your values
or something that can kind of help
foster that resilience.
But yes, just as much as you know,
there’s these factors
that are individual
that influence resilience.
Like I said, there’s also
the organizational and societal factors
that play a huge role.
So it’s also important to
shift away from thinking about this
as just a personal responsibility
and also thinking about it
as a societal
and organizational responsibility as well.
The B it’s interesting
because I feel like the the,
the personal part of it
has is a lot like working out
Like it’s a lot
like the things that you’re supposed to do
for your for your body.
You think to yourself,
I need to think in this way.
I need to do these things
and give myself permission
to feel these feelings
and then and build my resilience. But
there’s another part of you
that said, I’m just so tired.
Like, I’m too tired
to think about taking care of myself.
I’m too tired to think about going to
the gym or, you know, of my own self-care.
And as your research shows,
so many people are preoccupied as well
with taking care of others.
So so I wonder about those small
the way to perhaps implement
the smaller parts of building up
the strength, like when you go to the gym,
you build up the strength
to be able to do the heavier lifting,
how you want those small bits
of that personal part
and then the occupational part as well.
The small things that employers or
those around you communities can be doing.
Mhm. Yeah, that’s a great point.
And that’s kind of the catch 22
that we’re seeing
on one hand,
you know, self care, resilience, wellness,
it’s incredibly important
and it’s like a muscle that you build up,
but then when there’s not the space
and the time and people are so burnt out
that they don’t have the capacity
and it just feels like, yeah, another task
and yet another responsibility,
that’s kind of when we get trapped
in that vicious cycle and I think that’s
why it’s so important to highlight
factors that can influence resilience
and to shift away
from considering resilience
as just just at the individual level
that’s fully solvable by people
making life changes.
But we’re seeing that that’s not the case
and we’re starting to shift away
from thinking it,
thinking about it in that way,
and kind of shifting
some of the responsibility
towards the workplace environment.
And that includes things
like creating realistic
and compassionate team culture
where people can have honest conversations
with one another.
You know, organizations
being vigilant about the risks associated
with the profession and monitoring
ongoing stressors for health care workers,
having proper staffing,
having opportunities to discuss
work life balance
without fear of repercussion,
having having a shared responsibility
to identify the sources of stress
and take the appropriate measures
in the workplace.
And I think a lot of this comes down
to also just having
really clear organizational support
and having policies
that protect health care providers as well
so that there isn’t fear of repercussion
if individuals are bringing up
any sort of organizational concerns.
So yeah, I think it’s
definitely a delicate dance
between the two.
And there are things
at the individual level that, you know,
can allow people
to build up a resilience toolkit.
And then there’s also responsibilities
that are more
the workplace, are more so organizational.
Now on the on the level
of the research itself,
there’s a question for me
from those listening here
about the physicians that did the survey.
Were there many physicians
that that did the survey or what?
What sorts of people did you hear from?
So in terms of our demographic breakdown,
of the individuals that responded
to this particular phase of our study
were nurses, physicians
and personal support workers.
So that was generally
the biggest breakdown
with about 4% being physicians.
And 51% being nurses.
This is an excellent question
that comes from our audience as well.
What is the role of education
in clinical ethics to build resilience?
We don’t have a half an hour or an hour
or another symposium to answer it,
but what is the role of education
in clinical ethics in building resilience?
I think that’s such a great question.
And, you know, we’ve
we’ve had lots of discussions about that
in our our own team.
I think the one of the questions
that we asked in our interviews was,
have you ever received
education on mental health issues
for yourself as part of your training
as a health care provider?
And we’ve only had a very small handful
of people who’ve responded that they had.
So I think that speaks to the
broader need for education,
for health care
providers, about mental health period,
about taking care of their own mental
health, about the types of exposures
that they’re going to face
as a health care provider,
and how to help build some of those skills
to actually take care of themselves,
how to balance that
with the need to patient care
with their own self care.
And then just to learn about mental health
for themselves overall.
And in terms of ethics,
what we’ve heard a lot about is health
care providers have talked about
a debriefing in the workplace.
So this would be
where there’s an opportunity.
Maybe there’s been a specific issue
or challenge in the workplace
that is causing you some tension
or feeling that moral sort of distress
in some way and that you have the ability
to come together as a group or a team,
you know, with your own team
or even bringing in some outside
supports into really sort of unpack that.
And the purpose of it is to kind of share
your own thoughts
and feelings about that issue
and how it impacted you personally
beyond sort of the
broader sort of,
I guess, patient care issues.
But it’s about turning that inward
to look at
how did that issue impact me specifically?
So that’s one of the things we’ve heard
quite a bit about, is that request
in all types of health care
settings, acute care, community
care, long term care, overall demeanor.
I just think that’s such a good point
about the debriefing and the connection,
because when I was talking
about resilience on a personal level,
I mentioned connection
going out and seeking it
and this is a perfect example of how
between organizational and personal
aren’t always very clear cut
because connection does help
build personal resilience,
but it’s also something
that the organization can support by
essentially building it
into the programing, building into the
culture, into the protocols.
So I think that was a great point
and a great response.
Ken, thank you.
Yeah, thank you.
Thank you. To the both of you
for this presentation.
It really is it’s impossible
to measure the importance of
of having not just the research,
but now as we move into this
this this next portion of the symposium
of attaching real faces to it.
But thank you, Mina and Kim, for this.
This has been fantastic stick
and I’m sure we’ll be going back to this
as we continue this symposium today.
As I said, names and stories adding
the names and stories to the research
we are exploring today. Very important.
So right now we are so fortunate
to have three health care professionals
with us to not only share
their experiences, but to also tell us
about what has helped and or hindered
their ability to care for themselves.
Chagall is an emergency, and trauma nurse.
David Tabb is a physical therapist
in general and thoracic surgery,
Tran is an occupational therapist.
all three of you to the symposium today.
Thank you so much for having me here.
Thank you, Aaron. Thank you, Todd.
I agree with you.
I know you are.
David, great to see you as well.
I think it’s always
the origin story is just so important
because it kind of sets the table
as to why you’re
why you’re here today speaking
and why are do why you do what you do.
So can you, each of you
briefly give us kind of like the Coles
notes of what drew you to your profession?
And I will start with you, Arab. So
I had actually been through
a lot in my life previously,
and I would say that
going into nursing was something
I wanted to do to help others.
But I would also say it
was the heavy influence of my late father
because he thought that I could
and thought that I had the potential
to help people in need.
Todd, what about you? Hmm?
My story is more about going into
the health care field
because I was really interested
in the biological sciences in high school,
and not to date myself,
but in high school.
Back then we had a great 13,
and those 15 was called OEC,
and I took biology and really enjoyed it.
And physical education,
which I really loved about the health
perspective and chemistry was so-so.
But then comes physics. Not so.
So I, I fell in love with nursing
and which I did my first degree in.
But Then I switched over to occupational
therapy because I love rehab so much so.
And in a similar vein of helping
and contributing to society.
And you, David?
I grew up in a in a health care family,
so my mother worked in health care
as a nurse and hospital administrator.
So I grew up around in that environment
and certainly spent quite a bit of time
volunteering at hospitals
when I was young with, you know, physios
and occupational therapists.
And I had to take a big role
in caring for my grandmother post-stroke.
So my or certainly my early experiences
kind of pushed me towards
physio as a career and I just wanted to,
you know, have a job that had a positive
impact on people’s lives. MM
So I want you all to take me back
to the early days of the pandemic
and what you were experiencing
at your place of work
as the pandemic began
as really frontline workers,
you saw what was happening.
Can you just take me back to that
and what you were seeing
and what what might have been going
through your mind at the time?
I’ll start with you, Todd.
As your bring me back to the early phase
of the pandemic, it was a lot of chaos.
That’s the word
that comes to mind right now.
And I laugh at it, but it became more
organized throughout the week, the waves.
But it was quite chaotic
because we were redeployed
from where I work in primary
care to a variety of roles,
from screening to working in the pharma,
in the pharmacy,
of drawing of the vaccinations,
to giving out the vaccines.
So it was chaotic in terms of
we don’t know where we were deployed.
We didn’t get a sense of autonomy
either in terms of people
asking in the leadership team
of like Todd, there’s a variety of rules.
would you like to give options or choice?
There was a lack of that.
It was more, you’re doing this
and you’re going to do this next.
And even when I was wanting to contribute
and be in a vaccine clinic
going the hotspots of Toronto,
we didn’t know
from week to week where we were going
in terms of hotspots and it wasn’t shared.
And our roles wasn’t given.
So it was really chaotic.
it became more organized along the way.
But initially I just wish
that people had more choice in the matter
and also to ask a variety of health care
workers, is it okay if we do this?
Are you immunocompromised because
we didn’t have any vaccines at the time?
Are you okay to be in the front line
to screen or to do such and such?
Or another question would be,
Are you living with anyone else
in your family that’s immunocompromised?
That conversation would have been lovely
at the initial phase versus not.
We will hear a little bit more about that
and what was what was happening
with you in the emergency room,
in the trauma centers.
What did it the those early days
of the pandemic look like?
I would say crazy.
You didn’t really have time to think.
You people being rolled in by EMS
stretchers one by one, one by one,
you would get calls in advance
saying that we have a cardiac arrest
because they were short of breath.
We had to get people on life support.
Within 5 minutes of arriving.
We barely had bed accommodation space.
We had to make some very hard decisions.
ICU was became jam packed.
We were outsourcing or
sending patients off
to other hospitals in different regions.
It was heartbreaking
to speak with families on the phone
who couldn’t be there
physically in the presence of their family
or their loved one who was dying
to hear them on the phone, to see them on
was probably the only way that they could
communicate with their families.
We saw all
age groups get very ill,
and I would say that
there was absolutely no time
to think information was so ever evolving.
When you were triaging, it was like
you were trying to update yourself
day to day basis, hour to hour basis
in terms of what we were screening for.
At times, we were even to deploy from the
emergency department to screening centers
and we were triaging up to maybe
5 to 600 people in a day
that may have been exposed or had symptoms
that may have not even been covered.
But just because it was such it’s
such a novel disease that you had no idea
what symptoms could arise.
And I would say
The Unforgettable was also
how many bodies we had to beg
and sent down to the morgue.
That was that was what COVID
started as and continue does.
And you know, Todd spoke
about being redeployed and and folks
in different jobs found themselves
that they would never have imagined.
you know, taking care of the deceased.
David, you were also redeployed
during during the pandemic
in those early days.
What was going on for you?
Like, how were you
how were you processing,
what was happening,
the chaos that Todd and Aram talk about
and being redeployed, all of those things?
Well, it was
it was certainly very challenging
within the health center itself.
It was like Todd was saying,
just a very chaotic novel virus.
We didn’t have much information about it.
Even being able to judge
like my own personal risk
to the virus just with other
kind of health care factors,
with my regular job
being in orthopedic and general surgery,
Like we stopped
a lot of a lot of the elective surgeries.
So I was seconded to work in the ICU
for for quite a while.
And, you know, I do have ICU experience
and I’m used to working
with those level of patients,
but kind of being able to prepare myself
for the symptoms
and just the unique level of care that
with severe COVID pneumonia required
was challenging and there was really
no preparation for that.
I mean, you just had to know
you’re working with a novel virus.
It’s hard to kind of do
the best of your ability
and using good, sound clinical judgment,
it was certainly
it was even more challenging for myself
when we went to the ICU was
we weren’t just doing day shifts.
So we were kind of just because
of a lack of staff in general.
So we had to do 24 hour shifts
like 24 hour coverage
with very little of time
to to really accommodate to the
just going from day nights and actually
little like maybe having one day
in between to accommodate from from night
to from night to day and so forth.
And that was certainly challenging.
I have a lot of newfound respect
for our colleagues
that they do that on a on on, on a normal.
But that certainly left me
in the situation.
I was say, you know, trying to cope with
just a stressful situation
of change, a job, a job, but then also
having to do it without with, you know,
like sleep deprivation and
and certainly not having my other avenues
for for health care.
You know, a lot of the care
I was having to provide was, you know,
a little out of scope of practice.
You know, there is limited things.
A lot we could do from a mobilization
standpoint with with patients.
But, you know, having to,
you know, help bag bodies,
you know, speaking to families bringing
them in in the middle of the night
to be able
to kind of say goodbye to their loved ones
with us was certainly challenging.
And a little another thing
that also made it tougher was,
you know, a lot of different professions.
Certainly received some, you know,
kind of, you know, acknowledgment
from the government and monetary supports
through pandemic pays.
But, you know, physiotherapists were
one of the one of the groups that didn’t.
So now there we are,
six of us, around a patient Proning,
a intubated patient,
and only one of the only one of us was not
getting kind of any monetary support saw
or through that with the pandemic pay.
So that was that was just kind of
knocked it down a little bit further.
Mm hmm. Mm hmm.
It speaks to the the moral injury
that that we’ve that we’ve
Was there a moment for
for each of you
when you started to feel that
that feeling of we’re in a place
now that we’ve never been to and
and you start to feel the personal risk of
we were in the pandemic, where you were
in the work that you were doing.
Was there a moment
that that you can think of,
but were that sort of the tides turned?
Let’s call it that.
I’ll start with you, Todd.
And I think that’s a great question.
It’s a great question because there’s
multiple times that I felt that way.
But I think it to me
is the tide that turned
was the convoy freedom protest
that really threw me off guard because
it because speaking from my experience
as a double minority, as a Asian man,
but also as a gay man,
two of those narrative that I have
is going down to to psychological safety
because of COVID
it’s not a good time to be Asian.
And then on top of that, being a gay man.
But then the third thing
that really came on
board was the convoy freedom protest,
that they were coming to Toronto
on a particular weekend,
and the messaging from my organization
was do not wear identify yourself
as a healthcare worker
just because you might be targeted.
So that was a really turning point
where it’s like
what is going on in the state of the world
where there’s three hats
that that I have three identities,
three identities, and
I can’t show all three perhaps, or it’s
not safe to have those three identities.
So psychological safety was really
at the foreground for me
in my experience during that time.
And that’s a new social phenomenon.
a triple minority. Right. Where
do you feel safe?
Can you be yourself?
It’s a feeling of hiding oneself during
this pandemic was really interesting,
which highlighted that.
So that was a really take away
where it’s like
what is going on
in the state of the world.
I think that was just from a layperson’s
That was a real turning point
for many people watching
The fact that you were unable to
when when those messages were going out
that don’t identify yourself
as a health care worker,
when, you know, four months
prior to that were standing out
and banging pots and pans for health care
So, Erin, what about you?
