Powerful, Funny and Passionate about Mental Health
speaker, author and advocate Tara Rolstad
Tara Rolstad can help your community or organization get real about mental health, and better understand the experiences of those who struggle with mental health issues, and their families. Her audiences also learn ways an organization can be more effectively supportive, and tips and practical things they can do immediately to help themselves, family members and others around them. Even better, she does it with a big dose of humor and inspiration!
Tara is an advocate, author and speaker who left a career as a nonprofit executive to help raise nieces who lived with severe mental illness. Tara is also the founder and director of Shattering Stigma with Stories: Understanding Mental Health; and produces mental health conferences for faith communities, businesses and other organizations.
Whether speaking to businesses, education professionals, colleges, medical or mental health professionals, faith communities, family members or general audiences, Tara is uniquely direct, funny, passionate, and unlikely to keep a(n appropriate) thought to herself.
In fact, she has performed stand-up comedy around the Pacific Northwest with Mental Health at the Mic, and is co-author of the book No, Really, We WANT You to Laugh: Mental Illness and Stand-Up Comedy: Transforming Lives.
University of North Carolina, Asheville, presentation to all student athletes, Asheville NC, November ’19
North Carolina State School Counselor Association, keynote, Charlotte NC, November ’19
Lone Star State School Counselor Association, keynote, Dallas TX, November ’19
Behavioral Health Symposium, keynote, Uvalde TX, May ’19
Lower Columbia College, Longview WA, May ’19
Nevada School Counselor Association, keynote, Las Vegas NV, March ’19
Oregon State School Board Association – Portland OR, November ’18
Big Feelings, Tough Behaviors – tri-county conference for parents and daycare providers, Portland, OR, October ’18
NAMI Oregon – state conference, October ’18
Armed with Hope – conference for parents and teens, September ’18
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.Contact Me
Hey, We Can Do This!
Getting it right and getting real on mental health: Learn what families and individuals struggling with mental illness experience, and easy ways you can help, whether it’s a friend, neighbor, coworker or a member of your own family. Practical tips for how your organization, college, church, or business can make simple changes to your existing programs to more effectively serve your people living with mental illness and their families.Contact Me
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.Contact Me
What People Are Saying
—Rebecca Nelms, M. Ed., Asst. Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Success, University of North Carolina Asheville
“Your presentation was a highlight of the conference for me. You were engaging, humorous, real and authentic. You captivated me from beginning to end…. you are definitely an inspiration.”
—Talia Dean, Illinois Masonic Outreach Services
“Within the first few minutes of this engaging conference, Tara was able to ‘shatter stigma’ simply by sharing her raw and very relatable story. She puts people at ease through humor, her candid approach to sharing life’s difficult moments and by being equipped with a host of expertise and resources for those seeking support. This event should be a normalized and recurring offering in every school community!”
—Emily Gillard, school counselor, Lakeridge Jr High, Oregon
“Tara was really great on stage, and one of the things I appreciate about her is how present she is and great about creating a connection with audience members. It instantly feels warm and comfortable when her presentation starts, and I think it brings a sense of calm and comfort to the people in the audience, around a topic that can be kind of nerve-wracking, to be honest. I would strongly encourage you to consider working with her in the future.”
—Kurt Schultz, Principal, Lakeridge Jr High, Oregon
“Tara is great at engaging the audience with a call to action, which is critical for our mission.
Her presentations are always a draw for our events, and I know going into an event that she’ll take care of all of the details I need. She’s a pleasure to work with!”
—Michelle Madison, Events and Outreach Manager, NAMI Oregon
“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.”
—Marc Alan Schelske, writer, speaker, pastor, and author of “The Wisdom of Your Heart”
—Julie A. Fast, bestselling mental health author of books including “Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder,” “Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder,” speaker and coach
—Elisabeth Genly, speaker, co-author of “Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back”
“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.”
—The Rev. Timothy Winslea, pastor and psychiatric RN
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.
Want to connect even sooner? I’d love that! Give me a call now at 503-756-9135.