Chicago, IL – The Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN), a program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is hosting an interactive panel discussion featuring national leaders who will  explore the important and timely issue of mental health in the workplace on Thursday, March 31.

Held at Northern Trust, the event, which is being presented in conjunction with The Kennedy Forum, will include a practical discussion with industry experts about effective strategies to accommodate individuals with mental illness or addiction, as well as to help create a healthy, stigma-free workplace that improves performance and wellness for all employees.

“One in four Americans live with mental illness or addiction, affecting them during prime working years and affecting their ability to fully participate in the workplace,” said Ann Kisting, Executive Director of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Mental health and substance abuse issues can represent significant cost to employers both directly and indirectly. Promoting good mental health goes beyond a company’s bottom line and is a win-win for all involved.”

The following business leaders will participate in the discussion at this event:

  • Dr. Colleen Fairbanks, Behavioral Health Coordinator, Interactive Health
  • Connie Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Northern Trust
  • Clare Miller, Director, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association Foundation
  • Peter O’Brien, Sr., Chair, The Kennedy Forum Illinois
  • Dr. Paul Pendler, PsyD, ABPP, Vice-President, Employee Assistance & WorkLife Program, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Michael Thompson, the National Business Coalition on Health’s new CEO

“As civic leaders and large purchasers, CEOs are in a unique position to drive change for employees and their families,” said Kelly O’Brien, Executive Director of The Kennedy Forum in Illinois. “And the business case is strong for this — employers investing in a mentally healthy workforce are seeing lower total medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism and presenteeism, and decreased disability costs.”

The business community plays a critical role in eradicating the stigma associated with mental illness and developing innovations that will result in timely access to effective intervention, support and recovery.

Click here for more information or to register for this event.

About the CBLN
The Chicagoland Business Leadership Network is Illinois’ only business-led, business-focused organization that addresses specific needs relating to the inclusion of people with disabilities from a talent, customer, supplier diversity and community perspective. A program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the CBLN is an approved affiliate of the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The Chamber Foundation coordinates educational resources, programs, and research to advance the activities of the Chamber. Foundation initiatives allow the Chamber to collaborate with strategic partners and organizations to address key business issues, and extend the scope of our activities.

About the Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum was founded by Patrick J. Kennedy in 2013, and is focused on advancing the current ideas, policies, and programming in behavioral health known to be effective, while shining a light on the solutions of the future. We seek to provide leadership toward a common vision: improving the lives of individuals living with mental illness and addiction, and promoting behavioral health for all.