Was there a
I know that you experienced something
very traumatic during a
during the pandemic
and having your father being hospitalized
and coming into the same hospital
that you worked
at as a COVID patient?
I mean, I can’t even call that
a turning point.
Can you tell us just a little bit
about that and how you were
processing that situation?
My heart dropped
into my stomach.
Watching people struggle to breathe
and die is a very difficult thing
when you see it happen
to someone that you know and love
makes it much more difficult.
I would say continuing
to work on the front line while my father
was hospitalized in the ICU was a way
for me to be connected with him
physically and spiritually
at every point in my life at that time,
because I really believe
that was his journey.
But it was also part of my
it was me working 12 hour
shifts or more
and then walking over to the ICU
just to see what was going on, getting
feeling frantic, getting phone calls.
I think it was
also very difficult at times
hearing a code blue alarm go off up
above in the
and the announcement in the hospital,
because naturally you would wonder
is that someone that, you know,
watching the news and really stressed out,
hearing about things such as you know,
new new laws and new decisions
that were being made about certain age
groups being taken off of life support
was very, very difficult for me.
But also to to add on to,
you know, what was mentioned
just now about the convoy protest
and then having patients come in and
and become irate and and physically
and verbally assaulting you in the E.R.
and to the point
where a lot of them did not want to mask
because they didn’t
really believe this disease was real
or refusing to get vaccinated
was something that really affected myself.
But I think it also impacted
a lot of my colleagues that worked with me
alongside with me,
because there were so many people
that would have really
wanted that vaccine.
But my father was one of them.
he was to wait by one week.
he then became ill
and ended up on life support
where he fought for his life
for the hardest month.
That was one hard month.
That was a very hard month.
So I would say that
there are there were so many people
that would have really wanted that vaccine
so that they could just have that chance
and be alive.
And so many people that I’ve seen sick
just because they couldn’t get a vaccine.
And I think that’s what had angered me.
And and a lot of us felt
so angered about those who were.
And we do understand that
there’s questions that people have because
it’s such a new disease.
But can you imagine,
is that really worth your life
because so many people died
from not having that?
thank you for sharing that.
I know that this is not an easy topic.
And, you know, as we talk about risk
and resilience, this is still so fresh.
This is this these are not conversations
that are in the past.
They’re still happening now.
So thank you for that.
I know that you’ve yourself had
some turning points and some questions
around what your role would be as
you were thinking about your family,
leaving the hospital, going back home.
I know that you and I spoke a little bit
about the difficulties of home life and
of those those things that come with
the work that you do.
Can can you just get into that
just a little bit
of how how
your work kind of filtered
into into the rest of your life?
I mean, it was very challenging,
just not having or I think as I mentioned
before, or just the strategies
I would normally use for for self-care.
You know, we talked about friends
and family, you know,
being able to go out for dinners, travel,
you know, going to the gym, all regular
things that I would would certainly do.
So we’re dealing with a
very stressful situation
and having to cope with it
and the sense that, you know,
the general public was told to,
you know, kind of stay with their family
is, you know, bubble
have that around you and then then isolate
if you had a potential exposure.
But when you’re dealing
with potential exposures on the daily
you know, certainly
no one wants to wants to be around you.
So you’re looked at as a hero and one
and then kind of one vain
and then certainly looked at as like
the virus when you’re out in the community
just people being generally scared,
I really had to kind of shut down,
you know, and compartmentalize
any worrying thoughts that I that I had
for myself to be able to continue
to show up for work and
and to be able to to continue to advocate,
to help the public.
And also, I mentioned before,
just having that fatigue,
that of dealing with that on the daily
that when you come home not being
fully there for your for your spouse
or your significant other and
and also to help in
and there I’m mean not needs
and one thing that was also
was just having the responsibility
of you know working in the ICU with
you know patients you know on 200% oxygen,
you know, prior to,
you know, potentially being intubated,
you know, being one of the last
physical contacts that they might have.
I mean, family weren’t allowed to come in
and they weren’t allowed to do that
to see their loved ones
unless it was close to close to death.
And they were having to view them
through through an iPad.
So having that responsibility of,
you know, being actual human connection
to someone as they’re potentially
going through there, you know,
ending stages of life and,
you know, having to tell them,
you know, try to calm their anxiety that,
you know, things were going to be okay
when you really know that
that they’re not.
That’s an incredible and very weighing
responsibility to have had.
So yeah yeah
I wonder if the three of you have
had you know we just listened to the
the research on on resilience
and being able to kind of take the time
to build your resilience and to do
the things that are important for that.
And David, I think you, you outlined
many of those things very well.
You know, being able to work out
and see friends and family
be those things
that builds up your resilience,
have you all had the time
or the capacity
to be able to care for yourselves
during this time?
And and what are those things
that are your you’re holding on to?
Are those moments that you can hold on to
to keep you you going?
Aram, can I start with you? Is that okay?
Yes, that’s fine.
I would say for me, I’m
a very spiritually inclined person.
I really believe in a lot of power
and strength and meditation and prayer
and I really believe that is what
kept me going
through my very difficult times
while my father was hospitalized
when the pandemic
had even started,
I would say
that was something that kept me going
while my father was hospitalized
and I was working alongside with
other patients that were simultaneously
on life support as well.
And, you know, for me,
I feel like
that is a great resource of strength.
And that is
something that that kept me going.
The pandemic did have
a lot of restrictions in terms of
having to physically meet people,
speaking with people on the phone
or having anything virtual.
It was was,
I would say, a bit of a challenging issue.
And I would say that
on behalf of my colleagues, for instance,
because I think a lot of them
have been going through
so much personally,
each individual copes differently.
So the way that they
respond or react to stress
is going to be very vastly different
from each person.
I would also say a lot of other things
that kind of helped me
with coping were,
I would say, a lot of writing.
I’m very much into writing and to music
I like, you know, I
I’ve played a lot of musical instruments
and I would really feel like that was my
my circle or a space of Zen
for me too, to have that moment for myself
to really indulge
and just have that inner peace, to try
to align that inner peace within me.
How about you, Todd?
Have you had the the time,
the capacity to care for yourself?
And what have you been doing
for such a good question.
And when I reflect on that,
I really have to say I’m unsure
and sure, because being in the health care
system very I saw and witnessed
so many inequities that it’s just
it still sits with me, right?
You see it and you don’t know what to do.
And you’re experiencing
this moral distress or moral injury.
How do you heal from that?
Sure, sleep helps.
Taking time away helps,
but being in the health care system,
you’re kind of reminded, okay,
we need to make some change.
So I think that self-care is one thing.
But I also I would say it’s
the responsibility of the organization
as well to support us
after this experience because they did
such a great job as just putting people
together organized for deployment.
You cannot do this, do that.
But I think that same energy
needs to be deployed for management of
of such of how to take care of your team,
how to build back better,
how to promote a sense of mental
well-being in your team.
And just going back to the presentation
that we did was the organizational level
of perhaps being more transformative
leadership, promoting more sense of mental
well-being and supports
and really making that a priority somehow.
So I think it comes from within our self
to take care of yourself for sure,
but also coming from our organization
David do you feel like like
your supports, your organization is
is helping you along that that journey to,
you know, to give you back the capacity
to kind of take care of yourself or to,
are those systems in place for you?
Well, that’s that’s it’s it’s challenging.
I mean, although I’ve been able
to, you know, do some personal stuff
with regards to self-care, you know,
going back to, you know, being active,
I really certainly went to education
and to to really
to give myself some control,
like going to literature, learning about
the virus and with each and with each
new strand that was coming out.
