Compassion Culture

Be a part of the Compassion Culture at IU!

Why Promote a Culture of Compassion?

Compassion for ourselves and others nurtures our mental/emotional, physical, and social well-being — at work and beyond! And forget any ideas about compassion making you soft or weak. Compassion for ourselves and others actually strengthens resilience, boosts team dynamics, and improves leadership performance.

The Story Behind the Movement: Learn more

Healthy IU Work + Life has gathered experts from across the university to present on a range of topics in the Compassion Culture Series. Click on a presentation below to learn more or register.

Fall 2022 Programs

  • Healthy IU Gratitude Challenges

    October 3-November 14, 2022
    6-week online Gratitude Challenge
    For the IU Community

    Register now »

    Registration closes Friday, September 23!

    Gratitude is the appreciation of goodness in our lives and the recognition that “the sources of this goodness lies at least partially outside the self” (Emmons & Stern, 2013). Research shows that grateful people have better physical and mental health, including lower levels of blood pressure; better quality of sleep; lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety; and higher levels of happiness.

    So, how do we become more grateful people? By making gratitude practices a lifelong habit! Join the IU Gratitude Challenge to practice developing long-term habits of gratitude.

    During the 6-week challenge, participants will:

    1. Engage in gratitude journaling (about 5 minutes each day; 5 days per week)
    2. Select 1 other gratitude activity to try each week from a menu of 6 activities (each activity is about 20-30 minutes long)

    Learn more about the challenge below, or register today!

  • Psychological Safety in the Workplace

    10:00 a.m.-Noon (ET)

    • Session #1: 09/16/2022 - For Leaders
    • Session #2: 09/23/2022 - For Leaders
    • Session #3: 09/30/2022 - For Employees
    • Session #4: 10/07/2022 - For Employees

    Register now »

    FOR LEADERS: This 2-part workshop (sessions #1 and #2) is designed for leaders and focus on creating teams where people feel safe and empowered to innovate, bring diverse ideas to the conversation, and challenging ideas. We can achieve this practice by ensuring that there is psychological safety in the workplace. Psychological safety means that teams embrace conflict and create a space where individuals feel safe asking questions, brainstorming out loud, and experience high-trust relationships in the workplace. This session will explore best practices in creating and leading a psychologically safe team.

    FOR EMPLOYEES: It takes time to build a psychologically safe work environment, but it only takes moments for it to be destroyed. The onus for protecting a psychologically safe work environment does not rely solely on leaders. Employees play a vital role in building and protecting a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. This 2-part workshop (sessions #3 and #4) is designed for employees and focuses on 13 elements that impact our psychological responses to work and work conditions. We will explore what these elements may look like in the workplace and discuss what you as an employee can do to protect the well-being of yourself and others while at work.

  • Mindful Compassion

    Tuesdays, September 13-October 18, 2022
    11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ET)

    Register now »

    We are all good at attending to the needs of those around us, but we are often very hard on ourselves. And that is a set up for things like burnout, stress, and resentment. Research shows that people who adopt self-compassion practices have less depression and anxiety and are more likely to experience positive mind states like happiness and life satisfaction. Mindful Self-Compassion is a training developed by Kristen Neff, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin, and Christopher Germer, Ph.D., of Harvard. It is a research-proven 6-week course with each session lasting an hour.

    Please join us for this chance to re-learn how to include yourself in your own circle of caring.

    The course provides a number of ways to bring self-compassion into even the most stressful moments. Here is a breakdown of the classes:

    • Session 1: Exploring what self-compassion is and seeing how it does or does not show up for us, and then looking at ways to cultivate it.
    • Session 2: Seeing how to bring more self-compassion into our lives with simple, easy to implement practices that can be done in the moment.
    • Session 3: Looking at ways to work with the inner critic and to find our inner compassionate voice.
    • Session 4: Using self-compassion to work with difficult emotions.
    • Session 5: Investigating caregiver fatigue and burnout, and how self-compassion can remind us to offer care to ourselves as we attend to the needs of others.
    • Session 6: Exploring the importance of our core values, and how self-compassion can help when we can’t completely live in alignment with those values. We will also look at the resources available to maintain a self-compassion practice.

    After the 6 weeks series, you are invited to join 30-minute, drop-in sessions to continue your practice Tuesdays, October 25-November 15, 11:30 a.m.-Noon.

