Select Page


Which stick figure best represents you?

HR/DEI Professional

who wants to relieve pandemic isolation while boosting social health, engagement, and job satisfaction


who wants to help their team have fun, learn, and get to know each other like they never could by the water cooler

Someone w/Lived Experience

who wants to help others succed by sharing a talk/story about their journey through depression, anxiety, or burnout

Many managers want to support employees by making it easier to talk about depression, anxiety, and burnout, but don’t know how. Many employees want the same, not just with managers but also with peers.

These Lunch ‘n Learn events, titled “Normalizing the conversation about depression, anxiety, and burnout” provide an easy way to share practical tips for talking and connecting. They include:

  • A TED-style talk with tips for talking to coworkers about depression, anxiety, and burnout by a TED Speaker (Bill Bernat, How to Connect with Depressed Friends) based on research conducted with professionals
  • Upbeat stories from people with lived experience thriving in the workforce
  • An opportunity for a company staff member to talk about their personal journey to living and working well (with certified speaker coaching)
  • An opportunity for your company HR representative to share support offerings and resources

The #1 thing that would make people more open to talking about mental health at work is knowing their coworkers would not make a big deal out of it. This event has an upbeat tone and creates a safe space for people to listen, learn, and contribute if they want.

Remote working is amazing because it gives people everything they need to do their job—except human connection.

This stay-at-home lifestyle creates isolation that can lead to depression and anxiety. Three-quarters of remote workers are feeling left out and over half feel voiceless. This affects the workplace culture, productivity and the bottom line.

For remote teams who crave the camaraderie of in-person connection, Connecting Story Design is an online team-building experience where everyone creates, laughes, and learns together.

We bring your team together with expert story coaches to craft and tell stories from their lives.

Unlike a video tour of your home for your boss and coworkers, another business book club, or a terrifying round of “never have I ever,” Conecting Story Design is fun and engaging. Everyone participates equally, is inspired to create, and has 100% control over what they share or don’t.

Connecting Story Design is natural opoortunity to share problems, solutions, and amusing incidents adjusting to the new normal of working remotely.

Past participants have said:

“Taught me how to build a compelling story from just an idea”

“It polished my skills and worked like therapy”

“It makes me feel connected to the world in these times and that’s really helpful.”

Bill’s story “Oreo Relapse: was featured on The Moth Radio Hour, syndicated on over 200 NPR stations. It was also featured separately on Seattle’s KUOW.

Intro video for Connecting Story Design

Join Bill and Melody Owen for a free storytelling workshop on Mondays at 7pm PDT via Meetup. You can also the mailing list for notice of upcoming public workshops.

If you have struggled with depression, anxiety, or addiction, and also began to live better, then you’ve been on an epic adventure and you have a fascinating story to tell.
Using a proven process honed over the past six years with numerous speakers and storytellers, Bill will guide you toward getting the connection and response you want. De-constructing your journey can let you build in a way that helps you:
  • Give a public or private talk, or participate in a storytelling show
  • Post a social video, or create a marketing video for a project or organization
  • Present yourself in a positive, powerful way to a manager
  • Connect more deeply with family, friends, or someone you’re dating

Depending on your needs, Bill can work with you on a one-time basis or in a package of a few sessions.

Hire Bill to Speak at Your Event

What people are saying

Through a brilliant blend of poignant vulnerability and side-splitting humor, Bill will open your audience’s eyes to some of humanity’s most important challenges – the beautiful mess it means to be human.  He makes sensitive material accessible, opens minds and hearts, and builds bridges in the process.  A no-brainer to have in your speaker line up.

Ron Carucci

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author, Leadership Consultant to the Fortune 100, Keynote Speaker, Co-founder, Navalent

Bill’s stories invite audiences to view stigmatized, hard-to-approach topics like depression and mental health with lightness and hope.

John Capecci

Founder, Living Proof Advocacy

Bill’s TEDx talk was graduated to TED (, and now has over 1 million views.

Bill’s one-man comedy show, Becoming More Less Crazy, won Best of the Seattle Fringe 2017.

Bill has one mission in life. To create more moments of happiness that occur when people connect, particularly around depression and anxiety. Over 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or a similar condition in their lifetime (US Center for Disease Control).

We are all impacted directly or indirectly, yet most of us are afraid to talk about it. We don’t know what to say or how to say it, so we often say nothing or brush it off. Bill helps people connect by bringing joy to the discussion of his journey through depression, addiction, and social anxiety to living well.

Bill worked in IT for many years before forging a new career in tech marketing. So he knows business world’s challenges and its rewards as only an insider can. Bill helps businesses succeed by creating a more open culture that inspires good people and engenders collaboration.

Short Bio:

Bill’s TED Talk on How to Connect with Depressed Friends has almost two million views. He is a recovering addict (12 years clean) living with bipolar II condition who advocates for mental health awareness. A tech industry veteran, Bill knows first-hand what it’s like to succeed in business while living well with depression and anxiety.

Bill is also an accomplished comedy storyteller (The Moth Radio Hour), inspirational speaker (Goalcast), and award-wining playwright (Becoming More Less Crazy).

Want to subscribe for news and events?

Contact Bill / Stay Awesome

9 + 9 =

About Stay Awesome Media LLC

Stay Awesome makes well-being entertaining to help create a more open culture around mind health.

‪(425) 310-2458‬