And to give myself
a little bit of control in a
in an environment,
whether that were there was little.
It’s been challenging, though,
because, I mean, the state of our health
care system has gone.
We’ve gone from a COVID pandemic
to a pandemic staffing,
and that’s been challenging for us.
I certainly know that.
I know organizations,
you know, have job postings out
and have had them up for months and
But there’s very that, you know, we can do
when there’s just no people that that
that want to do the job.
And so now we’re moving from
you know, the our secondments
with the severity of COVID itself.
And now we’re going into just an onslaught
of trying to clear the surgical backlogs
and the constant push to,
you know, try to move through quicker.
And, you know, and you’re also working
with more challenging,
you know, patients and families
who haven’t had the appropriate
level of care for the last 2 to 3 years.
And and doing that with the same,
you know, very same
level of staffing
that was that was there prior prior,
which has been limited
as certainly has been challenging.
And I know it’s something
that all organizations, you know,
are trying to are trying to correct.
you know, certainly difficult when there’s
just not enough of the skilled people
wanting to wanting to take the positions.
I have no doubt that this has been the most challenging period in your work lives,
but you’re still all still
you are still working, you’re
still getting up and going to your jobs.
And I wonder about
where Hope lies in all of this for you
and why it’s important to just keep
on keeping on as you’re going
what keeps me going
is the connections that I make
with the people that I work with,
the clients, the patients
and my colleagues, because I realize that
that’s my second family.
I have my own family,
but it’s the work family.
And just going back to the first question
of why I went to the field, I loved the
that I make to people’s lives,
and that keeps me going.
And also being curious
and being in the health care system.
How can I contribute
to make it more equitable?
Because I think it’s everybody’s
not just the leadership team, but for me
now, after speaking COVID
I, the pandemic is I need to voice biases.
I need to communicate from
a bystander if things are
not equitable, that sort of thing.
So I think now
I have a different lens of going into this
from the next chapter of my life
and my career to
how can I make a positive influence
in a different way this time
so that we can learn from the endemic,
not make the same mistakes.
So coming from that angle is a strength
versus from a pessimistic
point of view of health care.
Because we can go there.
But I think I’m focusing more
on the strength of health care.
Yeah, with the.
Thank you for that.
What the few minutes we have.
What about you, David?
A what is what is keeping you in it
and giving you hope these days?
Well, as interestingly listening
to the talk about resiliency.
So I am getting older.
So my resiliency builds
certainly builds with age but
but no, it’s still coming back
to, you know, why
I went into the profession
in the first place and having that ability
to certainly help other people
and and and family.
I mean, my secondary job
that’s kind of popped up
has been a health care navigator
for friends and family in this time.
Just because our health care system is
certainly is very fractured
from from where it was before
and just trying to get to appropriate
levels of care
afterwards has certainly been challenging.
And I just really hope that, you know,
from a higher levels of government
that would that we learn from this,
you know, whether,
you know, everything was truly heated
after or after this virus pandemic.
And and in 2003 was was really carry
And, you know, there was a lot of a lot of
talk and a lot of questions about that.
So I really hope that, you know,
I hope that, you know,
we have good people in place
that can really push forward
and and really learn from this, you know,
try to support that on the front lines.
Certainly looking at staffing models,
not trying to do not trying
to do more with less. And I
have hopes that that will happen.
And we’ll just have to
just have to keep soldiering on.
Yeah for sure.
And you, Aram, what is giving you hope?
you getting up and doing the work?
I would probably say that
we’ve all been
through such a difficult battle.
So why stop now?
Why? Why would I stop now?
I would also say
that it is to continue the legacy
of my late father, because I know
it’s something that he really wanted me
to do and continue.
And I know that he wanted me.
And I know he always would say that.
I know that you will
and change the world for a better place.
And I think lastly,
what I’d like to add on to
that is given this experience.
SaaS and Ebola, for example,
those were like our
our wake up calls.
And I think getting input from individuals
such as ourselves is what mistake
are we going to avoid for the future
and and try to implement programs,
such as emergency preparedness programs,
of what mistakes we made
and what things could be done
programs and mental health
awareness programs and support
groups for health care
workers at the start of the pandemic.
It’s long overdue.
And you know, things like that.
because so many lives have been lost.
And I just think that it could
just have been managed so much better.
But I would say that
to implement more, to implement
and shape the world into a better place
and just that change for a better
Thank you all so, so much.
Aram and Todd and David
and I wish you the best
as you push forward and in care of us.
And I thank you for not just taking
this time and a symposium here, but
for the work that you do.
Thank you for being here today.
Hello. Welcome back, everyone.
I hope that
you had a short break
and you put it to good use.
We have learned
so in this in our morning session
in the in the early parts of the symposium
about risk and resilience through
the personal lens of our generous health
care and the panelists and
and through the data
coming out of the research,
I have to say that, you know,
I am learning so much about PTSD,
about moral injury
and risk and my own resilience.
But you I’d say that we do lean on on
you all the most
and at our most vulnerable times.
And so it’s good
to really take a step back and look at
what what we can do to help
to alleviate some of this this burden
and this this stress.
We’re going to continue this conversation
from the University of Alberta
who will present a tool called The Matrix
that aims to impart mood individuals
from NEG negative
or behaviors to more positive behaviors.
Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips and Dr.
McDonald can give you and give us
a bit of background on the Matrix.
I’ll turn it over to them
to then we go, Can everyone hear me?
Is it okay now?
Okay, wonderful. Sorry about that.
So I just wanted to say thank you
so much for that introduction
and we’re very to be here
and as already has been mentioned
in the symposium
many times, we just want to acknowledge
both the risk and the harm
that has come out of the pandemic,
whether that’s PTSD or moral injury
or just any of those other components
that people have had to experience.
But I think we also just want to honor
the moments, resilience that we just heard
about in the last presentation
and to just really speak to the fact
that as much as we know that risk comes,
so too can resilience come.
And we want to share a little bit
about our definition
of risk and resilience
and how we we believe you can build it.
And so I will turn it over to Dr.
to just give us a little bit
of an introduction about our understanding
of risk and resilience
before we move into the Matrix.
Thank you. Dr.
Seth McDonald It’s a pleasure being here.
Thank you everyone for the opportunity.
Yeah, well, there’s a lot of different
of models of resilience.
One way that we can look at it
is to think of resilience
and risk as two sides of the same coin.
On the one hand, harm
is anything that can challenge
our values external threat to us.
Yet at the same time, despite that threat,
we have the innate desire
in our hearts
to continue to move forward early on.
We hope, even if the glimmer of hope is
extremely small or hard to find sometimes.
But with time,
this harm can sometimes overcome our hope.
And so there’s a need to go deeper
to find a way to get through.
We posit that resilience
is about our values as well.
To be resilient, we need to know
what matters to us the most, i.e.
what our core values are and how we want
to live out those values in our lives.
If we don’t care about something,
it doesn’t align with our values or who
we want to be, then it’s going to be
very difficult to care or to carry on.
Knowing what matters to us
helps us to clarify
where we put our energies or what
things are worth fighting for,
and equally importantly,
what things we should let go of.
Resilience is about trying to, in small
steps, be able to realign with our values.
In difficult times, we often lose sight
of what we are trying to achieve
or why we’re doing things Left unchecked.