  • Building a Resilient Team Amid Uncertainty and Change: Addressing Anxiety at Work

    Thursday, September 29, 2022
    1:00-4:00 p.m. (ET)

    Register now »

    This virtual training shares strategies and resources for building an emotionally safe workplace and a resilient team. Leaders will learn how to spot rising anxiety levels among their team members, ease the concerns of employees who are overwhelmed or worried about the future, and engage in effective conversations about emotions in uncertain times. This training will also illustrate how team members at all levels can work together to build an environment that fosters camaraderie, productivity, and calm.


    "This topic is one I think all of our leaders need to be trained on! It is critical for today's workforce and especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic."

    "Anxiety is something we all experience. There is no one who shouldn't take the course."

    "The skills I learned were very helpful and I think all employees, whether in leadership or not, could benefit from this."

  • Supporting Our Kids' Mental Health

    Wednesday, September 14, 2022
    11:00 a.m.-Noon (ET)

    Register now »

    As parents, it can be difficult to identify our children’s mental health needs and effectively support them. This session will provide guidance around how to develop an awareness of what each child needs to healthily navigate life, especially in these difficult times, as well as how to connect in a supportive and appropriate way. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and their “best practices,” as well as ask for ideas and suggestions for the situations that are the most challenging. Additional resources, such as the EAP, will also be provided.

    Hosted by IU Benefits partner SupportLinc EAP.

  • Embracing Differences

    Wednesday, October 5, 2022
    11:00 a.m.-Noon

    Register now »

    This seminar provides a structured and didactic forum for discussing diversity, issues that arise, recognizing personal bias, and finding common ground. Participants will define terms, understand the emotional and physical impact of discrimination, and discuss ways to manage stress. The seminar will also provide tips for conversing about diversity with adults and children and discuss opportunities to build alliances in and outside of the workplace.

    Hosted by IU Benefits partner SupportLinc EAP.

  • The Kids are NOT Alright: But Are They Getting Better?

    Tuesday, October 11
    Noon – 1:00 pm (ET)/ 11:00-Noon (CT)

    Register Today

    Back by popular demand, Dr. Jennifer Hartstein returns for a follow-up to our summer session on the impact the last few years have had on our teens and college-aged kids. Now a few months into the new school year, Dr. Jen is here to see how you and your kids are doing. This webinar will be almost entirely Q&A so please post your questions in the registration link. And if you can’t make it live, please register to receive a recording of the webinar.

    These Care webinars are free to attend. Can't attend live? Register to receive the recording automatically sent to all registrants.

  • Changing Seasons, The Holidays, and Anxiety at Work

    Wednesday, November 16th
    1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (ET)/Noon-2:00 pm (CT)

    Register Now

    Summer is over, it is getting darker earlier, and cold weather is quickly approaching. Here we are right back into the start of another academic school year. Just as we see the season is changing, we are continuing to experience changes at home, work and beyond. Let's not begin to think about the approaching Holidays that brings an added sense of responsibility! We recognize that all of this can be anxiety inducing and very challenging to navigate.

    Join us as we share tips for minimizing anxiety in the workplace and strategies for coping with the holiday season, change in weather and other stressors that come with this thing we call life.

“When I think about compassion culture, especially in the workplace, you have to be understanding of the fact that people are experiencing imperfect lives, they take that with them and it impacts everything that they do. If you are supportive of them so that they can still make a difference in their job during these experiences, that’s what builds good work, keep people in their jobs, and that's what builds humanity.” Charissa Darland

Past Program Recordings

  • Compassion Culture in the Workplace

    Session #1 Recording

    Session #2 Recording

    We are flooded regularly with messages about strife, suffering, and interpersonal conflict. What can you do to comfort and nurture yourself? And what can you do to contribute to a nurturing and compassionate work environment?

    The first session of this 2-session series about building and maintaining a culture of compassion in the workplace focus on defining "compassion" and introducing frameworks for compassionate living. The second session provides a space for reflecting, asking questions, and designing the next steps. 

    Program Facilitators: 

    Janice Bankert-Countryman, MA; Career Consultant and Senior Associate Faculty-IUPUI

    Charlie Johnson, MS; Director of Scholar Support Programs and Mindfulness-based Emotional Intelligence Instructor-IUPUI

  • Emotional Intelligence

    2-Part Series

    Healthy IU Work + Life teams up with IUHR's Talent & Org Development to bring you Emotional Intelligence training. Emotional Intelligence is an important component of building a "Compassion Culture" and maneuvering uncomfortable conversations.

