Champion of mental health in the workplace, Bill Wilkerson, is recognized with Leadership Award

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - Bill Wilkerson, an individual credited with
putting mental health on the business agenda of corporate Canada, was
recognized today by IAPA (Industrial Accident Prevention Association) and
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) at the presentation of the 2007
IAPA-CME Health & Safety Leadership Award.
    Bill Wilkerson is the second recipient of the IAPA-CME Health & Safety
Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual's contribution to innovation,
advancement, and commitment to workplace health and safety. Wilkerson is
Co-Founder and CEO of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction
and Mental Health, a national non-profit corporation which aims to reduce
disabilities related to mental disorders in the workforce. Consisting of
business, health, and education leaders who recognize that mental health is a
business and economic issue, the Roundtable has in recent years initiated the
Charter for Mental Health in the Global Economy which urges corporate
leadership in promoting and protecting the mental health of the global
workforce. Wilkerson is the author of Mental Health: The Ultimate Productivity
Weapon in a Brain-Based Economy, a book about mental health and productivity,
and has written major reports on mental illness as a social and economic
issue, which have gained international attention. He serves with Ontario's
only Centre of Excellence for Children's Mental Health and with the Canadian
Alliance for Children's Health. Wilkerson's work has also helped lead to the
creation of a Canadian Mental Health Commission, headed by retired senator and
Roundtable Chairman Michael Kirby, to develop a national mental health
    "It's clear that the mental health of our workers needs to be a priority
in the workplace. More than 35% of Canadians experience a mental illness in
the course of their lifetime and depression is the fastest growing source of
disability in this country's labour force," says Maureen Shaw, IAPA President
and CEO. "It's a health and safety issue that cannot be ignored, and due in
large part to Bill Wilkerson's efforts, our business leaders are recognizing
mental health as an issue that should not be ignored."
    "CME is pleased to help raise the profile of this crucial issue, and
recognize an individual who is making a difference. In the globally
competitive world, business must leverage every opportunity to increase their
productivity," says Ian Howcroft, Vice President, CME-Ontario Division. "We
have long promoted how companies can reap a competitive advantage by investing
in health and safety, which includes wellness and mental health."
    Bill Wilkerson received the IAPA-CME Health & Safety Leadership Award
before an audience of more than 1,000 people at IAPA's annual health and
safety conference and trade show, Health & Safety Canada 2007. The
presentation of the Leadership Award is a highlight of the conference, the
largest event of its kind in Canada, attracting over 6,000 people, nationally
and internationally.
    The previous recipient of the IAPA-CME Health & Safety Leadership Award
was Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power President and CEO, in 2006. Hawthorne was
recognized for his efforts as the champion of the CEO Health & Safety
Leadership Charter, an alliance of business and government leaders from all
regions and sectors dedicated to achieving a breakthrough in health and safety
performance across Canada.

    IAPA celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2007. Operating in Ontario since
1917, IAPA is a not-for-profit, member driven organization. Representing more
than 50,000 member firms and in excess of 1.5 million Ontario workers, IAPA is
one of Canada's leading workplace health and safety organizations. The
association is focused on providing industry-leading training, consulting,
educational products, and informational services that meet members' needs and
the needs of those in their communities. IAPA is also recognized as a World
Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health and an
International Labour Organization - CIS Collaborating Centre. IAPA is
certified to ISO 9001:2000 for the design and delivery of training, has been
awarded the National Quality Institute's Progressive Excellence Program Level
III for Quality Certificate, and was a recipient of a Bronze Level Quality
Award at the 2006 Canada Awards for Excellence. For more information on IAPA's
products, programs, and services, call 1-800-406-IAPA (4272), or visit

    Canada's largest trade and industry association, CME promotes the
continuous improvement of Canadian manufacturing and exporting through
engagement of government at all levels. Its mandate is to promote the
competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and enable the success of Canadian
goods and services exporters in markets around the world. Representing
Canada's largest business network, CME's membership is drawn from all sectors
of Canada's manufacturing and exporting community and from every province
across the country. The association represents Canada's leading global
enterprises and more than 85% of CME's members are small- and medium-sized
enterprises. Together, CME's membership accounts for an estimated 75% of total
manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports. For more information,

For further information:

For further information: or for a photo of the award presentation,
please contact Jennifer Pugsley, Communications and PR Specialist, IAPA, Tel:
(905) 614-4272, ext. 2233, E-mail:; Ian Howcroft, Vice
President, Ontario Division, CME, Tel: (905) 672-3466, ext. 3256, E-mail:

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