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Here’s How The Summit Works:

You’ll get a new email with a unique access link *each day* of the 5-day Prioritizing Workplace Wellness Summit showing you which top experts are presenting.

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All of the expert sessions will close at 12pm CST the day after they go live — after that, they will be locked away in the All Access Pass Vault.

You can view the full summit schedule below.


DAY 1: Overview- The Importance of Optimizing Mental Health in the Workplace

Tom Oxley

September 28, Monday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Post-Lockdown Mental Health: The Big Picture and What to Prioritize

In this interview Tom Oxley, mental health strategist and trainer, shares his personal and professional experience with workplace mental health. Tom does in-depth reviews of organizations’ mental health plans and helps them to create effective and individualized strategy. He shares some of the questions he asks, common mistakes he sees employers and managers make and outlines what he considers to be a gold standard strategy. He also shares some powerful outcomes he sees when companies prioritize mental health including a powerful UK statistic on ROI for every pound invested on mental health awareness and services. If you are wondering where to start and how, these are exactly the questions Tom addresses. 

Daryl Shorter, MD

September 28, Monday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Setting the Stage for Difficult Conversations: Addressing Equality and Privilege

Dr. Daryl Shorter is a practicing psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who is also a professor and program director for psychiatry residency and fellowship programs.  In the interview, Dr. Shorter talks about the need for organizations to create safe spaces for their Black and Brown employees as well as other marginalized groups.  He stresses the importance of including everyone in the conversations regarding diversity and inclusion so that the burden of the work is not placed on the marginalized groups.  

JoAnna Brandi

September 28, Monday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Positivity: How it Affects Your Bottom Line

In this interview JoAnna Brandi addresses the question “how does happiness/positivity affect your bottom line” with compelling statistics, stories and personal experiences gained over 30+ years of consulting and work in customer experience. She addresses basic characteristics of positive leaders, the single most important act that managers can do to create positivity in the workplace and the key questions to ask to unearth your company’s core values. JoAnna provides compelling evidence that thinking about positivity is the core of wellness and will affect your company at every level. She offers practical advice for where to start and how to create a sustainable positive culture.

Kelly Greenwood

September 28, Monday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Executive Action: Effective Leadership During a Time of Change and Uncertainty

In this interview Kelly Greenwood, founder and CEO of Mindshare Partners shares her expertise in the leadership mindset and priorities necessary to create a healthy work culture around mental health. She shares her top three priorities for leaders and managers during the pandemic and challenges leaders to be authentically human. Kelly shares her personal story, some powerful statistics and her unique approach to creating mental health trainings for leaders and employees.  

Allison Powers, JD

September 28, Monday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Legal Advice: Addressing Employee Concerns Surrounding COVID-19

Allison is an attorney with Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg who has experience in employment litigation including dealing with claims of discrimination and harassment.  Hear Allison give detailed explanations and practical advice about how employers should approach their most pressing pandemic related legal questions.

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DAY 2: Mental Health Awareness

Darcy Gruttadaro, JD

September 29, Tuesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Educating Your Workplace About Mental Health
Darcy Gruttadaro is the Director of The Center for Workplace Mental Health where the mission is to provide employers the tools, resources and information needed to promote and support the mental health of employees and their families.  In the interview, Darcy talks about the importance of educating a workforce with regards to raising awareness, reducing stigma, creating a mentally healthy work culture, and improving access to care.  
Bill Judge, JD, LL.M

September 29, Tuesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Substance Misuse (Relapse with COVID)

Bill is an attorney who has become an expert on drug and alcohol screening program development and compliance.  In the interview, he shares how an unexpected question from a client seeking advice got him to where he is today. More importantly, he explains the step-wise approach employers should take when developing and/or reviewing a drug and alcohol program, but also points out the need to have a full understanding of local, state, and federal law that comes into play.  With substance misuse and abuse on the rise during COVID, these issues are more important for employers than ever.  

Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy. D

September 29, Tuesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Suicide Prevention

Sally Spencer-Thomas is a psychologist, speaker, teacher, consultant and suicide loss survivor. After losing her brother in 2004, Sally decided to dedicate herself to understanding and preventing suicide. In this interview Sally articulately lays out ideal practices, talks us through how to have difficult conversations about mental health and suicide and addresses Covid-specific stressors that make now, more than ever, a time to be implementing workplace suicide prevention strategies. Sally provides free resources and websites to get you started and emphasizes the importance of taking the first step, the pledge to address this issue head on.

