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Heather Bodie offers a unique perspective on how to discuss mental health in the workplace. Through keynote presentations, workshops, courses, consulting, and coaching, Heather is dedicated to empowering individuals, teams, and leaders to have conversations about mental health at work with confidence and clarity.


Heather Bodie served as Executive Artistic Director of a Chicago-based non-profit arts organization, Erasing the Distance, for over ten years. She worked daily to disarm the deadly stigma surrounding mental health through storytelling and facilitated conversation. 

She has worked in in-house marketing departments, served as Chief of Staff, oversaw a collection of start-ups managing 110 employees on daily operations, and created/implemented HR policies and procedures focusing on conflict management and emotional health. She's run the gamut in the HR and corporate policy sphere and has valuable insights to share with all ready to listen. 


Heather has been studying the role of language in our ability to acknowledge and address personal and professional mental health challenges. Heather has traveled across the country working closely with leadership teams spanning multiple sectors, including real estate, pharmaceuticals, insurance, and healthcare, to examine work styles and ideate mental health focused approaches to team management. 


Heather's work has been featured at a NIEAPA conference, lauded and shared globally through corporate networks. 


One of her favorite projects was focused on the mental health impact of the criminal justice system, capturing the stories of incarcerated individuals, guards, lawyers, and police officers. She facilitated these public conversations about race, inequity, the justice system, and mental health, which led to collaborations with local elected officials, including senators, state representatives, and alderpeople, to create programs dedicated to public education about the mental health of first responders. 


Heather holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa. She served as Adjunct Professor at Dominican University and she is certified in Mental Health First Aid in the state of Illinois. 

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There are countless reasons we should all talk about mental health, EVEN at work. Here are just a few that have been proven to be helpful for both employees and businesses: Mental health affects productivity: Poor mental health can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism (when an employee is physically present but not fully functioning). Ever feel like you are sitting at your desk and want to be productive but are getting frustrated with what's on your mind? By giving room for employees to talk about their mental health and mental health concerns, employers can help their people maintain happiness, well-being, and improve their productivity. It's a win-win for all. Reduce stigma: Discussing mental health openly can help reduce stigma. Employees may feel more comfortable seeking help when they know that their employer supports mental health, and maybe even has their own struggles too. Promote employee retention: Employees who feel supported by their employers are more likely to stay with the company long-term. By creating a supportive environment, employers can reduce turnover rates and save on the costs of recruiting and training new employees. (What employee would want to leave a company where they feel fully supported as a complex human?) Ethical responsibility: It is the ethical responsibility of employers to promote the well-being of their employees. By prioritizing mental health, employers can demonstrate their commitment to the multi-faceted and complex health and happiness of their employees. Little investments and showing care in them as unique and individual humans, can really pay off. To sum it up, being able to discuss mental health at work is important for productivity, reducing stigma, promoting employee retention, and culture. By creating a supportive environment, employers can help employees thrive both personally and professionally.

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