Episode 4, Season 2
The Role of Storytelling in Mental Health
Alisa LaPolt, Policy & Advocacy Director of NAMI Tennessee and a mental health storyteller, joins us to discuss the investments being made in expanding access to mental health services and how storytelling can reduce the stigma around mental illness.
Alisa LaPolt is the Policy & Advocacy Director of NAMI Tennessee and a mental health storyteller helping organizations understand and navigate the trends, conversations and importance of mental health in the midst and wake of some of the most complex, divided and stressful times in history. In this episode of How It’s Done, we discuss the investments being made in expanding access to mental health services, highlight a few corporate leaders in the space, discuss key legislation/policy making its way through local / state / federal bodies, and home in on the role of authenticity + CorpComms teams when organizations consider how to address one of the most important health issues of our time.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why corporate executives need to have conversations about mental health
- The impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the workplace
- NAMI Tennessee’s legislative agenda and advocacy plans for 2021
- Telehealth’s potential impact on those struggling with mental illness
- The benefits of old-fashioned letter writing to move legislation forward
More From This Episode
( 1:00 ): Alisa talks about her journey to NAMI Tennessee
( 1:15 ): Kriste and Alisa reminisce on their days at the Nashville Banner together
( 3:17 ): Alisa reflects on her experience as executive director at NAMI Florida during the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
( 5:44 ): Alisa describes her current role as policy and advocacy director for NAMI Tennessee
( 6:11 ): Alisa opens up about her family’s battle with mental illness and losing two family members as a result of mental illness
( 7:02 ): Alisa emphasizes the importance of telling her story to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness
( 8:34 ): Alisa lauds Governor Bill Lee for his openness surrounding his daughter’s suicide attempt
( 10:12 ): Kriste and Alisa talk about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the workplace, and some interesting statistics around disability in the U.S.
( 11:21 ): Alisa compares pre-COVID mental health statistics to now, shocking Kriste and prompting her to ask Alisa what we can do about it in the workplace and beyond
( 13:33 ): Alisa talks about her company toolkit on mental wellness, and being called on by HCA
( 13:54 ): Alisa discusses her experience doing a webinar for HCA around mental health
( 15:46 ): Kriste asks Alisa to dive into some of the topics she covers when speaking or presenting to companies
( 17:42 ): Alisa explains the power of storytelling in mental health conversations, and why it needs to start at the top for employers
( 18:33 ): Alisa recalls a heartbreaking yet inspiring story of a corporate executive’s experience with mental illness in his family
( 20:17 ): Kriste asks Alisa about NAMI Tennessee funding and corporate partnerships
( 21:31 ): Alisa tells us about NAMI Tennessee’s weekly Facebook Live event
( 23:37 ): Kriste prompts Alisa to talk about the way mental healthcare is delivered in the U.S., and the importance of mental health in overall wellness
( 31:31 ): Alisa talks about the impact of connectivity through technology like telehealth on mental health
( 32:19 ): Alisa tells us about NAMI Tennessee’s legislative agenda, which includes a global CIT program that addresses law enforcement and mental health provider response to mental health crises
( 35:22 ): Alisa talks advocacy plans for 2021 and Governor Lee’s desire to do more for mental health
( 38:18 ): Kriste and Alisa talk old-fashioned letter writing (pro tip: legislators may be more inclined to listen if they receive several handwritten notes)
( 39:45 ): Kriste throws some crazy statistics Alisa’s way for validation – some very alarming and sad
( 40:12 ): Alisa discusses the risk of delaying mental illness treatment after onset (think: psychotic breaks, aggression, rebellious behavior, etc.)
( 42:14 ): Alisa brings up the challenges of dealing with mental illness in rural areas, where mental illness is often considered a sin or a weakness of character
( 42:52 ): Kriste asks Alisa about the 9-8-8 mental health emergency hotline and its potential to de-escalate mental health crises from a law enforcement standpoint
( 45:11 ): Alisa says the biggest burning issue on her mind is children’s mental health, especially now because of the COVID-19 pandemic
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