Mental Health and Debt: A Call To Action

This blog post is part of the 3rd Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

I remember when the hip-hop song came out called “Mo Money Mo Problems”. In my mind, that didn’t seem right. Since I had plenty of problems and no money. Where I came from, poor was an economic reality, but admittedly, it was also a state of mind. To me, it made perfect sense why “being broke” was…depressing. In a 2010 review of 115 studies that spanned 33 countries across the developed and developing worlds, nearly 80 percent of the studies showed that poverty comes with higher rates of mental illness. Among people living in poverty, those studies also found, mental illnesses were more severe, lasted longer, and had worse outcomes.

Keeping those statistics in mind, when I first started to do research for my book “Success to Die For” as much as I tried to be unbiased, I knew it was better to acknowledge my very real biases and work through them to reveal the truth as it became clear to me. I went in assuming my fellow struggling small business owners would report higher rates of depression and possibly thoughts of suicide, but I was proven wrong. Though, my investigation is a far cry from an academic study it was enough to say with a humble confidence that mental health issues don’t discriminate. And with several high-profile suicide deaths getting media attention as of late, perhaps there’s some truth to that song. Perhaps there are several reasons why the super (financially) successful get depressed.

Because there are several studies pointing to either side of the “who has it the worst”, I’d rather be more productive and talk shared humanity and solutions. I think that the one thing both sides of the equation can potentially face is the proverbial fall from grace. The roller coaster of life that has ups and downs.

Whether poverty-stricken or wealthy, losing something of value to you hurts. If you live in a developing country and you find joy in being a farmer, but suddenly experience an accident that takes away your ability to make a living, of course, you’re going to be affected by it. Likewise, if you live in a wealthier country, walk into work one day and find that your entire board voted you out of the company you founded, your best friend is sleeping with your spouse, and they wiped your account clean and sailed off into the sunset…that’s enough to drive a person mad. (That second scenario may seem unrealistic, but I actually met a man who shared the 1st part of that story with me and met others who shared the other parts.) Or how about the middle class man in his 50s who gave one job all of his years of loyalty and dedication, let the job give him an identity and a purpose in life based off of that identity tied to said job only to be let go right after he took out that 2nd mortgage on his house for a family medical emergency. I learned through fellow mental health advocate, Mettie Spiess that 70% of the suicide deaths in 2016 were middle-aged men.

If I could rewrite the song title I’d say something along the lines of “Mo Debt Mo Problems”. In each of those scenarios, there is much more going on than the loss of money, but money has become, through collective agreement, one of the most essential social constructions in our societies. It is because of money, whether the loss of it or the fear of losing it, that mental health issues are triggered for some or become a stronghold to others who already have a history of mental health issues. The treatment time for clinical depression is said to be exacerbated by up to 18 months if you also have financial issues.

And I believe, as the founders of Global Women 4 Wellbeing often say, that we can do more good together. 

So while I think awareness and end the stigma campaigns are super necessary, I’d personally love to see collective policy change. I’d love to see more entrepreneurs and business leaders support one another through our mental health and debt issues so that we can create and provide more opportunities, jobs, and resources from a place a love and wholeness. I’d also love to see more developments in technology to help people with mental health issues and debt problems. (As a starting point, I’m glad to see a report on how FinTech can support people experiencing mental health problems.)

“The walk” to back up “the talk” not only prevents suicides but also sustains our mental health and financial recovery for the long-haul as we learn to build roller coaster resilience and maybe even shape our societies to cultivate things like equanimity and equity for the total wellness of all.

Do More Good Together with us! 

Love Yourself Love Your Business in collaboration with Butterfly Love, LLC will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Philadelphia Community Walk to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Join our team and walk with us, or donate to the cause!