This can lead to helplessness,
feelings of hopelessness
which further compound
or can compound our sense of harm.
steps to clarify what matters to us most,
However, it can provide us with greater
understanding and a clearer sense
of meaning and purpose
and a pathway to get through the harm
that we’re experiencing.
And that’s where resilience shines
So again, resilience is about our values.
What matters to us the most?
Act Hillary Great.
Thank you so much.
We also just want to acknowledge,
as has been discussed in this symposium,
that resilience is something
that is a joint responsibility
between ourselves and other people,
specifically employers and employees.
And employers need to make those changes
to be able to improve
workplace factors that reduce
mental health and promote resilience.
So we want to just acknowledge
before we get into the matrix specifically
that this tool, while being specific to
individuals, can be used on a team level
and can also be used in ways
to support this more global and more
societal approach to resilience.
So before anything else,
why don’t we jump right into the matrix?
This is a tool that was developed
by acceptance and commitment therapy,
and it’s an evidence based tool to try
and support people to move from risk
Hi, We’re going to introduce you
to a tool called The Matrix.
The Matrix is a perspective.
It’s a way that we can look at things
and we can use the matrix, understand our
experiences and help guide our choices,
especially when we’re feeling stuck.
It can help us
figure out how to get unstuck.
So the Matrix has two axes.
The first is towards in a way,
and this means towards
what matters to you, towards
who’s important to you, towards
your values, what’s important
and matters to you or away from
the other axes is inside and outside.
Inside is our internal
thoughts, feelings and sensations
is anything you can notice with your five
or your own behavior,
which is what other people can see.
in the middle is us noticing,
with some kindness and curiosity.
And so it’s important
because it also helps us notice
what’s happening and to take a different
perspective of thinking about things,
not in terms of good,
bad, right, wrong, true or false,
but in terms of towards
what matters or away from what matters.
We can also use a matrix
to understand risk and resiliency.
So in a sense, risk is when we get stuck
on the away side of the matrix.
As humans, we often do things
that are short term solutions
but end up costing us in the long term
resiliency is then getting to the towards
side of the matrix.
It means that we’re doing things
that are important to us,
that matter to us
even when things are difficult.
And our goal is simply to move
a little bit more towards than away.
Nobody can spend all their time
on the towards side of the matrix.
So now we’re going to use the Matrix.
And to give you an example
of how you can use it,
the now we’re going to go through
an example of how we can use the matrix.
In this example, Dr.
Jaimie and I are going to use the Matrix.
I’m going to be using an example
from my own personal experience.
I spent almost 15 years
on the medical surgical and cancer
care units at the hospital,
and I was there for part of the pandemic.
And so as a frontline worker working
in the cancer center during the pandemic,
I’m going to use my own
personal experiences to help us understand
how we can use the Matrix.
see how we can make use of this tool.
Dayna. Hey, Dr. Jaimie.
Let’s talk about something related
to your experiences as a health care
worker, especially the ways that you felt
stuck as a health care worker.
Yes. So I would say one of the parts
that was the most difficult
and I get the most stuck on where
some of the rules that really
it felt like they were putting patients
and health care providers at risk.
Sometimes those were government rules,
sometimes were institution rules
during the pandemic.
Sometimes it was about me.
And when you could get it
or how you should use it, other times
it was about when and where
and who was allowed to go
in and out of the hospital
and where you had to work.
And there was just constant worry
about bringing the virus either
in or out of the hospital, especially
at early stages of the pandemic.
So pain painful.
So I’m not I’m going to put this
on the matrix, Dr.
Dayna, away from what matters
because this pain was
really, really taking you away
from the things that mattered
and in the internal world. So
could you tell us a little bit
about those painful thoughts
and feelings and memories
that you had during that time?
there was a lot of anger and frustration.
And I would say
also really feeling helpless
and sometimes hopeless
that things weren’t going to change.
Sometimes we tried so hard
to get those roles to change
and sometimes we made no progress at all.
And I also heard you say
just memories of people, patients
and coworkers being harmed.
Yeah, it was really upsetting too.
You know, we all get into profession
because we want to help people.
And here there are these roles
that feel like they’re harming
both patients and our coworkers.
So thoughts like what?
What was going through your head like,
this is unfair.
I need to fix this. Why is this happening?
Any any body sensations
with all this pain?
Oh, well, like constant tension
just all the time.
Okay, so lots of anger,
lots of frustration.
Helpless, hopeless Great noticing.
All right, so we’re going to move up here.
So this is away from what matters
and what people see in the outside world.
What what did you do to move away
from this pain?
Well, I would say we often
got into arguments with management
trying to get people to change
or to convince people,
you know, of the importance
of how things needed to be different.
That was a big thing.
So what else did you do when you felt
frustrated, hopeless, helpless?
Yeah. I mean,
we often didn’t get anywhere with that,
so we did feel like super hopeless.
I’m I’m pretty I was like pretty snappy
with my family members.
And I probably started to, like,
avoid some of my friends because they just
didn’t want to keep hearing about
all of our stressors at the hospital.
So what happens
is this these thoughts and feelings
in their way Internal.
You started coping with them
with these away outside, right?
Is there anything that happened
as a result of these away outside moves
like so while you’re getting in arguments
trying to get people to change,
getting snappy, avoiding friends,
what painted that ad on the inside?
I end up just feeling even more frustrated
because you can’t get them to change
and then you start
to feel like a horrible person
because you’re not,
you know, hanging out with your friends
and you’re being snappy
and difficult with your family.
Yeah, okay, so
great noticing and notice
what’s starting to happen.
These away inside
experiences are contributing to these away
outside actions which are then
leading to more a way outside experiences.
So we start to spiral on this side
and when people come to us stuck,
they can be
in a in a high risk situation
where they’re spiraling on this away side.
So when we get fixated on this away
side of the matrix,
the pain and the ways managing the pain
and then trying to get rid of these
as if somehow if we worked hard enough,
we could get rid of them.
We can stay just in this spin.
So, so we’ve all been there
trying to get rid of these things
and we know what we’ve learned
can’t be unlearned.
And even if we could get rid
of all this stuff,
it still isn’t getting us over here
to the things that matter to us.
So where we’re really focusing
now is moving to this towards side where
we’re living a meaningful, purposeful
life, connecting with what matters to us.
So let’s move over to this toward
the inside world of yours
with who or what matters to you.
Well, I would say obviously
my family and my friends matter to me.
You know, my
colleagues and patients,
they were important as well.
So that’s who matters to you.
How about what matters to you?
What are some of those values
that matter to you?
I really got into this profession to,
like, help reduce human suffering,
to make things better
to help them live healthier, better lives.
When we think about these values
and we move up to this towards outside
part of the matrix for looking at
what could you do
to live out these values
and care for these people.
And one of the things you said
you’re trying to do is change the system,
help the system be more responsive, help
the system take care of health care
And you tried that
strategy, it sounds like,
to to the end degree.
So that matters.
And we’re also trying
to find other things up here
that would help you live out these values.
So when you think about these people
and these things that matter to you,
what else could you do to live out
the inside towards quadrant?
Well, I mean,
I guess I could definitely spend more time
with friends and family
and not be so grumpy around them.
Yeah, what else?
How about taking care of your colleagues
Well, I mean,
I think it was probably really helpful
when we supported each other as colleagues
and just recognized how hard it was.
Often people who weren’t in the hospital
just really didn’t understand
what it was like to be there.
