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WHOI Mental Health Employee Resource Group (ERG)


The WHOI Mental Health ERG acts to strengthen mental health awareness at WHOI through open, positive, and inclusive dialogue; to improve access to and knowledge of the support resources available to the WHOI community, on site and for those at sea and in the field; and to take steps toward destigmatizing mental health issues and conversations.

Our activities include co-organizing and implementing activities to highlight resources, services, tools, and tips, including partnering with WHOI’s People Operations Team, and curating newsletters and web resources. Our working group members are not mental health experts or professionals.

If you have questions or want to reach out to our organizing team, please message us at  Anonymous messages can also be submitted via this Google form.


  1. EducationThe first pillar of the group is education, with the goal of improving WHOI community awareness around mental health resources, providing training including Mental Health First Aid Training and Active Listener Training, and providing representation at WHOI-wide events. The group also puts out a biannual newsletter which provides education on mental health and wellness, articles/studies/information/comics and art around mental health, and compiles resources to ease the burden of finding support.
  2. Build CommunityThe second pillar of the group is to build community. Continue efforts to create welcoming space including offering an open meeting every other month, expanding the sticky note campaign, and making the Slack channel more accessible/visible to the wider community
  3. AdvocacyFinally, the third and most foundational pillar of the group is to destigmatize mental health and spread awareness through education and community efforts.


  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Active Listener Training
  • Sticky note Campaign (on-site and in the field) & other mutual support efforts
  • Fun Run during WHOI picnic
  • Solidarity event for all ERG’s - April
  • “Kindness Day” 2024


  1. Confidentiality
    • What is shared in the group stays in the group. Everyone is treated with respect; we all exercise good listening skills; we stay present during meetings.
  2. Expectations of organizers
    • Co-chairs create a meeting schedule for the organizing group (bimonthly, Zoom and/or in person), and for open meetings (2 per year).
    • Co-chairs are expected to attend or coordinate coverage for every meeting.
  3. Expectations of members
    • Membership is voluntary.
    • All WHOI employees are eligible to become members.
    • Members commit to supporting the mission.
    • Members advocate for mental health issues.
    • Standing members attend a minimum of half of the scheduled meetings per year.
    • Members are expected to communicate openly about their capacity to participate in the group.
    • Members must follow WHOI’s Code of Conduct.
  4. Co-chairs meet with WHOI CDEIO in May and November for updates.


  1. Co-Chairs
    • Mary Lardie Gaylord (2-year term)
    • Mai Maheigan (one year term to start the stagger)
  2. Student rep
    • To be determined
  3. Post Doc Rep
    • To be determined
  4. Member from PeopleOps
    • Kim Hoyt, Senior HR Partner- Benefits
  5. Chaplain
    • Marney Rathbun
  6. The executive sponsor of this ERG is the WHOI Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Natalie Nevarez.


For the first two years as an ERG, one co-chair will commit to a one-year term limit to help the group establish staggering leadership. The other co-chair will commit to a two-year term limit. Term limits will be two years with the option to run as many times as one would like.

Membership will be open enrollment.


  • Joe Futrelle, Information Systems Specialist, Information Services
  • Dylan Titmuss, Research Assistant II, AP&E
  • Dina Pandya, Information Systems Associate III, Communications
  • Kim Hoyt, Senior HR Partner- Benefits, People Operations
  • Mai Maheigan, Manager, Community Engagement, MC&G
  • Mary Lardie Gaylord, Senior Research Assistant I, G&G
  • WCC Chairs (Konrad Hughen and TBD)