Vanessa Smith on Taking Mental Health Out of Traditional Clinical Settings, Using the Arts to Challenge Stereotypes, and Creating a Common Language to Talk Global Wellness

“One of the biggest challenges I see is how can we promote wellness alongside policies, programs, and design that address climate change? The effects of climate change and disaster response affect people differently, and communities that have been historically marginalized will feel the effects of climate change more dramatically.
I think about a scene in the movie Parasite during a heavy rain storm. One family’s home is flooded, they lose their possessions and have to spend the night in a gym with hundreds of other people affected by the storm. Another family is able to enjoy watching the storm in spacious comfort on higher ground. How does the trauma of dealing with the rain, loss of your home, and the uncertainty of tomorrow burden people? How do our urban systems, design and policies affect our wellbeing and support (or hinder) us?
hinking about the first family’s experience we could incorporate a lens of mental health into: new policy around rapid response after a disaster, retrofitting public infrastructure and housing, flood mitigation, urban design, and new types of place-based services and programs we can develop in and with our communities.”

Remake CEO, Ayesha Barenblat On Conscientious Consuming, Inconsistencies in Demographic Representation in the “Sustainable Fashion” Industry, and Remake’s Mission to Improve the Wellbeing of 75+ Million Women

“sustainable fashion suffers from its fair share of socioeconomic, race, and body image issues. For all of its unethical production, fast fashion brands make fashion accessible and affordable to the masses. In this way, they fuse the division between classes. Sustainable fashion, on the other hand, can be prohibitively expensive due to higher base costs that include sourcing costly eco-friendly natural materials and paying people a fair wage for sewing garments.
I am also struck by how non diverse sustainable fashion conversations and conferences are. Even though the people and communities most impacted by fashion’s decisions are people of color. While it’s encouraging to see so many of the fashion industry’s who’s who come together to talk about sustainability at these summits, we are all remiss in addressing a core truth: that the fashion industry is built on the oppression of black and brown women, an institutionalized form of racism inherited from a colonial past. “

Heidi Luerra on Stigma, Having Family That is Mentally Ill and Educating Employees on Mental Health

“The distinction between diseases of “brain” and “mind,” between “neurological” problems and “psychological” or “psychiatric” ones, is an unfortunate cultural inheritance that permeates society and medicine. It reflects a basic ignorance of the relation between brain and mind. Diseases of the brain are seen as tragedies visited on people who cannot be blamed for their condition, while diseases of the mind, especially those that affect conduct and emotion, are seen as social inconveniences for which sufferers have much to answer. Individuals are to be blamed for their character flaws, defective emotional modulation, and so on; lack of willpower is supposed to be the primary problem.”

Alyssa Petersel on Startup Founder Mental Health, the Culture-Generational Move Towards Vulnerability, and Finding Good Therapists

“Therapy has given me consistent time and space to be honestly and authentically myself. As an empath, one of my strengths is being able to read a room and adjust my demeanor and offerings to best serve the people around me. From a professional perspective, I am proud of this skill and it brings me a lot of joy and growth opportunities. From a personal perspective, this tendency can blur the lines of what I am doing because I want to or because it nurtures me, and what I am doing because I am caring for someone else, or because I think I should be. Therapy has helped me identify this tendency in itself and has given me the perspective and tools to recognize my own wants and needs and communicate those to others, setting boundaries when necessary to ensure those needs are met. This is incredibly powerful both at work and at home.”

Amy Shapiro on Balancing Probiotics and Prebiotics Intake & Tips on Foods That Help with Mental Health & Wellness

“Symptoms of mental disorders can be helped by balancing blood sugar, limiting processed foods, watching caffeine and alcohol intake and eating plenty of plants. Again, it is all about being consistent. Many supplements such as magnesium and lemon balm can also help. Herbs are very powerful.
Anything with vitamin C (strawberries, red pepper, kiwi, citrus), omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, chia, flax, hemp), greens for lutein and nuts and seeds for healthy fats that will help your skin glow.”

Ronald Kamdem on Meaningful Living, Wellness & Work, and Advice To Live By

“I do feel very comfortable as I think just like physical health, mental heath is something to also be worked on and strengthened. I generally consider my mind to be just like my body, in constant need of some exercise so I’ve gotten comfortable having those conversations.”

Laetitia Rouget on Upcycling Material for Art, Making a Career Shift, and Anxiety

“I couldn’t see myself working as a print designer all my life and I was always thinking to do my own thing one day, but I never had the courage until I met my husband who really pushed me to take risks. I was tired of producing hundreds of designs every month– it was always the same and I wanted to work on a product that had more meaning to me and could properly feed my creative mind. I then started to explore ceramics deeply and ended up producing my first collection along with opening my first solo show last September in London. I was so happy and proud of how much I learned in a single year on my own and hopefully this is only the beginning.”