Bob VandePol

September 29, Tuesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Creating a Resilient Business and a Resilient Workforce During Times of Crisis

Bob is a master of social work who serves as Executive Director of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services’ Employee Assistance and Church Assistance programs.  Prior to joining the Pine Rest team, he was President of Crisis Care Network where he led response teams in many high-profile tragedies including the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sandy Hook school shooting.  In the interview, Bob explains what qualities make organizations resilient when responding to crises including the pandemic.  You will also learn what leadership skills and techniques help maintain a strong workforce.  

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Manny Almaguer

September 29, Tuesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Case Study: Denver Fire Department

In this inspirational case study Division Chief Manuel Almager of the Denver Fire Department shares the story of a tragic suicide that lead to the development of a truly comprehensive mental health training program for employees. Chief Almager is a gifted storyteller who walks us through the initial resistance by employees, the search to find the right professional/s to consult with and the final decision that the training would have to be taught by fire fighters themselves. He emphasizes the importance of leadership commitment, humility and truly listening before all. This case study includes actionable advice as well as inspiration for employers determined to make suicide prevention and overall mental health a priority for their workplace.

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DAY 3: Communication and Crisis Management

Craig Kramer

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Addressing Mental Health Stigma

Craig Kramer is a mental health ambassador at Johnson & Johnson who dealt with the challenges of navigating a mental health crisis first-hand when his daughter attempted suicide.  Since then, he has devoted his work to transforming mental health care globally by raising awareness, reducing stigma, promoting research, improving access, and ensuring better patient outcomes.  In the interview he discusses the benefits employers gain by actively promoting mental well-being, steps employers can take to reduce stigma in their organizations, and why the time for action is right now during the pandemic.  

liz kizlik
Liz Kislik

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

The Germophobe and Mr. Chill - Managing the Pandemic in the Workplace

Liz Kislik outlines a clear, step-by-step plan for physical workplace re-entry. She begins with how to set a clear plan and how to identify possible loopholes in your plan, then covers the bridge between planning and communication and finally, details a clear, multimodal and positive approach to communication from leadership to front line workers. Liz has been actively involved in helping clients re-enter and has some extremely practical advice as well as a clear perspective on the bigger picture. If you are re-entering the physical workplace, in the planning phase, or have never left, this is an interview you don’t want to miss.

Sheldon Beddo

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

HR Action: Screening Your Workforce and Making a Proactive Plan for Preventing Workplace Mental Health Issues and Violence

Sheldon Beddo is the Director of Operations for AT-RISK International where he oversees workplace violence investigations, threat assessments and investigations, protective operations, and security program development for clients.  In the interview he talks about threat assessments and multidisciplinary workplace violence prevention programs to keep an employee group safe and how stressors related to the pandemic make conflict and violence more likely.  

Jeff Gorter, LMSW

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Creating a Positive Work Environment After Significant Downsizing

Jeff Gorter, MSW/LCSW, is the VP of Crisis Response Services at R3 Continuum and is well versed in critical incident response after his involvement with the September 11 terrorist attacks and other major disasters.  In the interview, Jeff explains how a leadership team can navigate the crisis of a pandemic, even with resulting significant downsizing in an organization, and come out on the other side with a positive work environment and a thriving business.

Brent Darnell

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Assessing and Addressing Stressors in the Workplace (Emotional Intelligence)

In this interview, Brent Darnell walks us through how to measure core components of emotional intelligence in the workplace through company pre and post implementation assessments.  Additionally, he discusses priorities for employers who may not have the resources to bring in an outside consultant, including his top tips for preventing employee burnout.   

lynne mapes riordan
Lynne Mapes-Riordan, JD

September 30, Wednesday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Legal Questions: Are Employers Responsible for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19?

Lynne is an attorney with Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg and is the co-chair of the Compensation & Employment Group.  She has vast experience in helping employers navigate issues that have arisen during COVID-19.  In the interview Lynne talks about a variety of legal questions she has encountered and discusses employer obligations surrounding leave, accommodations, exposures, and more.  

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DAY 4: Employee Assistance Programs and Beyond

Juliet Breeze, MD

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

A Message from Founder and CEO of Next Level

What led Next Level to gather 25+ of the top mental health and workplace wellness experts together for this 5 day virtual summit?  Next Level founder and CEO, Juliet Breeze, MD discusses her motives behind Prioritizing Workplace Wellness in this short clip. 

Martha Neary, M.Sc

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Apps You Should Know About!

If you are using or considering using mental health apps to support your employees, this is an interview you don’t want to miss! Martha Neary, M.Sc. is part of a non-profit, OneMind, that has created a consumer guide and an employer guide to mental health apps. The guide walks consumers and employers through the process of needs assessment and rates apps on three metrics: User Experience, Credibility, and Transparency of Confidentiality Policies. Martha offers advice on how to find the right apps for your work force, addresses common pitfalls of app use and emphasizes the importance of technology being a component of a comprehensive mental health support program.

