Business Leaders Speak Out for Mental Health Equity at Work

Executives from Mattel, Walmart, Accenture and more highlight the business benefits of centering equity in their workplace mental health commitments

Over 1,000 business leaders and mental health advocates expected to attend virtual summit on Thursday

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In anticipation of World Mental Health Day on October 10, the Health Action Alliance (HAA) is thrilled to announce its second annual Mental Health Equity at Work Summit. This virtual event will take place on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 2 pm ET / 11am PT. Top executives from prominent brands such as Mattel, Walmart, and Accenture, in addition to renowned mental health and diversity experts, will converge to explore the pivotal theme, "Breaking Barriers: Empowering Business Excellence through Mental Health Equity."

At this summit, esteemed C-suite executives will join leading voices in workplace mental health to unveil effective strategies for fostering supportive environments that prioritize mental well-being for all employees. Attendees will learn why inclusive leadership and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) commitments are critical for well-being in the workplace, and how to better understand and support worker identities that often go under-represented in traditional DEIB initiatives.

“People associate DEI with ‘woke culture,’ Black Lives Matter and Pride. While these movements play a role, DEIB is about so much more,” said best-selling author and workplace mental health leader Natasha Bowman, a featured speaker at the summit. “Forward-thinking business leaders who address the mental health needs of a diverse workforce can elevate overall well-being for their entire team.”

“When you focus on improving mental health for those with the greatest need, everyone wins,” said Mark SooHoo, Executive Director of Health Action Alliance. “When employees experience a deep sense of belonging in a workplace culture that celebrates their authenticity, it's like rocket fuel for their happiness and, as a result, supercharges their productivity and creativity. Belonging benefits everyone.”

Hosted by the Health Action Alliance and presented by the American Psychological Association, Headspace, and Twill in partnership with the Ad Council, the Huntsman Mental Health Institute and the National Safety Council, the second annual Mental Health Equity at Work Summit will feature a diverse lineup of business leaders and mental health experts including:

  • Mason Williams, Global Head of DEI, Mattel
  • Denise Malloy, Chief Belonging Officer, Walmart
  • Dr. Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, Chief Health Officer, Accenture
  • Natasha Bowman, Leading Voice on LinkedIn, Author, Attorney and Mental Health Advocate
  • Mary Michael, Vice President of Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Management at Otsuka
  • Ebony Travis Tichenor, Director of Global Wellbeing & HR Employee Policies, Boston Scientific
  • Elise James-DeCruise, Chief Equity Officer, Ad Council
  • Dr. Wizdom Powell, Chief Purpose Officer, Headspace
  • Dr. Dennis Stolle, Senior Director of Applied Psychology, American Psychological Association
  • Dr. William A. Smith, Chief Executive Administrator for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI), Huntsman Mental Health Institute

This timely event promises interactive discussions and thought-provoking insights into how workplaces can evolve to better support the mental well-being of their employees. Event attendees will receive a suite of no-cost employer resources from the Health Action Alliance to help them center equity in their workplace mental health strategies.

Quotes from Industry Leaders:

“To achieve a psychologically healthy population, we must have psychologically healthy workplaces. We must prioritize mental health for all workers and focus resources on those who need them the most. This is the path toward achieving globally competitive business organizations and a healthy, productive, and innovative population," said Dennis P. Stolle, JD, PhD, Senior Director, Office of Applied Psychology at the American Psychological Association.

“There is an urgent need to improve upon and prioritize employee mental health and well-being,” said Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, Chief Purpose Officer at Headspace. “When employers can foster open discussion around prioritizing mental health in the workplace, they can effectively create a more inclusive work environment. In turn, this can reduce stigma, which continues to be a barrier to psychological health and safety in the workplace.”

“When addressing mental health, the gap between need and care has never been wider,” said Patrick Burke, Senior Vice President, Client Experience at Twill. “Business leaders have a unique opportunity to champion the well-being of their employees, closing gaps in equitable mental health access, and ultimately driving positive business outcomes within their organizations.”

“Mental health equity, especially considering racial battle fatigue, is crucial for a thriving workplace. Addressing the effects of microaggressions, discrimination, equity, and inclusion improves productivity and reduces turnover,” said Dr. William A. Smith, Chief Executive Administrator for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. “A supportive work environment enhances employee well-being and innovation, improves problem-solving, and increases overall business success.”

This virtual event is open to the public. Free registration is available at

About the Health Action Alliance

Health Action Alliance (HAA) is the country's largest private sector network operating at the intersection of business and public health – dedicated to supporting business leaders as they invest in healthier businesses and stronger communities. HAA offers free tools, training and events to more than 7,000 employers who collectively employ more than 32 million workers. We help employers navigate emerging health crises, improve health equity and make informed decisions to strengthen the health of their workforce and the communities where they operate. Created in 2021, HAA is a joint initiative of the Ad Council, the CDC Foundation and the de Beaumont Foundation – in partnership with Meteorite. To join the network and access our free resources and events, visit

Media Contact:
Mark SooHoo