A Conversation with Mental Wellness Checkr Resource Group Leader: Ali Brocher
May is Mental Health Awareness month. So it simply made sense to highlight our Mental Wellness Checkr Resource Group (CRG).
As diversity and inclusion becomes an integral part of corporate culture, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have grown in popularity. ERGs are employee-led communities meant to foster diverse and inclusive workplaces where employees feel accepted and heard.
The Checkr Mental Wellness ERG is committed to empowering employees to be their best selves, providing education and support for living a healthy lifestyle and dealing with life’s stressors.
Checkr was able to sit down with Ali Brocher, Senior Associate, Data Acquisition & Operations and co-lead of the Mental Wellness CRG to understand more about the group’s mission and goals.
Hi, Ali! Thanks for talking to us today. Let’s start with what city you work out of and how long have you been at Checkr?
I work from home in the San Francisco Bay Area (I used to work in the San Francisco office before the pandemic). I’ve been with Checkr for over 4 years, since March 2017.
What is your current role?
I’m a Senior Associate on the Data Acquisition & Operations team. Basically, I manage the relationships between Checkr and the vendors and partners that supply our criminal record data.
Can you tell us about the inception of the Mental Wellness CRG?
The Mental Wellness CRG formed back in Fall of 2018 by a few folks at Checkr.
We had a few discussions in the beginning regarding the direction that we wanted to go with the CRG—ultimately deciding to focus on mental wellness rather than mental health. Mental health is a spectrum—from people who have no issues or just daily life stressors to those who manage severe mental health conditions—and so even though everyone has mental health, not everyone manages a mental health condition.
We decided that we wanted the CRG to be inclusive of everyone. Of course, our CRG is a safe space for those managing mental health conditions too, but we wanted it to be a space for everyone.
What motivated you to become a Mental Wellness leader at Checkr?
Honestly, there weren’t many people willing to take on a leadership role at the time that the Mental Wellness CRG formed. Being a CRG leader is a lot of work on top of our day to day jobs, so I get that not everyone can make that commitment.
At the same time, one of my friends works at a non-profit that focuses on mental health in the workplace called Mind Share Partners, and he was a catalyst for wanting to get involved with a mental health CRG.
Around the time that the CRG was forming, Mind Share Partners had released a toolkit to help companies interested in starting a mental health CRG, so I shared that with the team. I decided to become a co-lead because I believed in the mission of the CRG and didn’t want to see it die out.
What is a Mental Wellness moment or initiative you’re particularly proud of?
This year, the Mental Wellness CRG started providing bi-weekly 30 minute virtual guided meditations with WITHIN Meditation, a company based in San Francisco.
We’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from employees that have attended these sessions. It’s very fulfilling to be able to provide a service to people that helps improve their day and hopefully their overall mental health.
What does mental wellness mean to you?
It means a good work/life balance, taking care of my physical health—eating well, getting enough exercise, drinking enough water. Sometimes it means prioritizing yourself over other people or priorities. Not in a selfish way, but as a means of self-care way. I find that it’s true for myself that I can’t help other people if I don’t.
Three words to describe the Mental Wellness CRG:
A safe space.
Do you have a favorite mental wellness app, blog, article, or podcast you’d recommend to others?
My favorite mental wellness app is Calm, I love their guided meditations and sleep soundscapes.
But I did want to mention that Checkr is launching with Spring Health on May 15th and I’m super excited. Spring Health is a mental wellness app that can be used to supplement a company’s EAP. Through it, all employees will be eligible for 6 free therapy sessions. I can’t wait to find a therapist and go to my 6 therapy sessions!
What’s a fun fact about you?
I went to the White House and met President Bill Clinton when I was 9 years old. (My grandpa was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in combat during WWII and my whole family was invited to the ceremony).
Which Checkr core value (humility, grit, connection, ownership, transparency) speaks to you the most (right now)?
I’m a fan of all of Checkr’s core values, but my favorite is probably transparency. I’m a very direct person who highly values honesty so transparency is closely aligned with the values that are important to me.
Why did you choose Checkr?
Back in 2016, I was looking to make a switch from the insurance industry to tech and applied to a Quality Assurance Associate job at Checkr. I didn’t hear anything back so I figured either the position got filled or I wasn’t a competitive candidate and kept up with my job hunt.
Then in January 2017, I got a LinkedIn message from a Checkr recruiter asking if I was interested in a Quality Assurance Associate position and the rest is history. Two years ago I transitioned from the Quality Assurance team to the Data Acquisition & Operations team, where I’ve been for about two years.
Thank you so much, Ali!
If you’re interested in learning more about working with us, check out our video, Why work at Checkr?