CHE Spotlight – Ed Mantler

January 27, 2021

Please join us in celebrating the amazing Certified Health Executive (CHE) members who are at the heart of the College, through new monthly ‘CHE Spotlights’. Learn more about what makes these exceptional leaders tick. From leaders in mental health and wellness, equity diversity and inclusiveness (EDI) to mentors and emerging leaders, our CHE members are dedicated to life-long learning and leadership in healthcare.

To coincide with Bell Let’s Talk day, meet Ed Mantler, Vice President of Programs and Priorities at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). Ed joined the Canadian College of Health Leaders in 2007 and received his CHE designation shortly thereafter in 2009.

“Being recognized as a Certified Health Executive, mental health leader, and expert has opened the door to many opportunities for engagement. I’ve been fortunate to present regularly at national and international conferences, act as a subject matter expert advisor to various organizations and initiatives and moderate expert advisory panels for the World Health Organization”.


Mental health has been of ongoing interest throughout Ed’s life, inspired largely by his grandmother, who lived her life to the fullest despite experiencing periods of addiction and debilitating depression. As a young Registered Psychiatric Nurse working in a provincial mental health facility, his work in mental health quickly became a vocation, with the stark realization that our society and our healthcare system were simply not equipped to address the overwhelming burden of stigmatization and discrimination faced by people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness. After equipping himself with a master’s degree in administration, he set upon a career-long journey to help transform the mental health landscape for the better.

Decades of influencing improvements in healthcare delivery systems at the local and provincial level have shaped Ed’s understanding of two key elements of transformational change: innovation and leadership. Innovation has been a continuous theme throughout Ed’s career, from conceptualizing and starting six community based, client-run organizations as leader of Alberta’s Clubhouse Demonstration Project, to leading dozens of innovation projects improving access to medical specialist services across the Calgary Health Region and, later, to creating bold new strategies to recruit and retain physicians for the province of Saskatchewan as the inaugural CEO of These experiences continue to serve Ed well at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), where inspiring and mobilizing innovation are at the heart of their work.

Ed says, “My role at the MHCC has been the unequivocal highlight of my career, with each of my six years more fulfilling than the last”. The MHCC leads the development and dissemination of innovative programs and tools to improve the mental health and wellness of people in Canada. They support federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as stakeholder organizations in creating sound public policy, and aim to deliver on priority areas identified in the Mental Health Strategy for Canada. He is proud to be part of the Commission’s many “first of its kind in the world” initiatives, including the National Standards on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and Mental Health and Wellbeing for Post-Secondary Students, Roots of Hope community suicide prevention  in addition to world-class mental health training programs like Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind.

CCHL and the CHE Credential

When asked about the CHE designation, Ed believes that passion and knowledge are of little value without the credibility needed to influence others and effect real change. Achieving the CHE designation has been instrumental in developing that credibility. The program has provided him with the tools and knowledge necessary to be a high impact leader. Along with the LEADS in a Caring Environment Framework, Ed’s College activity has not only honed his leadership skills, but also facilitated the development of a broad network of executive leaders across Canada.  

Ed is also a strong supporter of the CCHL. He believes that to succeed as a health leader, membership in a vast network of effective, passionate leaders in the field is an invaluable resource. The College has been instrumental in the development and nurturing of that network.
The National Health Leadership Conference (NHLC) is always a signature event of the year for Ed. He particularly enjoys playing the role of speed mentor during Coaches’ Corner. The conference is a great chance to reconnect with colleagues from across the county as well as make new acquaintances, albeit virtually as of late. 

To conclude this month’s CHE Spotlight, we would like share one of Ed’s favourite quotes.

“Without mental health there can be no true physical health”.
– Dr. Brock Chisholm, first Director-General of the World Health Organization

Thank you, Ed, for your time and for sharing your experience and perspectives with the Canadian College of Health Leaders’ members.