Powerful, Funny and Passionate about Mental Health

speaker, author and comedian Tara Rolstad

About Tara

Tara Rolstad is an advocate, author and comedian who left a career as a nonprofit executive to help raise nieces who lived with severe mental illness. Now, Tara helps others understand the experiences of those who struggle with mental health issues, and their families. Because mental health affects everyone… with a brain.

Tara is the founder and director of Shattering Stigma with Stories: Understanding Mental Health; produces mental health conferences for faith communities, businesses and other organizations; and blogs at shatteringstigma.com. She has performed stand-up comedy around the Pacific Northwest with Stand Up for Mental Health, and is co-author of the book “No, Really, We WANT You to Laugh: Mental Illness and Stand-Up Comedy: Transforming Lives.”

Whether speaking to businesses, faith communities, medical professionals, mental health workers, family members or general audiences, Tara is uniquely direct, funny, passionate, and unlikely to keep a thought to herself.

Most Requested Topics

How to Help: Supporting People with Mental Health Issues

When mental illness happens to someone we know, often we don’t know what to do. Hear Tara’s inspiring story of being a family member and raising nieces with severe mental illness, and what she learned about what families and individuals struggling with mental illness need, and easy ways you can help, whether it’s a friend, neighbor, coworker or a member of your own family.

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Hey, We Can Do This!

Learn practical tips for how your church, organization or business can make simple changes to your existing programs to more effectively serve your people living with mental illness and their families.

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Who's Got Time for That? Supporting Caregivers

Self-care for caregivers is serious business. It’s not as simple as a night out with friends, or a glass of wine and a bath, but it can make all the difference for those who are taking care of someone else with a mental illness or other serious chronic illness. With her trademark humor, Tara shares her story as a caregiver; why self care is so important and the risks faced by caregivers; and practical strategies to be sure your or the people you care about are taking care of themselves AND their loved ones.

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More clips from Tara

What People Are Saying

“Tara Rolstad is at the forefront of a vital and timely cause: helping us think compassionately about the impact of mental illness on the family, the church, and the community. For too long we’ve only whispered about the subject or felt ashamed when depression, bi-polar, or other cognitive dysfunction impacted us or our families. With raw vulnerability and unexpected humor, Tara is helping break the stigma around mental health, so that we can all do a better job of loving our family and neighbors well.”

“Tara is funny. Really funny. Her wit is tuned to catch in-the-moment serendipity and turn it into gold.  If all she had to offer was her comedy, you would not want to miss her on stage. But when you hear Tara Rolstad, you’ll get so much more than that.
Tara is also a great storyteller, compassionate and knowledgeable. She’s a woman on a mission to make the world a better place.  She shifts with ease from moving, to funny, and back to moving.  She’s real, she’s humble, and just occasionally, she’s fiery. Audiences leave her performances laughing, even as they are moved to action.”

“Tara Rolstad educates, engages and captivates her audience. She is well researched, highly organized and, when appropriate, extremely funny. There are few people who can speak as competently on the emotionally charged intersection between faith and mental illness as can Tara. She is as unabashed in her earthy, honest discussion of how mental illness has touched her family as she is in her total reliance on God. As someone who has pastored churches for over a quarter century and who also works as an RN on an in-patient behavioral health unit I would trust no one more to address either of the populations I serve than Tara.”

“Tara Rolstad speaks on topics not generally discussed in polite society. She breaks through the barriers put up by organizations that say, ‘Let’s just keep that to ourselves.’
Tara uses humor and personal stories to tell the story of so many families who live with a child who requires much more attention than a parent ever thinks possible.
What makes a speaker great? Humor, self awareness and being a great story teller come to mind. Tara has all of these qualities and so much more. Her stories are humorously tragic, unexpectedly irreverent and downright shocking. She is not an everyday speaker hired to make the audience feel better. Tara makes the audience think and rallies the audience to go forth into the world and make a difference.
Tara Rolstad does what all great speakers must do. She speaks the truth even when it’s shocking, unsettling and not something many people are willing to say, out loud… in front of a crowd… and even in a spiritual community! She has the confidence and desire needed to change the world, one speech at a time.”

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Want to learn more about having me speak at your event, facilitate a workshop, or consult with your organization? Let’s talk! Just share some basic information with me in this form, which will magically send me an email, and I’ll be in touch.