🌱 As we welcome May, we also welcome #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth. This month, established back in 1949, is a poignant reminder of the importance of mental health and wellness in our lives. It’s a month to celebrate our victories, acknowledge our struggles, and remember that mental health is integral to our overall health.
I’ll admit, as a dad, a husband, a leader in my fifties, I’ve long felt an inherent pressure to project an image of strength and steadfastness. We often associate leadership with resilience, strength, and an unwavering front. But with time, I’ve come to understand that leadership also involves vulnerability, truth, and openness.
My 18-year-old daughter, with her brave openness about her struggles with ADHD and anxiety, has been my greatest teacher in this journey. She recently completed her senior project on "Music & Mental Health", speaking with artists around the globe and learning their stories, while sharing her own. Her courage has inspired me to open up about my own mental health challenges. Here’s my truth: I've wrestled with impostor syndrome, bouts of depression, and anxiety. I’ve felt the weight of the world on my shoulders more times than I can count.
Sharing this does not make me weak. On the contrary, it makes me human. It doesn’t undermine my leadership; it underscores the fact that leaders, too, are on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. My hope in sharing my own journey is to foster a culture of openness, acceptance, and support. To everyone who works with me, for me - I want you to know that it's okay to have these conversations. It's okay to take ownership of your mental health and well-being. If you need someone to speak with, without judgement, I am here.
Remember, your struggles don't define your worth, neither as an individual nor as a professional. They are a part of your journey, but they are not the entirety of it. We are all works in progress, and it’s the ups and downs that shape us, teach us, and ultimately make us stronger.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, let's remember to extend a little more kindness, a little more understanding, and a little more patience - to others and to ourselves. Let's give each other the grace to be human, the grace to struggle, and the grace to grow. 🌱