Tag Archives: workplace mental health

My Clubhouse Room Rules

My Clubhouse Room Rules 

Please read this before engaging to see if my ClubHouse room is something you’d like to be a part of.

  1. Respect is required. Let’s create a safe space for everyone to have a voice and feel heard!
  2. Regardless of your beliefs, everyone will have a chance to speak.
  3. If the room is over 50, keep your speaking time to 2 minutes max. If the speaker starts a long-winded talk, , the mods will interject to keep us on point.Also, please stay on topic.
  4. If you attack anyone in the room or don’t show respect, we will interject and may remove you from the room.
  5. I will be checking my DM’s. If you have an issue with the room, DM me on Twitter or IG.
  6. No spam: Do not push your product or service to the room.
  7. Like life, there’s a wide variety of people on CH. If you make anyone feel uncomfortable for being a certain gender, race, class, disability, political party, sexual preference or religion, I see you as ruining the room. You will be removed.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Love – Michelle

Build it and they will come!

A belief that I have always shared! Those living with or caring for a loved one with a mental illness are seeking ways to connect with one another and to give and receive support. A mental health employee resource group (ERG) within any organization is powerful way to foster a real sense of supportive connection while extinguishing the mental health stigma in the workplace.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Stefanie who is a very powerful woman causing real change in her California based company, Splunk. She is my guest blogger this week and she shares her journey in launching their ERG at Splunk.

Our Neurodiverse Journey: Starting a Mental Health ERG at Splunk

Last month, my ERG leadership team and I celebrated the official launch of Splunk’s first Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group, a group that aims to provide a voice, community, and support for employees with mental health or neurodivergent conditions, or those caring for loved ones experiencing those conditions. To commemorate this milestone, I asked mental health activist Zak Williams (son of Robin Williams) to give a fireside chat and Q&A — and he told me he’d be “delighted.”

Our Membership Spiked

The event, to say the least, was a major success. Hundreds of employees either attended or viewed Zak’s presentation remotely. The Q&A ran way over time, and we still couldn’t get to all the questions. Conversations were fired with dizzying speed over our Neurodiversity Slack channel. Our membership spiked. My inbox and personal Slack blew up with people offering to volunteer, asking questions and requesting that we ship our ERG t-shirts to their offices. And it was thrilling to see this degree of passion around the topic of mental health from the Splunk community — and how excited they were to roll up their sleeves and get the ball rolling.

Before we began this endeavor, I knew anecdotally that there was interest. I tend to talk about mental health just about everywhere — music concerts, dinner parties, sporting events — and the workplace was no exception. But whenever I did, my colleagues immediately chimed in about their own experiences or expressed that they wanted to be a part of a Splunk initiative.

Starting a Neurodiversity ERG began to make sense. Splunk had numerous existing ERGs, but none that specifically addressed mental health. So over beers at a local bar one day, two of my work colleagues and I brainstormed everything that our ideal organization would include — and we didn’t hold back.

We’re Limited Only By Our Imaginations  

These days, we are busy planning everything from mindfulness and mental health education workshops to programming around ADD and ASD, intersectional ERG panels and community poetry slams. We’re limited only by our imaginations and creativity. And looking ahead, we not only have an opportunity to change a workplace culture, but to be a leader in a greater industry-wide shift that normalizes mental health in the workplace.  I look forward to what’s to come in 2020 and beyond!


If you are looking to build a mental health strategy and/or create an ERG of your own, let’s talk! I am on a personal mission to cause inclusion in workplaces across the U.S. I would be thrilled to support you in your journey to cause real change where you work!

Help Wanted: Work Place Mental Health Change Makers

I am on a mission because nobody is immune to mental illness. We all need more support, more compassion, and better mental health care. As I engage in conversations with a myriad of diverse populations, I hear one common theme – we must do more!  Whether they are lawyers struggling from addiction and suicide or physicians and health care workers struggling with burnout or police officers dealing with PTSD; everyone I encounter is asking for more mental health support. It truly is a blessing that it is finally on their radar. I am optimistic that we are on an amazing path. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

Peer Support Communities Can Make All the Difference

One of the things I am incredibly passionate about is helping organizations realize that they have an amazing and powerful untapped resource within – their own people. Just imagine if every single person was given the chance to leverage their own lived mental health experience and help others around them. The power of a structured peer support community within the workplace can be amazing and can result in many benefits. Beyond it being the right thing to do, the bottom line benefits range from decreased LTD and STD claims, reduced sick leave, increased employee engagement and increased use of EAP.

