How Mind Share Partners Is Merging Mental Health and Workplace Culture

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

Kelly Greenwood | Founder & CEO, Mind Share Partners

These workplace mental health stories are just the beginning. We need your voices to share the realities that millions of talented employees and organizations are facing everyday.

This article was originally published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

I remember a time when I was terrified to tell my colleagues that I have generalized anxiety disorder. As a high-performing professional in competitive environments, I had internalized a great deal of shame and embarrassment. Back then, it would have been impossible to imagine that I’d eventually be writing about my mental health condition on the Internet.

Yet here I am—and inviting all of you to join me in this much needed conversation about workplace mental health. I am now an editor-at-large of Mental Health At Work, a special section on Thrive Global, with a goal of sharing as many stories and insights on this topic, and combating the stigma.

Born from a desire to create the resources that would have helped me when I was struggling, I founded Mind Share Partners, a nonprofit with the mission of changing the culture around workplace mental health so that both employees and organizations can thrive. We increase awareness, offer corporate workshops, and host professional communities for working professionals navigating mental health at work.

At a dinner event in November 2017, I found myself seated next to Arianna Huffington. She viewed our mission as an extension of her own work to end stress and burnout, which can often trigger underlying mental health conditions. Arianna immediately understood its importance and is now one of Mind Share Partners’ advisors.

We want Mental Health At Work to serve as a forum where we can articulate the full scope of business, professional, and personal implications that employee mental health conditions entail. That means we’ll be covering important workplace mental health topics that we rarely get to hear about: the billions of dollars that companies lose in productivity and turnover, the challenges that managers face when they feel caught between caring about people and complying with HR practices, innovative solutions that go beyond the standard employee assistance programs and leaves of absences, as well as how to manage both a successful career and a mental health condition.

Before diving into this issue professionally, even I had no idea about the pervasiveness of mental health conditions, which is very telling about where we are as a society.

In fact, 20 percent of Americans each year have a diagnosable condition like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, whether they know it or not.

This means that every conference call, every meeting, and every team is affected. However, mental health conditions still carry a strong stigma and consequently, often go untreated. (Read more about the realities of workplace mental health here.)

Now is the time to change the culture around workplace mental health. Mental health awareness is at an inflection point. More and more, we’re seeing actors, singers, and athletes disclose their mental health conditions. To shift the cultural dynamic, the workplace needs to be a leader, too.