 

Resources

NAMI Suicide Prevention Month Advocacy

Crisis Text Line — Text HOME to 741741

International Association for Suicide Prevention

Debtors Anonymous

 

Related Posts

Suicide Prevention where Money and Mental Health Issues Collide

Passive Suicidal Ideation: A Discussion About Money + Mental Health

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Emily Wu Truong

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Sabrina Umstead Smith

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 3 – Featuring: Sabrina Umstead Smith, Grief Specialist and Advocate for Special Needs Families

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7eUDATvTl3Y

About

Sabrina is the author of Gratefully Disappointed – Learn Through Forgiveness her inspirational and encouraging memoir. Sabrina shares her journey to remind us no matter what we experience there is a lesson for us to share. Sabrina is the creator of Forgive4U, a program that defines the six essential steps to overcome emotional roadblocks. She coaches clients one-on-one and spreads the Forgive4U principles through professional speaking engagements. Sabrina and her husband Roosevelt (Rosy) founded, Erick’s Place, a non-profit organization named after her son, a special needs child, who passed away at the age of 3. She is also a contributing author to two books: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made and; the Amazon Best Seller, Pathways to Vibrant Health and Well-Being.

Visit Sabrina’s website: www.gratefullydisappointed.com for additional information and resources.

How You Can Help

Support Erick’s Place and help chronically ill children as well as the hospitals, facilities and people who care for them get the resources they need.

Resources mentioned

Sabrina’s other book mentioned: Pathways to Vibrant Health & Well-Being

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Dior Vargas

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Autumn Tompkins

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Faith Waringa Odhiambo

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

Be The Change Interview Featuring: Global Women 4 Wellbeing

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 2 – Featuring: Mim Senft and Nancy Board of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W)

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xYz2Eujm7aY

About

GW4W is on a mission to Empower healthy female leaders for a more sustainable world. They accomplish this by:

*Honoring that true gender equity is about addressing both diversity and inclusion issues

*Welcoming women from all backgrounds who want to see positive change and the great men that stand beside us

*Producing quality, unbiased research for women’s health, wellbeing and leadership challenges

*Inspiring through sharing our stories, our wisdom, mentoring and advocacy

*Highlighting self-care for leaders for personal empowerment and to be a role model for those you lead

Mim Senft, CWWS GBA AAI RYT / CEO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Mim Senft has over 20 years of corporate experience in project management, benefits design and wellness program strategy and implementation. She specializes in providing companies with strategies that positively impact culture and create team innovation. She is a certified as a Worksite Wellness Specialist through the National Wellness Institute; has her GBA group benefits designation through the International Foundation of Benefit Professionals (IFEBP); her property and casualty insurance certification, Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), through the Insurance Institute of America; and became a certified yoga instructor in 2006. Prior to founding Motivity Partnerships, she worked with over 70 clients in a variety of industries including finance, manufacturing, law, fashion/retail and not-for-profit. Some representative companies include Optum @ Goldman Sachs, Springleaf Financial, Tory Burch, Steptoe and Johnson Law Firm, Natures Path, Open Door and Consolidated Precision Products.

Mim is a co-founder of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W), served on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute and is a member of The Global Wellness Institute’s Future of Well Work Initiative. She is a regular speaker at conferences and roundtable discussions on topics related to employee benefits, corporate wellness/wellbeing programs, and keeping a competitive edge in today’s workplace.

Nancy Board, MSW – Co-Founder / COO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Nancy Board is a long time EAP professional, experienced in corporate health and wellbeing globally, and a leader in workplace mental health, trauma response, risk management and women’s issues. She is also a sought after speaker, facilitator and international trainer for women’s health & wellbeing worldwide, having worked with thousands of women to help them remove barriers to achieving success.

Previously Nancy was Vice President of Healthcare, EAP and Wellness for JP Morgan In the Asia Pacific region, responsible for over 38,000 employees in 18 countries. She is a versatile, technically savvy, culturally competent leader. Having also led individuals, teams and organizations through the chaos and grief of workplace violence and major disasters, Nancy has a unique lens from which to gauge and teach personal resiliency, recovery and trust. As Co-Founder of Global Women 4 WellBeing, she is passionate about doing more good to create gender equity and build inclusive, respectful workplaces for women to become thriving, healthy leaders.

Nancy received her Master’s degree in Social Work/Behavioral Medicine from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, certification as a Global Professional in Human Resources and certification as Facilitator and Guide for Women’s Circles through the non-profit organization, Woman Within, International.

How You Can Help

You can visit https://gw4w.org/ to find ways to get involved with GW4W and their global mission to empower healthy female leaders.

