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Resilient Employees/Resilient Organizations:

Trauma-informed Workplace Practices that Meet Employee Needs and Help Organizations Excel

June 21, 2022
9:00am - 2:15pm CST
Virtual Conference



The average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. This means that organizations have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact. Although not all employees have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, nearly everyone experiences mental or emotional challenges that employers can help support. Supporting the mental health needs of employees is both good for people and good for organizations. Resilient employees tend to be more engaged, more productive and more innovative.

Conference focused on the benefits of adopting resilience-based workplace practices and ways to enhance systemic drivers of resilience. 


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A Modern Model for Well-being

Resilience on the Front Lines

The Impact of Mental Health on Workplaces:  Ending Stigma and Opening Up Access

Lunch Break

Using an Equity Lens to Amplify Impact of Resilience-Based Care Initiatives

Questions and Closing Discussion 

Welcome Address and
A Modern Modern for Well-being

Panel 1:     10:00am - 11:00am CST      (11:00am - 12:00pm EST)

Resilience on the Front Lines

This panel will explore the skills, resources, and needs of those working in our First Responder spaces from their own perspectives.  Those engaged in work in these spaces are coming off of two years of varying degrees of chronic stress, trauma, and anxiety driven by this health crisis and, in turn, their roles as essential workers.  While we would not expect all of their experiences to be the same, we do know that the ultimate flexible work arrangements available to some workers, is often not afforded in these jobs.  We will explore the kinds of policies, practices, and supports needed to buoy the natural resilience of this amazing group of people. Click on image below to view video of the panel. 




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Alexa James

Chief Executive Officer of NAMI Chicago since 2014. Alexa has made NAMI Chicago the leading voice on mental wellness in Chicago and beyond.

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Tara Bynum

Tara A. Bynum, PhD is an Assistant Professor of English & African American Studies at the University of Iowa. Her book, Reading Pleasures (fall 2022), examines how black people experienced pleasure in the eighteenth-century U.S.


Melinda Linas

Melinda Linas is a 22 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department where she currently serves as Commander of the Community Safety Team, a Unit tasked with patrolling some of the most violent - and vulnerable - areas of our city.


Faith Townsell

Faith Townsell is a rising senior at Whitney M Young Magnet High School. She currently serves as the Chair of Neighborhood Development on Mayor Lightfoots Youth Commission. She also is the Co-President and founder of Feud for Food, an initiative which aims to teach students on the persistent issue of food deserts as well as their roots in systemic racism.

Panel 2:     11:15am - 12:15pm CST      (12:15pm - 1:15pm EST)

The Impact of Mental Health on Workplaces:  Ending Stigma and Opening Up Access

This session will focus on the importance of opening up conversations about mental health in the workplace.  The panelists will each discuss, from their positions and viewpoints, how mental health stigma is not only harmful but not a good business decision. Each of the panelists will discuss how their workplaces are dealing with ending stigma and opening up access to resources in a safe and comfortable manner for employees. 
Click on image below to view video of the panel. 



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Bernie Dyme

President & CEO, of Perspectives, a company he co-founded in 1981, that has grown from a behavioral health provider to a top-tier employee assistance provider and organizational consulting company focused on driving success through well-being. 

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Clare Miller

Clare joined Meta in 2017 and leads the company’s mental health strategy and programs as part of employee benefits, called Life@. Clare’s career has focused on advancing mental health at the workplace and includes serving as director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association, manager of the Center for Prevention and Health Services at the Business Group on Health, and director of public policy for Mental Health America. 

Sally Spencer-Thomas.jfif

Sally Spencer-Thomas

Clinical psychologist, award-winning mental health advocate and the lead author on the National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention. Her mission of giving voice to people who’ve lived through suicide thoughts, attempts, and loss and to help those in despair rekindle a passion for living. Sally has a TEDx talk and gave an invited address at the White House in 2016.

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Dr. Teresa J. Garate

Dr. Teresa Garate has spent over 30 years working throughout Illinois and the US as an expert in public health, social and human services, and education. She has lead large complex systems through innovation and change and is a respected speaker, presenter and subject matter expert in the areas of mental health, disability, education and public health.

Panel 3:     1:00pm - 2:00pm CST      (2:00pm - 3:00pm EST)

Using an Equity Lens to Amplify Impact of Resilience-Based Care Initiatives

This panel will focus on the benefits of using an equity lens in creating a resilient workforce. The panelists will discuss the meaning of equity, define systematic wellness and identify actions that employers can take to create positive system-wide change that supports all employees. Click on image below to view video of the panel. 




Joel Jackson

 Joel Jackson

Director of Inclusion and Equity Strategies,  UChicago Medicine. Joel also serves as a Racial Healing Practitioner and co-facilitates Racial Healing Circles across Chicagoland.

Jeana Stewart.jfif

Jeana Stewart

Training Specialist, Diversity Equity & Inclusion at UChicago Medicine and advocate for effective equity & inclusion action and consciously compassionate communication.


Maggie Gough

Chief Operating Officer at WELCOA (Wellness Council of America).


Denean Pillar-Jackson.jfif

Denean Pillar-Jackson

Founding Executive Director at Chicago Resiliency Network.

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