Companies who are committed to creating a more inclusive workplace for those living with invisible disabilities are the companies that will invite diverse talent and set themselves apart from their competition. Aside from that, in a recent WHO study it was highlighted that for every $1 USD invested in scaling up treatment for mental health disorders, there is a return of $4 USD in improved health and productivity.

One Police Department’s Successful Peer Support Community

One of the areas that I am acutely focused on is helping our first responders. After the flurry of suicides within the NYC Police Department this year, I feel pulled to want to do more for this vulnerable population. Through exploring, I learned about the incredible power of peer support within the Ottawa police department. Hear the difference it has made for these officers in their own words.

This example has made me realize that I am a force for change and will do whatever I can to help first responders learn about and adopt this powerful program for thier staff. Beyond first responders, I truly believe that every workplace should have a structured peer support community.

Leaning into my fearless tenacity and steadfast commitment to making a real difference in the world, I am out to cause profound change! To learn more about bringing a structured peer support program to your workplace, reach out to me and let me help you bring this program to your workplace!

Courage In The Face of Burnout

During this journey of pure uncertainty, I have been blessed to meet the most incredible people. Amy Young is one of them. I am quite confident that she was one of the people I ran with in the dark at 5:30 am with the popular Coach Tooley Run team, yet we never formally met until a dear friend said  “you have GOT to meet Amy”. From the moment I met her, I was inspired by her energy and her spirit. I love what she is standing for and how she is a living example of courage. I think you will appreciate her very powerful guest blogger message.

Courage in the Face of Burnout ~ Amy Young

Nearly two years ago, I left what many would consider to be a dream job. I had spent over 15 years climbing the corporate ladder in the media world, first at CBS then as part of Google’s Global Partnerships team. 

The perks of working at Google are well publicized, but all the free coffee and nap pods in the world couldn’t make up for the void I felt in my body and mind each day. I tried to work harder, study more and “fake it till I make it”. About three months into the job, severe imposter syndrome set in, opening the door to multiple panic attacks. At the time I felt like a failure, but what I realize now is how long I had avoided my growing state of burnout. 

In 2019, the World Health Organization classified workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon and work hazard. According to the WHO, burnout is classified by three factors: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

I was in trouble

Long before I moved to Google I was in trouble, I just didn’t realize the signs. I kept ignoring my gut that something was off, pushing my intuition down and pushing forward with work. I had three kids in five years, earned two promotions with three new bosses and raised my level of self expectation all while sacrificing the things I enjoyed doing both inside and outside of my work. I began to fill the void in my soul by filling my ego, buying more expensive clothes, pushing for new marathon PRs and getting that next title. When I reached a career plateau, I thought a new job was the answer, so I answered when Google called.  

Using intentional emotional transparency takes courage, but if you find yourself experiencing exhaustion, mental distance, and reduced capacity in either your professional or personal life, I urge you to ask yourself, “What is it costing me to live this way?”.  If the answer is too much, have the courage to speak up and seek support. Taking an intentional pause to rebuild your life may be the most important thing you ever do. No job is worth risking your mental health and sanity. 

About Amy  

Amy Young is the Founder and CEO of Redefine Possibility (www.redefinepossibility.com), a media platform and coaching service for successful career women transitioning to a more purpose driven life. She can be reached at amyyoung@redefinepossibility.com


The Bottom Line & The Right Thing to Do

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental illness is the greatest cause of worker disability in the U.S. This has inspired many companies to start to paying attention to employee mental health. Yet, there are other advantages to cultivating a compassionate and stigma free culture.

The first step is to return to the basics. Let’s care for employees as people first and not their conditions. The face of the company and the employee expereince are people leaders. Leaders need to genuinely care for thier people if they want to cultivate a compasionate workplace.

Fewer that 1 in 3 employees affected by mental illness actually receive help. A stigma free culture affords employees to feel safe and well-supported talking about thier challenges. When this happens, they become aware of available tools and obtain the treatment they need sooner. Feeling better mentally and physically will only translate into employees realizing higher job satisfaction.

Fundamentally, we all want to have the freedom to just be ourselves at work. Employees want to feel safe and appreciated. A compassionate work place will serve the success of the overall organization and its greatest asset – its people.

So, what next steps could you take to bring more compassion to your own work environment?