Jodi Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Employee Assistance Assessment and Planning - From Initial Needs Assessment Through a Cost Efficient Plan

In this interview Dr. Frey shares her extensive expertise in EAP assessment and planning. She clearly takes us through assessment options, effective planning and the dynamic process of re-evaluation necessary to meet the needs of an ever-changing workplace environment. She addresses how to get the most out of your existing health care plan, prioritizing resources to provide what may be missing and effective strategies to inform and encourage employers to take advantage of the EAP.

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Bernie Dyme, BCD, LCSW

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Employee Assistance Program Implementation from A-Z

In this conversation about EAP implementation, Bernie Dyme outlines the key components of leadership, communication and accountability necessary to have an effective and comprehensive program. He emphasizes the importance of a top tier EAP that is responsive to the needs of both the employee and employer. Mr. Dyme addresses where he sees companies make mistakes; he gives illustrative examples of companies who have created integrated, comprehensive and effective programs that employees access. He ends by challenging employers to have and effectively implement high quality EAPs and offers free resource guides about questions to ask and where to start.

Sarah Ehrnschwender

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Case Study: Tier1

Sarah Ehrnschwender serves as Director of Marketing for TiER1 Performance and TiER1 Healthcare and has been involved with their “Start the Conversation” program meant to get people talking about mental health.  Hear how TiER1 created a successful program that may be reproduced in your own organization.  

Ray White

October 1, Thursday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Proactive Solutions: Creating Systems so Your Business is Prepared for a Second Wave

With over 30 years of experience promoting positive culture in companies, Ray White has successfully developed programs for businesses that optimize performance and profitability.  Hear him talk about how a multi-faceted approach to improving the mental health of an employee group leads to success.  He discusses how now, more than ever, technology can help reach the masses and deliver easily accessible solutions for common mental health issues which are on the rise and are likely to worsen as part of “the second wave” of the pandemic.  

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DAY 5: Pro-Active and Creative Mental Health Strategies

Justin Kruger

October 2, Friday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Wellness Focussed Volunteer Programming
Justin Kruger dives into the tremendous positive impact of volunteering and the specifics of volunteering practices that can increase participants’ self-report of mental health by over 25%! Justin outlines how employer intentionality and messaging is crucial to the volunteer experience, as well as what volunteering can look like during the pandemic. He outlines tools and resources his team at Gratitude at Work have put together to help employers create proactive mental health strategies that are meaningful, connecting and good for employee mental health. He ends by emphasizing that this type of meaningful engagement is especially important and impactful in this time of social isolation.
Shanna B. Tiayon
Shanna B. Tiayon, PhD

October 2, Friday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Proactively Creating a Workplace Environment that Fosters Wellness

In this interview Dr. Tiayon walks us through the three essential levels of safety and autonomy that are absolutely necessary for employee mental health and wellness. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs she clearly defines what must be done by employers at each of these three levels and addresses common mistakes workplaces make. She challenges leaders to prioritize safety at all levels before engaging in what she calls “funfetti” workplace initiatives. 

Frederic Luskin, PhD

October 2, Friday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

The Core Components of Happiness

In this interview Dr. Luskin discusses the core components of happiness: Purpose and Meaning. He outlines the necessity of workplace safety and employee self-regulation as an absolute necessity before people can be happy in their work. Dr. Luskin gives examples of practices that support a regulated nervous system and addresses mindset shifts for employers and employees, what he calls “intention that shift attention.”

Cal Beyer, CWP

October 2, Friday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Case Study: The Construction Industry After Tragedy and What Surprised the Execs

Cal Beyer is the Vice President of Workforce Risk and Worker Wellbeing.  With over 30 years of safety, insurance, and risk management experience, he is now a leading voice for making mental health, substance use disorders, and suicide prevention elements of safety and wellness in the construction industry.  Cal will explain how the construction industry implemented programs that have been successful in reducing stigma and breaking down barriers to discussing mental health issues and how the model can serve as a guide for other industries and organizations.  

Nataly Kogan

October 2, Friday @ 8:00 AM CST | 6:00 AM PST

Happier: An App, Stress Management for Employees

Nataly Kogan was a successful business woman and leader in every measurable way, except, perhaps, happiness. After an intense episode of burnout she critically examined her life choices and dedicated her life to helping people be happier using science based basic brain exercise. Nataly asserts that emotional health, like physical health, requires reliance and challenges us to adopt proactive practices to boost our resilience in these uncertain times. She has outlined five emotional health skills, easy to use and backed by solid brain research, that leaders and employees both can use to empower themselves to feel more able to roll with life’s punches. This is an inspiring interview with an emphasis on actionable and practicable skills.

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