Kevin Dedner, CEO of Hurdle, on the Sociological Factors and Microaggressions Impacting Black Male Mental Health

“Beyond the factors that commonly trigger mental health issues, Black men must also carry the day to day stress of being a Black man, which often presents itself unconsciously in normal activities. Black men report experiencing racial microaggressions —insults, invalidations, and interpersonal slights (subtle and sometimes unintentional) – which are linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Black men also suffer from impostor syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his accomplishments in professional settings and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud….. My general belief is that human beings have long held the answers to how to live well. Somewhere along the way, we lost our knowledge of the importance of self-care and restorative practices that help us cope with stress. I think the loss is wrapped up in a myriad of reasons, including western work culture and increased exposure to technology. The bottom line is that we were not designed to be as busy as we are.”

Alyssa Petersel, CEO of therapist match startup My Wellbeing, on Finding Good Therapists and Entrepreneur Mental Health

“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.”

Iulian Circo on Social Impact, the Changemaker Generation, and Verifying Wellness Initiatives

” I actually feel that most companies that stay close to consumers are actively working to bring purpose into their brands. This may be a differentiator now, but with the changemaker generation coming of age, they realize that without purpose they will simply slide into irrelevance. In this context, however, it is pretty hard to differentiate between real change and impact narratives. Without taking anything away from Patagonia – which remains an awesome, awesome company – it is relatively easy to bring impact at the fore-front of products that are premium, and that address educated, high-income market segments. It is a completely different story to do that in cut-throat, price-sensitive categories such as mass retail or FMCG. This is why I am personally very excited to see impact reflected at the level of mass-focused, low margin businesses. Often done quietly. I love it when I go into big retailers and notice that even the private labels signal purpose and virtue (locally sourced, organic, fair trade etc.). This is both a sign and an enabler of the mass-going revolution we all need. Patagonia and the likes have showed the way, now we need the Walmarts and the Costcos to follow.”