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Donna Hardaker

Donna Hardaker

Donna Hardaker is the director of Wellness Works, a groundbreaking workplace mental health training program of Mental Health America of California. Hardaker is a workplace mental health specialist and has been developing and delivering training and consulting services to organizations since 2003. She is an award-winning content developer, master trainer and consultant and a frequently requested public speaker at education and training events and conferences across the U.S. and Canada for return to work and accommodation, disability management, human rights in the workplace, applied public health and employee wellness.

Through her content development, training, peer support, writing, coaching and consulting, Hardaker’s contributions to the field have helped thousands of workplaces improve their awareness, communication and effectiveness in dealing with complex situations when employees are struggling with mental health issues. Hardaker’s reflections on her personal experience of mental illness and addiction while trying to stay productive at work contributed significantly to multiple award-winning training and education programs. Hardaker has a background in psychology, mental health policy, adult education, human resources management, communication skills training, peer support and transformational coaching.

Recent Articles by Donna Hardaker

Language and Mental Health (Part 3)

[The other three parts of this series can be found here and here.] “Power is the ability to define reality and to have other people respond to your definition as if it were their own.” – Wade Nobles “Words are powerful. Old and inaccurate descriptors, and the inappropriate use of these descriptors, perpetuate negative stereotypes and reinforce […]

Language and Mental Health (Part 2)

[Part 1 of this series focused on why language matters in mental health advocacy and on suicide prevention in the workplace. This article explores wording related to suicide that we want to see change. Part 3 will look at wording related to mental health.] We are often asked: What is the best way to talk about […]

Language and Mental Health

“Commit suicide,” “successful suicide,” “the mentally ill,” “suffering from a mental illness” —These phrases rattle off the tongue, yet we, as social justice advocates, find they rattle our souls as people continue to use them in well-meaning workplace education programs and community discussions. Let us explain… In 1984, George Orwell said, “If thought corrupts language, […]

The Daily Grind Is Good for the Mind

The human brain thrives on what work gives us: activity, routine, social contact and identity. The act of working gives employees far more than just the benefit of earned income. The World Health Organization names it as a health factor that, when present, contributes to health and, when absent, can increase the chances of ill […]

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