And so probably supporting each other
about how hard it was,
what an important thing to do. Right.
So lots of ways that you are
showing up with compassion
that really made a difference.
And similar probably for patients to write
that everybody was scared
and things were so uncertain.
Yeah, so comforting.
So notice you actually have some options
It was super frustrating
that you didn’t get the support you needed
from management, from the hospital
and understandably caused you pain
because you want to make things better.
You wanted people to have healthier lives
and you just noticed
there’s a lot of flexible ways
that you can express your values.
So we want a lot of different options
up here because we find ourselves
in contexts and external situations
that limit our options.
So resiliency on
this side is really having
quite a few ways
to show up towards what matters to you.
I want you to notice two Dr.
Dayna down here, these things
that matter to you are the very things
that are connected to your pain.
So looking at anger, frustration
because you cared about patients
and your colleagues, memories of people
being harmed because you want them
to be healthy and feel better.
And this is not fair because you want
things to be fair for these people.
So your pain is directly connected
to these values
and then that way risk and resiliency
are two sides of the same coin.
We hurt because we care.
So when you look at this whole matrix,
what’s it like to?
Notice with kindness and curiosity?
actually it’s pretty clarifying too,
to see it like written out all that way.
And I can see that I was getting stuck,
you know, in
just one way of trying to do things.
And that maybe there are
some other things that I could do
that are still important and helpful.
here’s what’s important to notice.
We we don’t get to get rid of the away
side or side.
the pain of life is is there for good.
And yet we do get to focus on continuing
to move towards a meaningful life.
Even with that, even with the ways
that we’re managing that pain.
So today you noticed
different ways to move to the towards side
and how we are resilient
even in the face of difficult situations.
So that was an example of how you can use
the matrix to understand what’s going on
for us and to take a new perspective
on how we can move forward.
We use this all the time
to help our clients and patients,
but we also use this in our everyday life.
Whenever I’m feeling confused
or stuck or uncertain about how to behave,
I will take out a matrix and fill it out
to figure out what’s important to me
and how can I express that?
We can really see
how risk and resiliency are
part of two sides of the same coin
that we can get stuck on the away
side is part of the risk,
and it’s a normal human response.
And resiliency is figuring out ways
to make towards moves even when it’s hard.
Yeah, the Matrix has
me really listen to my pain
and find my values within my pain.
So when I am feeling angry, what
feels wrong to me that I could take
valued actions on when I’m sad?
What can I
what can I mourn that matters to me?
And if I’m scared,
what can I protect that I care about?
If I’m guilty, what can I repair?
So my pain then informs my values
and my valued actions
instead of being something
I need to react to and fix.
So we always take the approach
is a joint responsibility
between employees and employers.
So although we don’t have time in today’s
presentation, there is also a team matrix
or a pro-social matrix, which is about
how groups can work together
and find their shared purpose
or their values
and move towards or away
from that and understand that better.
And so we want to empower individuals
to do what they can to be.
Well, while we also recognize that systems
also need to change
to help the individuals
be well, incredible stuff.
Thank you so much to Dr.
Jaimie Lusk and Dr.
Dayna Lee-Baggley. And Dr.
Dayna is is joining us today,
along with Dr.
Suzette and Dr. Lorraine are back.
Thank you all so much.
talking about the problem is so important,
but providing the tools to address
those problems is crucial
if we’re going to change
personal and institutional behaviors.
And thank you, Doctor.
What was it like, Dr.
Dayna, to go through the Matrix yourself?
You gave so much of yourself,
and I don’t think that those answers
were made up.
Like I’m not thinking that. Yeah.
So I really do actually use the Matrix
all the time in my everyday life.
So going through the Matrix
was a really common thing for me,
but I think it really demonstrates
how we can do it.
We were really glad to have some real,
you know, lived experience to be able
to share with the audience
and how we could use the Matrix
with that lived experience.
And so I think it’s a great example
with them, you know, real data
as to how you can make use of it
to handle the experiences of
frontline workers during a pandemic.
And hospital workers in general
I want to just remind folks that the Q&A
box is open to you if you have questions
for the university of Alberta team here,
I’m happy to,
you know, express those questions for you
I do wonder about this.
There is a question that came up
about the group and team Matrix
that you did mention and how that works
and how can you just
either anyone of you can
can you tell me just a little bit
about how the team Matrix
would be applied in health care settings?
It how it might work?
So we visited in a number
of our interventions
with health care workers
and it’s really four kind of group.
So it could be a unit,
it could be a department,
it could be two people working together.
And what it allows groups of people to do
is to focus the conversation on values,
which in the group setting
we refer to as shared purpose in groups.
We, you know, and in work settings,
there is a shared purpose
that people are there
to do something together.
And so it allows us to have conversations
about shared purpose
and values instead of again,
like right, wrong, but bad, true, false.
We used it in work conflict
resolution to again change the perspective
instead of like who’s right
and who’s wrong in terms of
what’s going to move us towards.
In a way we use it in our diversity,
equity and inclusion
training to help people change
their behavior in their everyday lives.
Again, becoming more aware of the biases
that show up and choosing behaviors
that’s more consistent,
their values around inclusion.
So there’s a number of ways
that you can make use of it,
and it’s a really versatile tool.
Again, it’s really meaningful to us.
In addition to empowering individuals
is to help change the systems.
We know that the systems are also
contributing to burnout, contributing
to moral injury, and so we don’t want to
just rely on the individual changing.
We also want to help the system change.
And so we’ve made use of that tool,
for example, in leadership training,
which is one way that you change
the system is by helping
leaders have better skills
to manage people and to make decisions.
And so there’s a number of ways
that we’ve made use of it in teams.
Oh, you’re on meet.
It’s like I’m brand new at this.
I’m really not.
Can you just tell me
how it’s been received then?
In those in those settings you say that
it’s been that The Matrix has been applied
to so many different
scenarios and, and groups
how has it been received?
Has has there been uptake in the
in the way I know that you and Dr.
Jaimie have used use it in your own lives.
Tell me a little bit more about the uptake
and how it’s received.
Yeah. So I think it’s been very favorable.
We did a study on burnout
during the pandemic and again
we decided that we
we got grant funding to look at
burnout in frontline workers and we chose
to do a leadership training of,
you know, an employee training to again,
try to address some system level problems.
And that was the structure
of all of the intervention
was using the matrix
to help change behaviors of leaders.
And so it’s been really,
One of the things the Matrix does
is actually create psychological safety.
And so that’s sort of been mentioned
in some of the earlier talks as well
about lacking psychological safety.
And it’s actually a tool that teams
can use that builds psychological safety
because it allows people
to have conversation
about difficult topics in a safer way.
So we don’t have to point out
like, well, you did this or you did that
or this was bad or you shouldn’t do that.
We can simply say kind of that
felt like a towards move for me
or that felt like an away move for me.
And sometimes, you know,
people are trying to do towards moves
and they’re interpreted as a way moves
and so it gives a team a language that you
that is really more compassionate and
more flexible and more curious and open
and doesn’t have to get into like,
right, wrong true, false, good, bad.
And it started one of those earworms.
You know, once you hear towards in a way
like it’s hard to forget it.
Dr. Lorraine and Dr.
Suzette, have you been applying the matrix
to your lives?
Dayna just said, it’s amazing how familiar
towards in a way becomes
and is documented.
I think it’s a really nice way
to sort of ask yourself,
why am I doing this behavior right?
