Mental Health, Let’s Talk About It
Did you know that 350 million people of all ages and stages in life and from every socio-economic background worldwide suffer from depression?
At worst, depression puts people at a higher risk of dying by suicide. This is extremely consequential for ‘midlife adults’ according to Dr. Michelle Riba, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Depression Center
- It’s not uncommon for a person’s first depressive episode to appear after age 60
- 41%-50% of first marriages end in divorce
- 60 % of second marriages fail
- 73% of third marriages end in divorce
- Every 9 seconds a woman in the U.S. is the victim of domestic violence.
- Every year 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused as a result of domestic violence
- 3 women are murdered every day by an intimate partner
- Black females were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000 in wingl3 victim/single offender incidents. For white women, the rate was 0.99 per 100,000
Despite these startling statistics, many women’s business networking organization meetings that I have attended rarely, if ever, make the connection between business success and mental health and are therefore, reluctant and unwilling to entertain discussions about mental health, relationships and sexuality and how these invariably affect the bottom line.
No one is immune from mental health/relationship and sexual distress at some point in their life. Major American female business leaders such as Arianna Huffington have courageously talked about the importance of sleep after she collapsed one day and realized that her life was out of sync. Sheryl Sandberg has also openly spoken out multiple times and written about the importance of work/life balance.
Why is it so difficult for so many women’s organizations to acknowledge the importance of dealing with mental health issues? Why do most women’s networking groups focus almost exclusively on branding and social media connections without paying even lip service to how our bottom lines will indeed be affected if each of us is not in a good place emotionally, psychologically and psychiatrically and physically?
All of us —- not just Michelle Obama and a few celebrities — must put aside our fears, vulnerabilities, insecurities and embarrassments and commit to putting mental health on both our ‘business’ and personal agendas.
And one of the things that I love and admire most about Cheryl Benton, Founder of The Three Tomatoes is that she has never been reluctant to deal with real issues, including mental health. It would be helpful and constructive for other women’s business organizations to follow her lead.
Beatty Cohan, MSW, LCSW, AASECT is a nationally recognized psychotherapist, sex therapist, author of For Better, for Worse, Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, national speaker columnist for the Huffington Post, ThriveGlobal, DivorceForce, Three Tomatoes and Fox Health, national radio and television expert guest and host of ASK BEATTY on the Progressive Radio Network. She has a private practice in New York City and East Hampton.