Charles-Antoine St-Jean, President and CEO of CPA Canada sits and speaks with Dennis Trottier, Chief Mental Health Officer at KPMG.
The Profession

The time to talk openly about mental health is now

Feelings of shame and stigma still exist when it comes to mental-health challenges. KPMG’s chief mental health officer sat down with CPA Canada’s President and CEO for an honest discussion about managing mental illness

Charles-Antoine St-Jean, President and CEO of CPA Canada sits and speaks with Dennis Trottier, Chief Mental Health Officer at KPMG.CPA Canada’s president and CEO Charles-Antoine St-Jean sat down at The ONE conference with Denis Trottier, KPMG’s chief mental health officer, to discuss the realities of managing our mental health

Although companies are trying to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, numbers show the feelings of shame still exist. According to a 2016 report by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, only 23 per cent of employees are comfortable talking to their employer about a psychological health issue—even though statistics show one in five Canadians suffers from a mental illness or addiction problem each year.

A few years ago, CPA Denis Trottier almost resigned from his career in accounting due to depression. Instead, KPMG offered him the unique position of chief mental health officer. At this year’s The ONE virtual conference, Charles-Antoine St-Jean, CPA Canada’s president and CEO, sat down with Trottier to discuss the realities of managing our mental health. 

Trottier recognizes the self-imposed guilt people put on themselves and says moving past this and asking for help are the first steps to recovery. “You can’t cure yourself out of cancer, so you can’t necessarily cure yourself out of a mental illness without getting proper help,” he says. 

Watch the inspirational video between St-Jean and Trottier as they discuss the effects mental illness can have on work and personal life. 

To further the conversation and shed light on the pervasiveness of mental-health challenges, we’ve pulled together articles and resources from CPA Canada that touch on a range of topics, from employee burnout to coping with stress during COVID-19.

My depression was so acute I tried to resign. Now, I’m KPMG’s chief mental health officer
Millions suffer from mental-health issues in silence and CPA Dennis Trottier was one of them. With a high-profile role at KPMG, Trottier contemplated resigning. Instead, he was offered the innovative position of chief mental health officer. Now he positively affects employees working through mental-health challenges. 

The corporate world is waking up to employee burnout. It’s about time
In an always-connected culture, burnout is real—and companies are finally taking it seriously. Four CPAs tell their stories of early career burnout and how they overcame it. Often, these young professionals relied on company programs or started their own mental-health initiatives to help fellow colleagues manage their issues. 

Can you measure the impact of mental-health programs at work?
Read how two Canadian finance teams—The Co-operators Group and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board—implemented social and human capital accounting into their organizations to highlight how employees’ mental health is impacting businesses.

Feeling burned out because of the pandemic? You’re not alone
COVID-19 has created the perfect storm for burnout. Seven in 10 professionals say they are mentally exhausted, mainly because of blurred work-life lines and unmanageable workloads. Learn about who is most prone to feeling rundown and how to work through it with support from an employer.

Pandemic-induced burnout: 12 ways to nip it in the bud
Millions of Canadians have been working remotely during COVID. And while time is being saved by not having to commute, it’s harder to turn off your work self and switch to relaxation mode at home. For those feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, here are 12 tips to regaining your work-life balance during COVID-19.

Coping with stress during COVID-19
Among the daily challenges of dealing with the pandemic, many people are also facing mental-health issues. In this webinar session, viewers will learn about different stress factors and stress management techniques to help cope with this unprecedented time.

Wellness in a time of crisis
This webinar offers expertise in financial literacy and mental well-being for employees. The first half of the discussion focuses on financial fears, including job income and stability, while the latter half tackles mental-health challenges, covering topics such as how to deal with news overload, isolation and working with children at home.

Survive and thrive financially after losing your job due to COVID-19
The pandemic has resulted in many Canadians struggling with the loss of their job. This webinar touches on the issues and emotions that come with job loss, as well as provides strategies on how to move ahead financially.

Why a ‘happy face’ culture can backfire at work
A culture of positivity is generally welcomed in the workplace. But there can be too much of a good thing. When everyone is expected to put a happy face on everything, positivity can turn toxic. Read about what this culture looks like and find tips on how to overcome this risky approach.


Learn about The Co-operators Group’s internal initiative to bolster employees’ mental well-being and how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board recognized the value of their employees by investing in a mental-health strategy.