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Join us for an enlightening expert session with Geoff, as he shares his deeply personal journey of navigating mental ill health. Through his own powerful story, Geoff sheds light on the pervasive stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace and offers invaluable insights into addressing it head-on. Drawing from his experiences, Geoff provides practical learnings and actionable strategies for fostering a culture of openness, understanding, and support.

Throughout the session, Geoff explores the crucial role of leadership in destigmatizing mental health issues and creating a safe space for dialogue. By highlighting the importance of compassionate leadership and leading by example, Geoff empowers leaders to initiate meaningful change within their organizations. Moreover, he delves into the power of campaigning and storytelling as potent tools for challenging misconceptions and fostering empathy among colleagues. Through compelling narratives and real-life examples, Geoff demonstrates how storytelling can humanize mental health struggles and inspire collective action towards greater acceptance and inclusion.


While the principles and lessons Geoff shares are universal, he acknowledges the need to navigate cultural nuances when addressing mental health stigma on a global scale. By acknowledging and respecting cultural differences, organizations can tailor their approaches to effectively combat stigma while honoring diverse perspectives and values. Geoff also discusses the critical role of training interventions in building awareness, empathy, and resilience within organizations. From mental health awareness workshops to inclusive leadership training, Geoff provides insights into the transformative potential of targeted interventions in alleviating stigma and promoting mental well-being across all levels of an organization.

In this enlightening session, Geoff invites participants to embark on a journey of reflection, learning, and action as they work together to dismantle the barriers of stigma and create a workplace culture where every individual feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.

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Geoff McDonald

Mental Health - A Competitive Advantage in Addressing Stigma?

Geoff is a global advocate, campaigner and consultant in addressing the stigma of mental ill-health in the workplace. He inspires and provokes organisations globally to put purpose and wellbeing at the centre of everything they do by motivating people to take action in creating workplaces that enhance the lives of everyone. He brings his own experience of addressing the stigma of mental ill-health within Unilever, helping to archetype the transformation of this company with purpose at its core. Geoff provides a real practitioner’s perspective on how to address the stigma linked to depression and anxiety within workplaces today, and on how to elevate wellbeing to a strategic priority in the boardroom.

Geoff McDonald: Mental Health & Stigma |


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Key Learnings

  • Best practice on what an organisation can do to address stigma

  • how to have conversations with those who may be struggling

  • Inspired to address the stigma of mental ill health

  • LinkedIn


Geoff shares his own very powerful story of mental ill health and provides practical learnings and insights on how to address the stigma of mental ill health in the workplace. 

Key Learnings

  • Building Trust through Self-Awareness and Vulnerability: Understanding your own emotions and being open to sharing intentions, thoughts, and feelings with others is essential for creating a psychologically safe environment that encourages trust and effective communication.

  • Effective Leadership Styles for Psychological Safety: Fostering psychological safety in the workplace requires adaptable leadership that builds trust, understands team dynamics, and values individual contributions. Consider your preferred leadership style and areas for improvement to create a culture where individuals feel heard and valued.

  • Open Dialogue and Collaboration for Trust-Building: Reflect on past experiences where you felt unheard or overlooked and prioritize creating an environment where individuals feel safe enough to express their thoughts and ideas. Engage in open dialogue and collaboration to build stronger relationships and improve communication within your team or organization.


During the expert session, Elaine Broe, an emotional intelligence and diversity & inclusion specialist, encourages active engagement through Q&A sessions, live demonstrations, and interactive exercises using the Mentimeter app. She discusses trust and psychological safety in the workplace, highlighting self-awareness, vulnerability, and open communication as essential aspects. Participants reflect on their preferred leadership styles, share experiences, and assess their reliability, congruence, openness, and acceptance. Elaine emphasizes the importance of building trust for growth, innovation, and effective collaboration.

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