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Mental Health at Work Now: Voices from Leading Companies

The importance of workplace mental health in the United States has steadily gained traction in the last few years. And for good reason. Up to 80 percent of Americans will struggle with a mental health issue during their lifetime. The coronavirus pandemic and the protests following the murder of George Floyd have made addressing mental health at work even more imperative.

How are leading companies addressing employee mental health? What programs and initiatives did they have in place before these difficult times and how are they adapting them now? What does supporting mental health at work look like in the context of COVID-19, the national conversation about racism, and the shifting between working from home and returning to physical offices? Will this unprecedented year reduce the stigma at work and normalize what it looks like to struggle with mental health?

Learn how to support mental health at work right now and be inspired by the personal stories that have shaped some of our panelists.

Meet the panelists:

Kelly Greenwood is the founder & CEO of Mind Share Partners, a nonprofit that is changing the culture of workplace mental health so that employees and organizations can thrive. It provides workplace training and strategic advising to leading companies, hosts communities to support ERGs and professionals, and builds public awareness. Greenwood is a nationally recognized advocate and speaker for mental health. She has written for Harvard Business Review, is a Forbes contributor, and has spoken at Gap Inc., Pandora, Pinterest, SHRM, and others.  Previously, she worked as a management consultant at Accenture, A.T. Kearney and the Bridgespan Group, the nonprofit spin-off of Bain & Company. Kelly holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish.  

Guru Gowrappan is the CEO of Verizon Media, a powerhouse of trusted media and technology brands—including Yahoo, HuffPost, and TechCrunch—that reach a global audience of about 900M. Prior to his role at Verizon, he was global managing director of Alibaba, where he focused on international expansion for key consumer and enterprise products. He has held a breadth of leadership roles at companies such as Quixey, Zynga, and Overture. He has an M.S. in computer science from the University of Southern California and completed the Business Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. 

Deborah Olson is the principal benefits manager at Genentech. She leads the Occupational and Non-Occupational Leave and Disability programs as well as the Mental Health Initiative across Genentech and Roche in the United States, supporting more than 24,000 employees. Olson has international experience across Canada and the United States, and prior to working at Genentech, she founded a consulting firm that incorporated a holistic approach to ability management and drew on that experience to support teams within Kaiser Permanente and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. 

Ruth C. White, Ph.D., MPH, MSW is a thought leader, change catalyst and advocate in stress management, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Dr. White is a clinical associate professor in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, where she teaches leadership, management and social policy to graduate students. Prior to USC, she gained tenure at Seattle University and has also taught at the University of California Berkeley, Fordham University and San Francisco State. Her books include The Stress Management Workbook: De-stress in 10 Minutes or LessEveryday Stress Relief: Essential Techniques to Boost Resiliency and Improve Your Health, Bipolar 101, and Preventing Bipolar Relapse.

Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review and the co-host of the Women at Work podcast. She writes frequently on a range of topics with a focus on conflict, communication and workplace dynamics. Her articles have been included in books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others, and is the co-author of the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case. Before working with Harvard Business Review, Gallo was a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners, a strategy and organization firm based in New York (later acquired by Booz & Company, which is now Strategy&). She is on the faculty of the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program, recently launched by Daniel Goleman. She taught at Brown University and is a graduate of both Brown and Yale University.


This program is online-only; pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event

This is a free program; please consider making a donation during registration to support the production of our online programs

This program is part of The Commonwealth Club’s Mental Health Series, dedicated in memory of Nancy Friend Pritzker, with support from the John Pritzker Family Fund

Image - Kelly Greenwood

Kelly Greenwood

Founder & CEO, Mind Share Partners

Image - Guru Gowrappan

Guru Gowrappan

CEO, Verizon Media

Image - Deborah Olson

Deborah Olson

Principal Benefits Manager, Genentech

Image - Ruth White

Ruth White

Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California

Image - Amy Gallo

Amy Gallo

Contributing Editor, Harvard Business Review; Co-Host, "Women at Work" Podcast; Author, HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict—Moderator