Cheers! To your return to work!

Cheers! To your return to work!

Organization type: 
for profit
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The number 1 complaint heard from people off work is the lack of communication with their employer during their leave. While off work, people afflicted by mental health issues felt left out, unimportant or unwanted. When questioned, employers felt any contact with the employee may be perceived as "harassment".

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The book would need translation (budget of around 5000 to 8000$) from french to english and possibly other languages in order to help a maximum number of people. Although the sale of this book is already great success and shows great potential for future sales, the authors of the book are getting just a very small amount of the proceeds which makes it impossible for us to have sufficient money to have the book translated. Also, the current publisher is only interested in the french publication of the book, therefore, we are not going to get monetary support from the publisher in the translation project.
About You
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name


Website URL
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Phone


Organization Address
Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
What makes your idea unique?

In order to increase the level of communication between the employer and their employee of on sick leave due to mental health issues, we created a book they can send to the employee with a get-well card. Although get-well cards have been used to wish well to employees that are off work due to a physical condition, nothing was done to engage communication with employees of work for mental health reasons.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

The book release was done in Montreal at the end of April 2009. Although the book has been on the market only for a little amount of time, the book has reached the best-seller list of books available through the Web Site of the Ordre des conseillers en Ressources humaines et Relations industrielles (Human resources and industrial relations regulatory board in Quebec, Canada). Also, a few disability insurance companies have shown interest in sending this book to insured individuals that are currently on leave for mental health issues to assist them in their recuperation process. Individuals that have read the book have given us excellent feedback, indicating that the book was able to help them play an active role in their recuperation process and has given them hope as they were reading the numerous testimonials available throughout the book.


We are entering this contest, which would give us sufficient funds to have the book translated to english, if we were to be one of the 3 contest winners (5000$)!

Also, we will be contacting publishers in Canada and the USA that may be interested in publishing the english version of this book.


Results of this project are pending on the translation of the book.
As for the french version of the book, we have started a campaign in September 2009 to attract large employers in the province of Quebec to send this book, with a get well card, to all their employees that have initiated a leave of absence. One of the problems we have been encountering is that employers would need to have the book available in both french and english in order to send it at large to all employees off leave, both french and english speaking, in order to prevent any form of discrimination on the basis of language.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year 1: Translation of the book to english
Year 2: Find a publisher interested in distributing the english version of the book. Organize a book release in english at the National worker's compensation and disability conference &expo.
Continue campaigning to employers in Canada and the USA to train their supervisor / management / HR consultant to keep contact with their employees of leave for mental health issues and have them send the book and a get well card to help initiate and maintain communication during the leave of absence.
Year 3: Consider translation to Spanish since some employers in Canada and USA may require the spanish translation for their spanish speaking employees.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The current world wide economy makes all employers reluctant in investing in new projects. In order to address this reluctance, we will need to show the employers how an investment of as little of 20$ (book and personalized get-well card) may have a huge impact on the duration of the person's disability and therefore on the direct and indirect cost associated to the leave of absence.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$1000 - 4000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.


How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

here are the 3 most important actions needed:
1) have the book translated to english and find a publisher for the english version of the book
2) continue of the promotion of the project to employers, english book release at the national worker's compensation and disability conference & expo
3) survey the employees that have received a copy of the book with a get well card on it's perceived impact on their recuperation

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Training was being given in administrative and industrial settings to train supervisors and managers how to detect employees that may be presenting mental health issues and how to intervene. We were getting constant feedback on the manager's side about the discomfort felt when we would suggest the importance on keeping contact with their employees while they were on a leave of absence. Also, during our practice as rehabilitation consultants, Annick Thibodeau and Melanie Gregoire had noted how most clients would complain about the lack of contact from their employer while they were on sick leave, making them feel unimportant to the employer and left out. we decided to create a low cost idea (get well book accompanied by a personalized get-well card) in order to encourage the communication between the employer and it's employee during the leave of absence.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Melanie Gregoire, M. Sc, registered rehabilitation professional, has been helping for over 15 years employees on leave of absence to improve their help and return to work.
Mylene Gregoire, M. Sc., has been working in the recruiting field for over 10 years. She has been helping people find out their talents and better use them on the employment market.
Annick Thibodeau, occupational therapist, has been helping adults with physical and mental health issues over the past 15 years. She has helped them regain their maximum level of function so they can actively participate in activities significant to them, including work.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

American Occupational Therapy Association