Clinical Team

Diana Vissers occupational awareness

Diana Vissers

Occupational Consultant

I am a vocational rehabilitation professional registered to practice in Canada.  By working in community mental health and employment programs early in my career, I saw how life-changing having and keeping a job can be for someone with ill mental health.  Those early experiences shaped my view of work and health.  I believe strongly in the value of work as a healthy part of life, personal identity and as a way to make meaning of ourselves.  When one’s ability to work is interrupted or feels unsafe, it is a crisis! 

I am passionate about helping others understand the obstacles to working and figure out the path back.  I have come to understand that the health reasons for work absence is only one part of the issue.  Each person is unique and has a unique combination of other elements such as the nature of their job, the rules and culture in their workplace, and their family, community and social situation.  Finding a safe and successful path into work requires exploring, understanding and addressing all of these elements together.  I work in a client-centred process and believe that with the right support, tools, and guidance, every person can find their way back to productive work. 

Working in this field for more than 25 years means I have worked in many different systems, including for insurers, WCB’s, employers, unions, and for non-profit agencies.  One of my skills is to understand the different perspectives of the individual, employer, union, funder, health care providers that surround an individual’s health issue.   This is really helpful as solutions often emerge through that understanding. 

In 2014 I completed my MA in Disability Management with a focus on workplace mental health.  My research included identifying gaps between mental health needs and resources in municipal organizations which was the beginning of my special interest in first responder mental health.  I learned of the unique psychological risks among first responders, the limits to treatment and supports, and the culture that makes it difficult to access help.  Since then I participate in research, speak at conferences, deliver workplace education, and provide in-kind services such as on the BC Professional Fire Fighters Mental Health Task Force, aimed to close the gap.  My work with Boreal Wellness Centres is an extension of that commitment.

When I am not at Boreal Wellness Centres or creating and delivering workplace mental health training, I can often be found hiking in the wilderness or paddling a local river in my hand-made wooden kayak “Knotty Girl”. 

25+ years of practice

Postgraduate Studies:
B.A., McMaster
B.A., Univ. of Northern B.C.

Client Focus:
Working Age Adults

Mental Health Recovery & Rehabilitation
Workplace Mental Health
Return To Work Planning
First Responders

Therapeutic Strategies:
Psychosocial Rehabilitation
Motivational Interviewing
Progress Goal Attainment 
Strengths-based Approach




Favourite quote:
"Kindness is like snow - it beautifies everything that it covers." 
     Kahil Gibran