Concurrent Session
Start the Conversation: How Workplace Conversations About Mental Health Can Break the Stigma and Transform Culture
Pacific Jewel B
In-Person Monday 10/24/2022 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM   Add to calendar
Competencies: Interpersonal (Behavioral), Leadership (Behavioral), People (Technical) | Intended Audience: Intermediate (Fostering DEI)
Workplace Application:
This session will spotlight how workplace conversations about mental health can break the stigma and transform culture by building shared trust and fostering future dialogue around difficult yet meaningful topics. 

Session seating is first come, first served. Thank you for your cooperation.

In 2015, TiER1 Performance made a conscious decision to find a way to positively impact mental health. Committing the talents of our team to tackle the issue, TiER1 launched an internal initiative called Start the Conversation that aimed to help people recognize how commonplace mental illness is and how it affects all of us. Start the Conversation was intended to encourage employees to have the courage to talk to friends, family, and others about mental illness. Our goal was to positively impact employees and help them deal with something that may be affecting them but was likely insufficiently addressed.

Creating an environment where people can talk about mental health as though it’s a normal life challenge—like any other life challenge—has resulted in numerous stories of people being more comfortable and knowledgeable in seeking treatment for their family members, their friends, and themselves. This has ultimately made us a healthier organization in every sense of the word.

Within TiER1, we often say that people don’t exist to serve organizations, organizations exist to serve people. In this session, Meg Switala from TiER1 will unpack the framework behind the Start the Conversation journey—Educate, Normalize, Support, Encourage—and the components of the Start the Conversation Toolkit, as well as how owning our part to address the daily challenges of mental illness that surround us can ignite change that makes the world a better place.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase awareness of the impact of mental health in the workplace.
  • Describe the components of the free Start the Conversation toolkit and journey.
  • Explain the framework for how organizations can support mental health in the workplace and build an open, trusting culture.
Meg Switala Photo
Meg Switala, Director, Healthy Cultures,
TiER1 Performance