State Of Mind

Watch the Recording

Event Details Below

The Stories Underneath the Slogans

A fireside chat discussing the human side of workplace mental health

On Wednesday, January 29 2020

Join us at Amazon Toronto, 120 Bremner St
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
60 minute discussion & 30 minute Q & A

*we strongly encourage you to use public transit. The parking and traffic in the area is REALLY BAD! The office is a 5 minute walk from Union Station.

Over the past five years, there has been a lot of “talk” and promotion surrounding the value of improved mental health in the workplace. The question we want to understand is; why are things not getting better? And, how do we move from talking into action?

To progress we need to move beyond slogans and nice sounding awareness campaigns and toward a more compassionate, honest, responsible, and self-aware workplace environment. 

The experts taking part in this fireside chat will inquire into the complexity of our minds and how that relates to our mental health in the workplace. We will also explore potential solutions, strategies, and the next steps we can take in the short, medium, and long term.

Hosted by the Amazon Toronto HR department. This event is to support of the ‘State Of Mind’ Youth Mental Health Innovation Festival


  • How to balance compassion and accountability when working with someone who’s struggling.
  • What underlies people’s incredible capacity to deceive themselves about their personal troubles and how does this impact their relationships?
  • How to cultivate better relations with co-workers and leadership, to improve short-term and long-term disability outcomes.
  • Why people have a hard time accepting that they’re 100% responsible for their feelings and behaviours.
  • How to support people refusing to get help. 
  • How to bring ourselves more self-compassion. 


Heidi Walk (M.D., C.C.F.P.)

is a Toronto-based physician psychotherapist and certified yoga instructor. She’s facilitated the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for the past 16 years and more recently the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), seeing over 4000 people. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 30 years. She has trained in many methods of psychotherapy, body-mind awareness and stress reduction disciplines, including two professional trainings in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Barry Simon M.D. FRCP

is a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and a Consultant with the Leadership Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He recently became the only psychiatrist in Canada to have the designation CDE, certified diabetes educator.

Celese Fletcher, U.E., CHRE. Principal, The Fletcher Consultancy

is a sought-after facilitator for strategic planning and restorative workplace processes as well as an investigator for harassment and workplace disruption complaints. Her consulting practice focuses on strategic organization development and people management where improvements result in substantial savings of management time, enhanced productivity and harmonious workplaces.

Keri Topping, HR Leader Amazon

Keri is the HR Leader at Amazon in Toronto, and has built the HR team that has supported Amazon Toronto’s growth from 165 to 1300 employees a 788% increase over the last 5 years! Keri has spent her HR career supporting teams in high-pressure and demanding industries of Design and Tech.  She is passionate about empowering leaders and employees to advocate and take accountability for their own mental health and resiliency, and building an organizational culture that supports mental health and well-being in the workplace.    


Mike Stroh

Mike Stroh, Founder Starts With Me

Mike has combined his personal and professional experience to create educational and training programs and practices rooted in experiential learning. The teachings are a combination of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, cognitive behavioural therapy, and neuroscience. He is currently completing a practicum for his master of arts in counselling psychology.

Tackling these issues often looks complex and costly, preventing many corporations from getting started. We recognize the mountain size challenge inherent in organizational change. We know it demands an enormous effort and our purpose is to embrace the task and work diligently to create lasting change.  

We serve our highest purpose when we create environments that inspire people to care for themselves and each other. Not because it increases the bottom line, but because it’s the right thing to do.