Talking Mental Health: A Toolkit for Empowering Conversations


The Talking Mental Health Toolkit

The Talking Mental Health Toolkit will consist of three user-friendly, one-page resource guides, which function as actionable tools that guide people to have empowering mental health conversations using conflict resolution practices.

While each resource guide is meant to be self-explanatory for easy use, the toolkit will also be accompanied by a freely available, online Empowering Mental Health Conversations webinar which teaches lessons corresponding to the guides.

Anyone can use these guides – they are designed to be appropriate for all sorts of mental health stakeholders including workplaces, schools, families, service providers, and social settings.


Guide Topics

Saying the Right Thing
Appreciate the appropriate language to describe people living with mental health conditions and times of instability; learn to use person-first language; ask productive, non-offensive questions about mental health

Supporting Diverse Choices
Understand the diverse beliefs people can form about the causes, labels and treatments for instability and the choices people may make for their mental health; validate the different choices people make about their mental health

Getting Past Positions

Expand the conversation beyond peoples’ initial positions, to explore their deeper concerns and needs; learn specific tactics for challenging conversation topics


Help Us Share the Toolkit

Fill out the form below to let us know of organizations we can partner with in disseminating the toolkit.  You can also use this form to request that you receive an e-mail to access the toolkit as soon as it comes out.



About MH Mediate

MH Mediate was founded by mediator Dan Berstein to advance best practices in mental health communication and conflict resolution.  MH Mediate provides trainings, mediation services, and organizational consulting to help people talk about mental health, resolve conflicts, address challenging behaviors, and become accessible to diverse needs.



About the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center

The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center (CUNY DRC) is a hub of conflict resolution events, programs, and resources based at John Jay College in New York City.  The CUNY DRC has collaborated with MH Mediate on many mental health-focused projects including the Dispute Resolution in Mental Health Initiative (training peer specialists in mediation skills) and New York City’s first National Dialogue on Mental Health event as part of Barack Obama’s call for mental health conversations around the country.



About the Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Grant

The funding comes from taxpayer contributions received through a voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016. This program allows taxpayers to donate easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NY State taxes, similar to other provisions where taxpayers can support Alzheimer’s research, breast cancer awareness, and other efforts.  

These funds were administered by the Office of Mental Health and awarded to NY organizations making efforts to address stigma.  The “Talking Mental Health Toolkit” was sponsored through this program.