And what does it mean to me
that I am doing this behavior?
And so for me personally,
that has been a great way to clarify
why am I doing certain things
and really to be able to look and say,
is this towards
what I care about, as Suzette said,
is this something that’s meaningful to me?
Does it move me
in the way that I want to move in my life,
or is it really taking me away from that,
even if it’s a short term experience?
So it really has helped me
to to really clarify
that meaning and purpose in my life
in really small ways, really tiny things
that I’ll ask myself, like, you know, work
decisions or personal decisions.
So yeah, definitely I’ve used it
would just do, I would just echo
that if I could.
Of just being empowering.
So a tool that I use as well in terms
of making those choices.
So looking, do I go this way
or do I go that way?
It’s, it’s within my control.
And so giving people reminding people,
reminding me of my choice.
And so I find the tool very empowering.
Also, it challenges me to be more aware,
more self aware, and more collectively
aware of what choices we’re taking.
I choose to look at something,
what other options I have.
So for me it’s an awareness tool as well
as a choice tool and a team building.
And it’s Dr.
Dayna mentioned as, well,
a way for people to have a safe way
to not look at blacks and whites
or or blaming or otherwise,
but to really have an open mind about
seeing things in a broader perspective.
So empowering choice breadth
about me and about weight
and really keeping that focus on two sides
of the same coin
and looking at where those
where those pains are,
also the things that truly matter.
And how if I root into those,
I can be more resilient
in even the most difficult
of circumstance says.
So I think for me it’s
something it’s a lens through which
I look all the time
to be able to make the choices that I do.
So rather than a tool for me
it’s a way of life and a lens through
which I look at every moment
of every life about Do
I choose to move this way or that way? I’m
I feel like The Matrix is something
that I’m going to take back to all of,
you know, my own teammates and my own life
and put it on the fridge
and all of you here where
it really is.
one thing that I find really fascinating
is the idea that The Matrix helps
to clarify your values
and and how values link with resilience.
So I’m wondering,
you just unpack that just again,
just a little bit more so that we can be
left with a clarity
in, in that how the values
are linked with resilience
and then how you can get to that
through the matrix DOT data.
So one of the great parts about the Matrix
is it is an evidence
based tool and it’s built on, you know, a
well-supported intervention known
as acceptance and commitment therapy
that’s been shown to address
that number of conditions
from things like depression and anxiety.
Our team used it for moral injury,
but also even things
like OCD and psychosis.
And then things like procrastination
And so it’s a very versatile therapy,
that we know that it works.
And so values
as part of that model of therapy
and values has a very kind of specific
meaning in, in the therapy
is that it’s about
how you want to show up as a person.
And that’s really important
because it’s not sort of like,
what do I want to get out of life?
But it’s like,
what do I want to contribute to life?
How do I want to care about people?
How do I want to show up?
And that’s a much different thing
to think about
because then it’s about your own behavior
and you have much more control over that
than the environment or,
you know, the way the world is responding.
And so, you know, for example, sometimes,
you know, there was people who would say
freedom is a value.
And the question was, well,
what would you do with more freedom?
Because the values part is
how would you show up
if that’s important to you, how would
what would you do more of or less of
if you have that?
how we kind of talk about the values.
And so there’s a, you know, Dr.
Jaimie did a great example of that.
There’s this expression about where
there is pain, you’ll find your values.
And so that’s it’s
the two sides of the same coin
that when something is really painful,
it also tells you what’s important to you.
And it can give you clues
about, you know, what matters to you
and how you want to show up.
And then there’s the secret sauce is
then we want to find flexible
ways of expressing that. We often get
into very narrow definitions
of like, this is how I have to show up
to express value.
But we’re trying to find lots
of different ways to express our values.
And that, I think, is really important
in this world that this like
that is way more uncertain.
And there is a lot of things that are less
predictable than they were beforehand.
And so having that
psychological flexibility to show up
in a variety of different ways
to express your values
then gives us a lot of ways
to move forward in a meaningful way.
Yes. Thank you very much for this.
This has been
paradigm shifting in your head.
You know that these shifts, something
this just this
the matrix is is really quite fascinating.
wants to take a look at the template,
you can look at the chart right now.
There’s a French version.
It’s also in other languages.
There’s an English version
here in the chat.
You’ll see that
and you can just copy and paste that.
There’s also a question here about a link
to, the group and Team Matrix,
which we I’m sure
that we can provide as well.
But I want to thank Dr.
Suzette Brémault-Phillips, Dr.
Lorraine Smith-MacDonald, Dr.
Dayna Lee-Baggley and Dr.
Jaimie Lusk, who is not with us right.
But this has been fascinating.
Thank you so very much
for being part of the symposium day.
Thank you so much.
Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks, Dayna.
Thanks, Lorraine. So
the University of Alberta
doing some really incredible things.
I love it.
Now, if you can believe it, we have come
to the end of symposium today.
I want to
invite again actually, I want to
who has been a part of this today
for taking the time and being so generous
and and open.
Those health care professionals
and the audience
who took the time to take part
and be in the symposium.
I know those that were that were speaking.
It takes a great deal of courage
to share your experience.
And then those in the research fields
that marry all that experience
with the depth and breadth of research
and offer up tools like.
I know that the work that you’re doing is
is just so difficult,
but so important, though.
I now I’d like to welcome back Dr.
Margaret MacKinnon for a short debrief on
on everything that we’ve heard today.
We’re just pouring in with
thanks for all of the
all of the
the panelists and for the symposium.
this has just been great.
I mean, can you I know that you’re
intimately familiar with the research
and the tools that were presented today,
and you’ve heard so many stories.
What has today’s symposium taught you
about risk and resilience
And I just want to echo your words and
thanking everyone who contributed today.
It is not easy to tell these stories.
It’s hard to listen to them.
But I think what I learned
and was reminded of again today is
that we’re not alone in this.
You know, in speaking to health
care workers often hear people say it’s
I feel so alone.
I don’t think other people necessarily
are having the same experiences
because we are having the same reactions.
And I think what reminded here
today, it’s a community that we share
and the work that we have to do together,
and that includes organizations,
individuals, members of government,
We’re in this together
to support one another.
And just being reminded
and knowing of these stories,
knowing the tools that can help us
and working together towards a common
purpose of supporting and strengthening
our health care worker community.
If you want, wanted to have
folks in the audience walk away with.
You know, just one thing today.
I know there’s many that we spoke about,
and I know this is putting pressure on you
because maybe I didn’t tell you
that I was going to ask this question,
but what would that what would you want
folks to walk away from with today?
Yeah, I know.
as a clinical psychologist in the past,
and I think
one of the most difficult things
when we face trauma is often
to reach out to others for support.
You know, I’ve worked with patients
where even making a phone call
is painful, it’s difficult, it’s hard.
And I think
certainly when we’re in situations
like this, we do have a tendency often
to turn inwards and.
What I want to encourage
people to do is turn to one another.
We’re here to support each other.
We have each other’s backs, are part of
a community that’s of service who serve.
And we want to thank you again,
all of you, for your service.
Thank you so much.
Now you’re going to see up on the screen
to follow us here.
Then, if you’d like to take a look
at the research,
there’s the website, social media.
It’s all up.
It’ll come up on the screen
and you can follow along
with the resources bbc.co.uk and to a FAQ
and all of the partners and sponsors.
Thank you to everyone
who has taken the time to be here today.