Resources mentioned

Women won’t have equality for 100 years – World Economic Forum

The medical research gender gap: how excluding women from clinical trials is hurting our health

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring ChopArt

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Faith Waringa Odhiambo

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Karla Thut

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 1 – Featuring: Karla Thut, Trauma Specialist and Immigrant Advocate

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PNc4LFLItBM

About

Karla Thut was born and grew up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She graduated from Goshen College with a BA in Social Work and Temple University with a Masters in Social Work. She has worked as a family therapist in the city of Philadelphia for 15 years primarily with co-victims of homicide and survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes. During this time Karla trained at the Philadelphia Child and Family Training Center as a family therapist and at the Philadelphia Family and Children’s Play Therapy Training Center where she trained in Contextual and Structural Family therapy and play therapy. In addition to working as a therapist Karla teaches part time at Chestnut Hill College in the Masters in Counseling Psychology department in their trauma studies concentration and is on the board at La Puerta Abierta. La Puerta Abierta is a non-profit in Philadelphia that provides mental health services to immigrant youth and their families. Karla lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

How You Can Help

Support La Puerta Abierta whose mission is “To improve access to quality, culturally and trauma-informed mental health support in the immigrant and refugee community through collaboration, training and service”.

Contact Karla to learn more about her private practice mental health care services, or healing trauma training services at: karlathut@gmail.com

Resources mentioned

The movie I was referencing was called Inside Out

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Sarah Fader

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Emily Wu Truong

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Mia Anika

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

Let’s Talk About Minority Mental Health With Every Day #DayInTheLife Reflections

For the month of July, I wanted to raise awareness around National Minority Mental Health Awareness month. Last year, I did an interview with my resident mental health pro,  Dr. Angela Clack. Amongst other things we discussed, she told us about the origins of the awareness month. You can watch our interview here. And check out her new book on narratives from women of color talking about trauma and depression. 

Since I will be doing interviews all next month, I decided that I wanted to do a campaign just sharing my random thoughts about mental health throughout this month. I wanted to share a day in the life of someone with lived experience, aka a peer advocate. I wanted to raise awareness about some of the ways I’ve experienced mental health prevention, treatment, and ongoing maintenance as an African American woman. I invited other POCs in my social network to join me in creating awareness by sharing their stories, experiences, resources, etc. about mental health for this particular campaign.

Why do this? Because the more people talk about mental health in our communities, the more it becomes a commonplace topic. This is how we fight the stigma. And when stigma is obliterated, people don’t feel ashamed to seek help. If more people seek help and find that there isn’t equal access to care, we come together and create demand that needs to be supplied. Ya dig?

The reason this is so important is because there are many disparities in seeking and getting mental health treatment as a minority in the U.S..  Heck, even a quick Google search led me to organizations that are NOT founded by or led by the people this awareness month was made for, when of course they exist. I’ve made plenty of complaints about the lack of minorities having a seat at the table, but I won’t go there right now, (another topic for another day). So even our own voices and wisdom aren’t being centered, but rather tokenized to fit inside a paradigm. Which further proves we still have a ways to go with dismantling a broken healthcare system. But first, we need to create awareness. And many times that awareness starts at home within our own selves, conversations amongst each other, with our family members, with our friends, our co-workers, our spiritual community leaders and members and anyone else in our network who still doesn’t get it. There are too many people who still deny that mental health disorders are very real, and we cannot afford to keep sweeping them, and how they affect our lives either directly or indirectly, under the rug. It hurts us, it tears apart our families, it breaks down and disconnects our communities.

So to offset that, we share. We share our truths, we share our resources. We encourage one another to find strength, hope, and healing.

Below you’ll find a few captured moments from several awareness campaigns this month…

My Announcement Post

 

 

 

 

From Organizations

No More Martyrs hosted their annual Minority Mental Health Awareness Summit 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Health launched their #reclaimourstrength campaign 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From My Network

H.M. (like myself) fully appreciates Mystic Soul Project and what their existence means to their mental health. #support 

 

 

 

 

Trudean talks about issues and raises donations every year to support her local community check our her current fundraiser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen shares about two of my loves, mental health and the arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vannessa shares about mental health in the media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Moi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Dior Vargas

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Emily Wu Truong

The Necessity of Self-Care for Black Women Making History Everyday with Dr. Kesha Moore

 

Until Next Time…Peace, Love, and Wellness!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

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