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10 takeaways from This Can Happen 2020

After attending the three-day virtual, This Can Happen Global Conference with over 250 companies, I was incredibly touched by the multiple facets of mental health that impact our society globally. As a person with a life-long stuttering disability, I know how much mental health affects the disability community. However, at the conference, I was able to experience how mental health impacts everyone in the workforce.  

Here are 10 key takeaways I want to share from my experience at the conference:

1. You are not alone. Everyone faces mental health struggles at some point in their life.

2. Often, the mental health topics we are afraid to open up about are the very ones our colleagues are dealing with as well.   

3. Employees are our greatest assets. We must show them that we care about their mental health and well-being for them to reach their full potential.

4. Managers can have a positive effect on their employees’ experiences with mental health. 

5. More progress is needed globally to combat mental health stigma in the workplace.

6. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide are increasing during the pandemic due to the isolation people are facing, and this has created an urgency for companies to bring more awareness to the resources that are available to employees struggling with mental health challenges.

7. Creating a safe and inclusive workplace starts with making employees feel safe enough to share their challenges if they choose to do so.

8. Cultural barriers and societal expectations create additional mental health challenges for many people of various cultural backgrounds. These shared experiences can help people be more empathetic to one another.

9. Every company is at a different stage of their mental health journey. We should continue to educate people on mental health issues so progress can be made. 

10. The best way to approach mental health is by being open and not judging people by their experiences. 


Kunal Mahajan
Vice President, Leveraged Finance Portfolio Management & Corporate Development Team, Co-Chair of SMBC’s Mental Health, Neurodiversity & Disabilities Network
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
This Can Happen U.S. Ambassador 
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation - Americas (smbcgroup.com)
LinkedIn: Kunal Mahajan

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The content – once again – was brilliant. It is, far and away, the best conference out there.

Alex Bishop, Head of Organisational Development & Inclusion, General Dental Council