We hope that you are leaving here
with helpful takeaways.
If you want to leave
just one word in the chat
about how you are feeling about this
session, please do.
It’s always nice to see
how folks are feeling, but as I said,
please take a look at the resources
that here and you can go back
to this video at a later date.
Thank you again for joining.
Have a wonderful day and
Dr. Margaret McKinnon, Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma; Professor, McMaster University
Dr. Margaret McKinnon is Full Professor and Associate Chair, Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, where she holds the Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma. She is also the Research Lead for Mental Health and Addictions at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a Senior Scientist at Homewood Research Institute.
Work in Margaret’s unit focuses on identifying the neural and behavioural correlates of PTSD and trauma-related illnesses and on translating this knowledge to the development and testing of novel treatment interventions aimed at reducing the cognitive and affective sequelae of these conditions.
A licensed clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, Margaret has a special interest in military, veteran, and public safety populations (including healthcare providers), and has worked with these groups clinically and in her research program. She has published or in press nearly 150 scientific works.
Under Margaret’s leadership, the Trauma & Recovery Research Unit is supported by federal and provincial funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research, Veterans Affairs Canada, Defence Canada, the PTSD Centre of Excellence, MITACS, and the Workers Safety Insurance Board of Ontario; by a generous donation to Homewood Research Institute from Homewood Health Inc.; and by generous gifts from private foundations including True Patriot Love, the Cowan Foundation, the Military Casualty Support Foundation, the FDC Foundation, and the AllOne Foundation.
Margaret is a frequent commentator in the media on matters related to PTSD, moral injury, and the impact of trauma on special populations.
Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips, Occupational Therapist; Professor, University of Alberta
Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips is an Occupational Therapist and Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta. She is also Director of the Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC), a provincial hub for research, teaching and service in support of military members, veterans, public safety personnel, and their families.
Suzette’s research interests include resilience, wellbeing, and mental health.
Dr. Lorraine Smith-MacDonald, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
Dr. Lorraine Smith-MacDonald is a Postdoctoral Fellow within the Heroes in Mind, Advocacy, and Research Consortium (HiMARC) in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. HiMARC is the provincial initiative researching the health and wellbeing of military, veterans, public safety personnel, and their families.
Lorraine’s research focuses on the intersectionality of the mental and spiritual domains of health and specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder and moral injury.
Eram Chhogala, Registered Nurse
Eram Chhogala is a registered nurse working in trauma, emergency and resuscitation services serving the Greater Toronto Area. She has experience in healthcare for 12 years, including eight as a nurse. She specializes in critical care and vascular care, and has had vast experiences in cardiology, fertility, family and community medicine, and education. She has interests in writing, the arts, and mental health advocacy for healthcare providers.
Dr. David Tebb, Physiotherapist
Dr. David Tebb is a practicing Physiotherapist with Unity Health Toronto (St. Joseph’s site) in Orthopedic / General Surgery and Intensive Care. David has a BSc from Western University and obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from D’Youville University in 2010. He has practiced throughout the continuum of care in both Canada and the United States, including outpatient orthopedics, acute neurology/ trauma rehab, and most recently, in Acute Care Orthopedic and General Surgery for the past six years.
David also provides expert-witness legal consultation and has special interests in Quality Improvement, most recently being involved with implementation of the Total Joint Day of Surgery Program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
In his free time, he likes to spend time with family and friends, playing and watching a variety of sports, and driving his wife crazy learning to play the ukulele.
Todd Tran, Occupational Therapist
Todd Tran currently works as an occupational therapist at Women’s College Hospital in Family Practice and the Women’s Mental Health in Medicine program. His clinical and research area of interest is older adults with early cognitive deficits, technology-based applications among older adults, mindfulness for stress reduction and mental health, and health delivery service such as primary care.
Todd is a Sessional Lecturer (status-only) in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto (St. George Campus). He is in the final year of his Ph.D. program at Queen’s University, School of Rehabilitation Therapy in the Aging and Health stream.
Dr. Kim Ritchie, Research Associate, Homewood Research Institute
Dr. Kim Ritchie is an Assistant Professor at Trent University and holds an Adjunct position in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience at McMaster University. Since 2020, she has been co-leading a national study examining the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare providers.
In addition, Kim is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in direct care and clinical leadership roles, primarily focusing on mental health and geriatric mental health. She completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University, and currently conducts research on PTSD, trauma, and moral injury in military/veterans, healthcare providers, and public safety personnel.
Mina Pichtikova, Clinical Research Coordinator, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University
Mina is a graduate of McMaster University’s Honours BSc. Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour program, and is currently pursuing an MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. She has six years of research experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative research on the topics of PTSD, concurrent disorders, moral injury, borderline personality disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma.
Mina currently works as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Trauma & Recovery Research Unit.
Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley, Registered Clinical Psychologist; Director, Dr. Lee-Baggley and Associates
Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. She is the director of Dr. Lee-Baggley and Associates, a virtual health psychology clinic specializing in clinical interventions, training for healthcare providers, and research in health-related issues (e.g., chronic pain, sleep, COVID burnout, PTSD for point-of-care workers).
Dayna worked for almost 15 years in multidisciplinary teams on medical, surgical, and cancer care hospital units providing assessment, therapy, and consultation for patients with chronic and life-threatening health conditions. She also conducts research as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, with a cross appointment in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University and an Adjunct Professor appointment in the Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University. She has an active research program on behaviour change, obesity, chronic disease, professional resiliency, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Dayna has over 45 peer-reviewed publications and over 130 scholarly presentations. She is a Senior Consultant providing healthy workplace interventions for employees, teams, and leaders with Howatt HR Consulting and the Chief of Research for the Howatt HR Applied Workplace Research Institute. She is an internationally recognized trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She was the recipient of the 2017 Women of Excellence Award for her contributions to health, sport and wellness (Canadian Progress Club Halifax). She is the author of the book Healthy Habits Suck: How to get off the couch & live a healthy life…even if you don’t want to.
Dr. Jaimie Lusk, Clinical Psychologist; Professor, Oregon Health Sciences University
Dr. Jaimie Lusk, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist working with U.S. veterans at the Salem Vet Center in Salem, Oregon, as well as Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University. A combat veteran, she attended the U.S. Naval Academy, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2001–2005, and deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jaimie began working clinically with veterans in 2010 at the Denver VA, joined VA Portland staff in 2014, and began working at the Salem Vet Center in 2019. She is passionate about facilitating recovery from PTSD and moral injury, as well as readjustment difficulties, through evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapies.
Jaimie has conducted research related to veteran suicidality, traumatic experiences, moral injury, and spirituality. She is a cognitive processing therapy trainer, and offers national trainings and consultation in CPT for clinicians working with veterans suffering from PTSD related to combat and military sexual trauma.
Garvia Bailey, Co-founder, Media Girlfriends
Garvia Bailey is a co-founder of Media Girlfriends Inc. Her career in media spans close to two decades as a producer, host, and columnist for the CBC and JazzFM. She is a co-founder of jazzcast.ca, a 24-hour streaming service that amplifies the roots of jazz as an African-American–derived artform.
Garvia is the recipient of the 2019 RTDNA award for opinion writing and a 2017 Silver Medalist at the New York Radio Awards. She is a jurist for the prestigious Canadian Hillman Prize for investigative journalism. Her work is centred around inclusion, care, and excellence in journalism.