Stories Shatter Stigma

  While we are certainly moving in the right direction with mental health, stigma remains evident in our places of work and communities. Learning about various mental health issues from a book or a workshop is a great start, but do you know what’s even better? Hearing someone’s story. The number one way to remove stigma is by sharing our stories.   Many of us are good at wearing a mask and pretending that we have it all together. I get it. It’s difficult to be vulnerable and share our inner battles with those around us. However, this is an…

Don't Fix. Listen.

Have you ever tried to fix someone? Did it work? As a counselor and even as a friend, it took me a long time to understand that I had no right to fix someone. Who am I to decide what is best for another individual? To truly understand someone means that I have to listen to them. However, talking about one’s challenges does not come easy for many. After letting an individual know that I would be happy to listen if they needed to talk, the ball was now in their court. When they were ready for a conversation, it…

World Mental Health Day: Be Kind. Always.

Recently, I was teaching my son how to drive. I suspect many of you have been there as well; white knuckled as you grab onto that OMG handle praying for safety. Anyway, we are merging onto the highway at a snail’s pace, and I notice that a truck is rapidly approaching. In no time the driver is right behind us. Growing impatient, the man behind the steering wheel leans on the horn.   He aggressively rides our bumper until we finally get onto the highway. After revving his engine he blows by us and flips the bird. Nice. Now, I could…

The Power of Your Story

  There is nothing more powerful, or as sacred as your story.  Have you ever shared your story? If not, what’s holding you back? For me, it was fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being vulnerable. That list could go on and on. But then I took a risk, and what I soon saw unfold in front of me became greater than anything I could ever have imagined. If you have a moment, please watch the video above. I would love to hear if you can relate. Keep talking my friends. There is no greater tool than your voice.

The Risks and Rewards of Being Vulnerable

It took me a long time to be comfortable talking publicly about my issues of addictions, mental illness, and sexual abuse. I used to underestimate the power of a story, and its unique ability to connect with others. Last week I received the e-mail below, and it served as a great reminder that few things are as sacred or as powerful as someone’s story. With her permission, I would like to share it with you.   This is Sarah, a participant at your workshop. Your message changed the way I view my current struggles with depression and anxiety. You showed me that…

Addressing Suicide in the Workplace

Before speaking for a company, I always ask whether there have been any recent tragedies that have impacted the workplace. A few days before delivering a keynote I was informed that one of the company leaders, Fred, had just lost his niece to suicide. Sadly, hearing that someone in the workplace has lost someone to suicide is not rare. What is rare, however, is the way that Fred chose to address this loss. With Fred’s permission I would like to share the letter he emailed his fellow leaders.   On November 4th I found out that my 13-year-old niece died…