    This workshop enhances your ability to know what you are feeling, what your emotions mean and how they may affect other people. You will gain a greater understanding of how to manage your emotions and personal and professional relationships. You will also learn how to apply Emotional Intelligence when participating in difficult or uncomfortable conversations.

    Program Facilitator: Catherine L. Matthews, J.D., Ph.D., Sr. Consultant, IUHR Talent & Org. Development

  • De-escalation

    Session #1 Recording

    Session #2 Recording


    This workshop training focuses on building skills to become effective at de-escalating and defusing emotional and stressful situations. This session focuses on understanding and managing your response to stress, understanding and managing the stress of others, and learning effective de-escalation strategies.

    Facilitator: Tiffany Lemons, MPA, Senior Organization Development Consultant, IU Human Resources

  • Supporting a Compassion Culture through Effective Conflict Resolution

    Listening with Our Eyes, Ears, and Heart (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This recorded session explores essential listening skills and practices for responding to conflict. We discuss attentive listening skills, then take a deeper five to examine both the process and mindset for listening with true empathy. Listening at the heart level involves a commitment to being present with others as they share their concerns and emotions about a conflict situation and the ability to demonstrate an understanding from their point of view.

    The Interpersonal Dynamics of Conflict: Understanding Conflict Modes (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This record session explores the five basic modes of behavior in which individuals engage when responding to conflict. We reflect on the conflict modes in which they typically engage and whether these modes are most effective when responding to conflict. We explore strategies and approaches for adopting different modes to improve effectiveness when addressing conflict and responding to the conflict mode behaviors of others.

    Mediating Conflicts for Yourself (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This session offers an opportunity to learn strategies, techniques, and skills that are needed to mediate interpersonal conflicts and ensure both you and the other person feel fully heard. The session covers skills and practices for confronting another person about a conflict situation without causing defensiveness – in yourself and the other person.

    Mediating Interpersonal and Workplace Conflicts (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This session provides an overview of the five key stages for mediating conflict between individuals, including setting the stage, gathering information, framing issues, negotiating options, and nailing down the agreement. Learn introductory skills for mediating two-party interpersonal and workplace conflicts.
  • Mindful Parenting: How to Practice Mindfulness with Kids and Teens

    Mindful Parenting with Kids Recordings

    Mindful Parenting with Teens Recordings

    Learn simple, age-appropriate everyday ways to practice being mindful with your children. Mindfulness is the ability to notice what is happening in the present moment, and practicing mindfulness with kids helps develop skills of emotional and behavioral self-regulation and increases focused attention. Join Nellie Springston, M.Ed. Founder of Calma (Calm & Loving Minds Achieve) as she shares research-based strategies with you to practice with your kids.

    Program Facilitator: Nellie Springston, M.Ed

  • Small Worries to BIG Anxiety: Supporting Teens Through Big and Small Challenges

    2-Part Series

    Whether your teen experiences just a little bit of fear or a lot of big anxiety, it can feel overwhelming to know what to do to help. This 2-session series will share practical tips on how to help your teen with all types of worry and anxiety, with specific emphasis on how to talk through those anxious moments.

    Program Facilitator: Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP

  • Difficult Moments with Teens

    Being a teen is hard and parenting a teen can be difficult. They are concerned about being liked by their peers, doing well in school, and getting along with their families, all while going through physiological and physical changes. Dr. Beth Trammel is prepared to offer tips and answer questions regarding difficult moments you may experience with your teens. 

    Facilitator: Beth A. Trammell, Ph.D, HSSP, IU East Associate Professor of Psychology


  • Depression and Loss through the Teen Lens: Parenting Strategies for Better Tomorrows

    Workshop #1

    Workshop #2

    Workshop #3

    Question and Answers

    This past year has been one that has been filled with lots of loss, especially for many of our teens. For some, this may be the first experience with grief, which can seem really hard to navigate. This three-part series will share parenting strategies to help better understand the lens of teen grief, what it looks like, and how to help. We will explore specific signs for depression and suicide and when further intervention is needed. Join us to learn all about teen depression, loss, and grief.

    Program Facilitator: Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP

  • Suicide Awareness: Know the Behaviors, Help Save a Life

    Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence and social isolation. The purpose of this training is to raise awareness of suicide and other serious emotional health concerns, and provide important information about getting help for someone who may be thinking about suicide.

    View the recording
    Downloadable workbook

    This is offered by Supportlinc, IU's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).