Tag Archives: #mentalhealthstigma

Help Wanted: Work Place Mental Health Change Makers

I am on a mission because nobody is immune to mental illness. We all need more support, more compassion, and better mental health care. As I engage in conversations with a myriad of diverse populations, I hear one common theme – we must do more!  Whether they are lawyers struggling from addiction and suicide or physicians and health care workers struggling with burnout or police officers dealing with PTSD; everyone I encounter is asking for more mental health support. It truly is a blessing that it is finally on their radar. I am optimistic that we are on an amazing path. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

Peer Support Communities Can Make All the Difference

One of the things I am incredibly passionate about is helping organizations realize that they have an amazing and powerful untapped resource within – their own people. Just imagine if every single person was given the chance to leverage their own lived mental health experience and help others around them. The power of a structured peer support community within the workplace can be amazing and can result in many benefits. Beyond it being the right thing to do, the bottom line benefits range from decreased LTD and STD claims, reduced sick leave, increased employee engagement and increased use of EAP.

Companies who are committed to creating a more inclusive workplace for those living with invisible disabilities are the companies that will invite diverse talent and set themselves apart from their competition. Aside from that, in a recent WHO study it was highlighted that for every $1 USD invested in scaling up treatment for mental health disorders, there is a return of $4 USD in improved health and productivity.

One Police Department’s Successful Peer Support Community

One of the areas that I am acutely focused on is helping our first responders. After the flurry of suicides within the NYC Police Department this year, I feel pulled to want to do more for this vulnerable population. Through exploring, I learned about the incredible power of peer support within the Ottawa police department. Hear the difference it has made for these officers in their own words.

This example has made me realize that I am a force for change and will do whatever I can to help first responders learn about and adopt this powerful program for thier staff. Beyond first responders, I truly believe that every workplace should have a structured peer support community.

Leaning into my fearless tenacity and steadfast commitment to making a real difference in the world, I am out to cause profound change! To learn more about bringing a structured peer support program to your workplace, reach out to me and let me help you bring this program to your workplace!

Courage In The Face of Burnout

During this journey of pure uncertainty, I have been blessed to meet the most incredible people. Amy Young is one of them. I am quite confident that she was one of the people I ran with in the dark at 5:30 am with the popular Coach Tooley Run team, yet we never formally met until a dear friend said  “you have GOT to meet Amy”. From the moment I met her, I was inspired by her energy and her spirit. I love what she is standing for and how she is a living example of courage. I think you will appreciate her very powerful guest blogger message.

Courage in the Face of Burnout ~ Amy Young

Nearly two years ago, I left what many would consider to be a dream job. I had spent over 15 years climbing the corporate ladder in the media world, first at CBS then as part of Google’s Global Partnerships team. 

The perks of working at Google are well publicized, but all the free coffee and nap pods in the world couldn’t make up for the void I felt in my body and mind each day. I tried to work harder, study more and “fake it till I make it”. About three months into the job, severe imposter syndrome set in, opening the door to multiple panic attacks. At the time I felt like a failure, but what I realize now is how long I had avoided my growing state of burnout. 

In 2019, the World Health Organization classified workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon and work hazard. According to the WHO, burnout is classified by three factors: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

I was in trouble

Long before I moved to Google I was in trouble, I just didn’t realize the signs. I kept ignoring my gut that something was off, pushing my intuition down and pushing forward with work. I had three kids in five years, earned two promotions with three new bosses and raised my level of self expectation all while sacrificing the things I enjoyed doing both inside and outside of my work. I began to fill the void in my soul by filling my ego, buying more expensive clothes, pushing for new marathon PRs and getting that next title. When I reached a career plateau, I thought a new job was the answer, so I answered when Google called.  

Using intentional emotional transparency takes courage, but if you find yourself experiencing exhaustion, mental distance, and reduced capacity in either your professional or personal life, I urge you to ask yourself, “What is it costing me to live this way?”.  If the answer is too much, have the courage to speak up and seek support. Taking an intentional pause to rebuild your life may be the most important thing you ever do. No job is worth risking your mental health and sanity. 

About Amy  

Amy Young is the Founder and CEO of Redefine Possibility (www.redefinepossibility.com), a media platform and coaching service for successful career women transitioning to a more purpose driven life. She can be reached at amyyoung@redefinepossibility.com