Starting The Conversation™ helps you master your mental fitness.

Our programs are guided by the philosophy that "sharing is not a weakness,
sharing is a strength." Through sharing we help humanize and normalize 
mental health and wellbeing.

As program participants engage in open, intentional, and honest conversations that focus on vital components of life, our subject matter experts and thought leaders guide the discussions, ask thought provoking questions, and introduce skills, strategies, and tools that help create healthy, fulfilling lives, no matter the circumstances. 

Starting The Conversation™ programs significantly strengthen the resiliency and coping strategies of the people we serve.

Betty Franklin

Founder and CEO

Registered Nurse, Mental Fitness and Wellbeing Expert, Author, Coach, Educator

Betty works with organizations to fast forward employee mental and physical wellbeing. Using research based concepts, highlighted in her book, "GUTS - Get Uncomfortable to Succeed - Embracing Health, Balance, and Abundance", her workshops and coaching program deliver a mental fitness and wellbeing model that embraces six key components of a fulfilling life. By integrating these components - called the "F Words" - Family, Fitness, Friends, Finance, Fun and Faith - Betty supports, guides and inspires people to harness their power to "live life well," no matter the circumstances. Betty's passion is to help people take command of their life and be fully responsible for all aspects it.

Betty has delivered her programs and message to many organizations including: Freedom 55, Sun Life Financial, Sheridan College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Medix College, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Peel Public Health, Ontario Dental Education Institute, Halton Healthcare, Epilepsy South Central Ontario, Homewood Health Centre, Weeneebayko Health Authority, the DAM, The Meeting House, and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

Mandi J. Buckner

Workplace Mental Health, Career and Return to Work Coach, Educator

As a Workplace Mental Health Specialist, Mandi balances the needs of employers for a productive workforce, with the needs of employees who are struggling at work due to psychological injury, trauma, or life stressors. To improve mental health literacy, she developed Toward Recovery©, a 5-stage framework that helps individuals navigate their return to work. To support and enhance employee confidence she explores the essential workplace competencies needed for success in the 21st century which includes critical and creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration, job preparedness, and building resiliency through self-awareness. Mandi is a strong advocate of Workplace Psychologic Health and Safety.

She has worked with Dofasco, WSIB, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, McMaster University, OISE University of Toronto, Canadian Mental Health Association and more.

Laurie M. Martin

Trauma Treatment Specialist, Critical Incident Responder, Suicide Interventionist, Grief Education and Support, Author, Crisis Educator

Laurie is one of the industry’s finest frontline crisis and trauma experts. She inspires people and reduces the overwhelming feeling of crisis/emergency planning. Laurie's talents take her to international destinations teaching the best innovative practices for leaders to be CrisisREADY©. She brings over 17,000 hours of frontline experience and has published over 350 articles. Laurie presents a "no holding back" approach to her relevant, thought-provoking, fast paced, interactive workshops as she shares true stories, focuses on people, and delivers situational strategies. In applying the “human-element” participants walk away with tools, and best strategies for crisis planning. Leaders call her upfront and real! Her programs are accredited and provide education credits. In her book, "Life Interrupted - Greater Success by Managing Life's Toughest Moments" Laurie addresses topics we'd rather ignore and helps us understand and help each other.

Rita Roberts

Family Wellness Advocate, Holistic Emotional Health Coach, Educator, Author

As a family wellness advocate, Rita is a trusted advisor and subject matter expert on emotional healing and people with a diagnosis of S.A.A.D (stressed, angry, anxious or depressed) that's related to a stressful, toxic, or negative family environment. As a speaker, and the author of “Parents with Price Tags – Heal Yourself of Family Dysfunction and Learn to Love Your Children Unconditionally”, Rita's vision is to create a healthier, peaceful world for all children to live safe, happy, authentic lives. She is dedicated to ending the generational cycle of family dysfunction by raising awareness on the importance of conscious parenting to preserve the authenticity and emotional health of children. Through her emotional empowerment programs, Rita teaches participants to transform their fear, pain and negative emotions into self-love and the restoration of self-worth, increased self-confidence, greater happiness and enhanced physical and mental wellbeing.

Carol-Ann Hamilton

Eldercare Coach, Podcast Host, Speaker, Author & Caregiver Advocate

After 250,000 hours of “real life” experience, Carol-Ann appreciates first-hand the daunting responsibilities caregivers of aging parents face at work and at home. Applying bone-deep commitment, her resulting coaching programs support burnt-out families via practical and emotional resiliency-building tools through each eldercare marathon stage. Meaningful conversations form the foundation of enlightening presentations plus collaborative workshops amongst healthcare and hospice professionals, assisted living teams, Employee Assistance providers and leading-edge employers.

Greatly concerned about under-served mushrooming senior populations worldwide, Carol-Ann fervently hopes her books, Coping with Un-cope-able Parents: LOVING ACTION for Eldercare and Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare will leave transformational societal footprints. Her heartfelt mission follows 35 years’ organizational development consulting where public/private sector and not-for-profit audiences have drawn upon her expertise in facilitation, leadership development and innovative Human Resources practices. Her motto says it: “Encouraging your Greatness!”

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