Provincial & National Leadership Committee Roles

Dr. Samra has served in a number of leadership committee roles at the provincial and national level, including the following:

Clinical Expert Spokesperson, Bell “Let’s Talk” Day
In 2010, Bell announced the launch of an unprecedented multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Over the next several years, this multi-million dollar initiative will support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding and treatment of mental illness and promote access to care and research across the country. Often invisible, mental illness is one of the most pervasive health issues in the country with far-reaching consequences for every Canadian. One in five people will experience a form of mental illness at some point and most will be reluctant to talk to a co-worker, friend or family member about their struggle, let alone seek treatment. While you may never experience mental illness first-hand, it is likely that you know someone who will. With more than 60,000 team members in Canada, Bell has taken the initiative to address mental illness in the workplace and at home, helping to make our communities healthier and more productive. Bell is introducing an extensive array of initiatives to support anti-stigma, increased access to care, additional research and the creation of an overall culture of mental health support across the Canadian business landscape.

Standard Development Technical Committee Member, National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (BNQ/CSA)
In recent years, a growing base of evidence has illuminated the importance of addressing the psychological requirements of employees in the workplace. A need to assist organizations in dealing with the issue has also been identified. Martin Shain, PhD, in a 2010 report commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada titled ‘Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm’, asserted that there is an emerging legal duty in Canada for employers to provide and maintain a psychologically safe workplace. The report led to the discussion of a sustainable, systematic approach including development of a national standard for managing psychological health and safety in the workplace. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is championing the development of a National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (“the Standard”) and is working collaboratively with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) and CSA Standards. The funding for this project is being provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Bell.

Awards Development Committee Member, National Quality Institute’s Canada Awards for Excellence (Mental Health at Work Award)
Since 1984, the Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE) have been presented annually to private, public, and not-for-profit organizations that have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Quality and a Healthy Workplace®. Through their achievement and results, these organizations have made a significant contribution to the quality of life of Canadians. The Governor General of Canada is the Vice-Regal Patron of the Canada Awards for Excellence, making this the most prestigious awards program in Canada. The Canada Awards for Excellence applicants are evaluated through an independent adjudication process, and each evaluation is judged against the National Quality Institute’s Canada Awards for Excellence Criteria. The Mental Health at Work category was introduced in 2011.

President (Past) , British Columbia Psychological Association
Since 1938, the BC Psychological Association (BCPA) has represented psychologists in British Columbia. It is a voluntary body and is committed to advancing psychology and the psychological well-being of all British Columbians. BCPA provides leadership for the advancement and promotion of the profession and science of psychology in the service of our membership and the people of British Columbia. The BCPA provides professional development and networking activities for members, publishes the BC Psychologist, and operates a province-wide referral service. BCPA seeks to maintain relationships with government with the goal of expanding the role of Registered Psychologists in BC’s health care system and contributing to public policy.

Chair (Past), BC Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards Committee
The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards (PHWA) Committee is comprised of  psychologists, business leaders, academics and informed professionals  who volunteer their time, commitment and expertise. The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award was founded by the American Psychological Association, and brought to Canada in 2004.   British Columbia was the first province to offer such an award, presented by then Minister of Health, Colin Hansen, at the Vancouver Board of Trade.  Recognition was given to large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations for excellence in promoting psychologically healthy workplace practices, policies and programs.

Steering Committee Member (Past), Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division’s annual Bottom Line Conference for Mental Health in the Workplace
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), BC Division‘s annual Bottom Line Conference brings together business leaders, policy-makers, researchers, and workers to improve mental health in BC workplaces.

Ask a Health Expert

Read Dr. Samra's weekly column in The Globe and Mail.
Ask a Health Expert column in The Globe and Mail

Dr. Samra in the Media

Books & Resources

Dr. Samra has co-authored a number of treatment books and resource for patients, families & clinicians.
Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace