Tag Archive: build resilience

Burnout Prevention and Recovery, Resilience and Retention Evidence-based, experience-informed, root cause solutions

Burnout Prevention and Recovery

When we were asked to participate and be a resource to the NC Consortium on Physician Resilience and Retention ( a Committee of the NC Medical Society), we were moved to develop a white paper for an upcoming meeting. We began pulling research on burnout. Jeanine’s dissertation was on Employee Engagement so she was very familiar with the other end of the spectrum. Within two days, 300 journal articles had been identified. At that point we knew it would have to be a book; not just a white paper.

After reviewing over 500 articles, we elected to address, burnout prevention and recovery through two distinct lenses:

  1. What an individual can do to protect themselves and/or recover from burnout, and,
  2. What healthcare organizations can do, individually and collectively, to prevent burnout and help employees recover from burnout syndrome.

Designed to be easy

Recognizing that both physicians (read as “all providers of care”) and healthcare organization executives are busy and may not have time to read the entire book, we wrote the book so that a physician who just wants to know how to prevent or recover from burnout can get all the information needed without having to digest the full text of information for the healthcare organization. The information for the healthcare organization executive or manager who wants to know what the organization can do also stands alone.

Executives may want to review the section for individuals because training your staff to understand the knowledge and skills presented there will increase resilience, emotional intelligence, and create a more positively focused workforce. It will also help them deal with daily stressors in your role including workplace politics.

A brief overview of the problem with current statistics about burnout is provided at the beginning.

The Appendices have questionnaires for burnout, depression, coping, and anxiety.

Build Resilience by applying Science

The section for physicians provides actionable steps that increase resilience, self-compassion, and foster development of healthy habits of thought. The research consistently shows that this is the difference between those who are burned out and those who are not–not the amount of stress inherent in their role.

Healthcare Organizations Have Work To Do, Too

The need for resilience does not mean that there is not a great deal of work that can and should be done by healthcare organizations to make the work environment less stressful and more supportive of the physical and mental health of its employees. Some of that work could be done quickly in organizations that are motivated. Much of the organizational work will require concerted actions between organizations to change the environment including legal, regulatory, and payers.

Why the Authors are Qualified to Write This Book

Dr. Joy’s prior books on Employee Engagement, Suicide Prevention, and Resilience, her dissertation on empowering employees, and years of research on building resilience prepared her to write this book. She asked Phil Geissinger to join her to add his expertise on the leadership and management of healthcare organizations and the many burdens that have been added to the roles of healthcare clinicians over the last several decades because she knew his insights would focus on how to accomplish what has to be done in ways that reduce the likelihood of burnout.

It is clear that healthcare organizations and care providers must act to prevent and recover from burnout. Physicians experience stress from:

·         Lack of time ·         Financial Pressure ·         Lack of purpose and meaning
·         Malpractice costs ·         Long Hours ·         CME
·         Paperwork ·         Board Certification(s) ·         Erosions of Autonomy
·         Work-Life Conflicts ·         Inadequate sleep ·         Business of Medicine
·         Secondary Trauma

·         Collegial pressures

·         EMR/EHR

·         Practice economics

·         Insurance Companies

·         Human resource issues

 

People making their living off Physicians

One key aspect that enhances the ability of the approach to burnout applied is the change in the purpose of emotions that was validated in 2007. Understanding and applying the new guidance on the purpose and use of emotions make it much easier to develop resilience and to understand how to use cognitive restructuring to reduce stress. We expect healthcare providers will find it helps them help their patients.

Learning advanced and transformational coping skills means physicians and other healthcare providers experience less stress on a daily basis. Chronic stress leads to burnout and the adverse physical and mental health outcomes associated with burnout. 

Coping Skills Make a Difference

People will use the best coping mechanisms available to them but if they don’t know how to use healthy coping strategies they will use a coping strategy they can access–even if it is maladaptive or dysfunctional. Primary Prevention for maladaptive and dysfunctional coping strategies such as drugs and alcohol requires training in healthier stress management strategies.

When you know good coping skills you don't use bad ones

You’ll find it interesting that most of the commonly recommended stress management strategies are dose-dependent palliative strategies. 

Stress Coping Strategies

Our book, Burnout: Prevention and Recovery, Resilience and Retention, is available on Amazon. Both Phil and Jeanine are available for keynote presentations and training to reduce burnout and provide the other benefits described in their book.Please let us know if you are interested in discussing training or speaking needs that we provide.

Burnout prevention and recovery can be easy, permanent, and relatively quick when the plan is based on research.

Together, we will make working in healthcare better for everyone which improves patient care and outcomes. 

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Academic Burnout Solutions

study life goals advice

Dear Dr. Joy: How can I study for 10+ hours a day without getting depressed and how can I make myself get used to it?

How can I study for 10+ hours a day without getting depressed and how can I make myself get used to it?

Q: I must study continually for 10 months non-stop, then I have exams in 7 subjects (only one exam for each in those 10 months) and the results will determine my future. I’m supposed to study +10 hours a day and I’m not used to such hours.

Alright, yes, I’ll admit it. I’d love to have an advice column. I’m receiving requests on Quora to answer more questions than I have time to answer. I’ve decided to start publishing my answers here. 

Dr. Joy’s advice:

If you find a way to relate to what you are studying and see it as an opportunity for rapid personal growth instead of a test that determines who you will become, it will be interesting.

Over the past six years, I’ve spent many months where I studied far more than 10 hours a day doing research for my books but I connected the reading/studying I was doing to my ultimate goal of helping people thrive more which gave it meaning that energized me to do more. Poke at the way you’re thinking about this and try to find different ways to look at the situation.

Find thoughts that feel better and then reinforce those thoughts so they become your main way of perceiving this situation. 

10 Hours is not as long as it sounds

Also, 10 hours sounds like a lot but it isn’t. Most workers have a commute to the job, work 8 hours and then have a commute home. After they do all of that many of them still find time to raise a family, fall in love, volunteer in their community, read for pleasure, and more. #1 is giving up the television and you’ll be amazed at how much time you have. Also, do take breaks to stand up, stretch, breathe deeply. The refreshment of that will more than make-up for the time it takes.

In good weather take the time to study outside.

Also, lessen the “determine your future” bit of this. It may determine your immediate opportunities but YOU determine your future. You aren’t creating a finished product through your studying efforts. You will never be a finished product. Humans continually evolve and grow. Some humans who became wildly successful didn’t even begin the activity that made them household names until they were past the age when most people retire. So let go of the “will determine my future” belief and make this a time of developing you into someone who knows more than you know today.

I wish you all the best.


Time to Transform Education

Transform Education

Why Transform Education?

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it. 

While reading peer-reviewed journals that provided pieces of the human thriving puzzle, I kept coming across research demonstrating that when children are taught certain soft skills, the trajectory of their lives improved. Since diverting a child’s trajectory from prison, addiction, and poverty to better results meets my definition of increasing human thriving, I followed the threads. Each research article provides citations to earlier articles and later articles that cite the article are also easy to identify. 

What I learned both thrilled and angered me. It thrilled me because it is very clear that we can end the school-to-prison pipeline, significantly reduce the 1.5 million 17-year-olds who go to jail each year, and improve outcomes in positive ways. We can increase high school and college graduation rates and reduce the mental, physical, and behavioral ravages caused by chronic stress. 

It angered me because the research is conclusive that we now know how to help these children and prevent their suffering and we aren’t doing it globally or even nationally. This upset me so much I dedicated most of my time over the next year to clearly documenting the research and articulating a better way forward. That work culminated in a book titled, Our Children Live in a War Zone: Use the Power of Resilience to Improve Their Lives.

The book is designed to teach parents and teachers state-of-the-art social and emotional management skills so they can, in turn, teach them to children. Since we have not historically taught these skills, just being an adult does not mean an individual understands healthy ways of interacting. The high number of marriages that end in divorce is a clear testament to this truth. When we transform education we transform children’s lives away from poverty, hunger, violence, drugs, and hopelessness.

Children need us to transform education faster

A few schools across the country have implemented programs that teach these skills, although I have not yet seen any that incorporate the latest research about emotions. Even without being as comprehensive as they should be, the results they are attaining are phenomenal. The following video begins with the same quote I often use, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The video is R. Keeth Matheny of Austin, TX, at a Capitol Hill briefing held by Committee for Children, in collaboration with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), on the importance of effective social and emotional learning (SEL) at every stage of education, from early learning through college and career prep.

Extrapolating the from Austin High school data and assuming the same results across America would result in:

  • 24 million additional passing grades
  • 8.6 million fewer discipline referrals in American High Schools
  • 12 million more time-on-task for teachers

In addition to hard data, they also theorized that suicide and severe depression would be reduced. I can attest to that because after I taught a program in a local high school one of the student’s mother’s contacted me to tell me that her son disclosed to her that when I began teaching the class he was planning to die and the class led to his changing his mind. 

Failing 9th grade greatly increases the risk the child will drop out of high school. Failing 9th grade is highly correlated to drop outs. 20% of students currently never finish high school. Students who drop out are:

  • 3 times more likely to be unemployed
  • 4 times more likely to live their lives in poverty
  • 63 times more likely to be incarcerated

We need to transform education and workplace training

According to the video, 40% of employers said high school and college graduates are sorely lacking social and emotional skills, which makes them unready to function well in a job.

Employers have another choice–because social and emotional skills have never been taught in schools so none of your employees have as well-developed skills in that area as they could. When you consider the bickering and worse that often distracts from productive pursuits at work, the savings from increasing employees social and emotional skills can pay significant dividends. One of the benefits would be increased engagement.

It’s time for responsible federal and state policy makers to incorporate evidence-based data in public policy and school curriculums.

I checked on the bill (H.R.4509: Supporting Emotional Learning Act) introduced in 2014 and learned it has been stuck in the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education for nearly two years. Maybe the committee needs members who care about our children. Sitting on legislation that improves lives and saves money in the long-term via crimes not committed, poverty averted, and better mental and physical health is unconscionable. 

What do you think? Why would anyone stall legislation that would improve outcomes of children?

If you want to learn more about the research that supports social and emotional learning and strategies to teach your children or students, you can find everything you need right here.

A link to purchase Rescue Our Children from the War Zone is on the right side of this page. It contains 760 citations supporting the value of social and emotional learning skills and building resilience in children. 

While we’re transforming education, we should also let teachers decide how to run their classrooms and how to teach their students. They are on the front lines and they can read the room far better than someone who is not present. Teachers, like physicians, are paying a heavy price for administrative burdens and rules decreed by people who don’t do the same job. Teacher burnout causes students to lose many good teachers every year and causes teachers physical and mental health to decline. The book I co-authored on Burnout Prevention and Recovery, Resilience and Retention for the health care industry would be of great benefit to teachers as well.

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Teach Children the Right Skills Once. They will Benefit for Life

Teach Children the right skills once and they will benefit for life.

Research shows that teaching children stress reduction (resilience building) skills has a significant positive effect on outcomes longitudinally. Even children who are not expected to do well because of early hardships do better than expected if they learn these skills. Improvements seen include:

  • More likely to graduate from high school
  • More likely to go to college
  • More likely to graduate from college
  • Less likely to abuse drugs
  • Less likely to abuse alcohol
  • Less likely to commit crimes
  • Less likely to smoke cigarettes
  • Less likely to have a baby during teens
  • Less likely to die from street violence
  • Less likely to become depressed
  • Less likely to commit suicide

What do parents want that isn’t on that list? Why aren’t we teaching this to all children?

These skills create beneficial habits of thinking that reduce stress throughout the lifespan, regardless of the source of the stress.

For the citations, see Our Children Live in a War Zone.

Give your children a better chance at success. Learn the skills that matter and share them with your children.

I am very excited about the release of Our Children Live in a War Zone,  A Plan to Bring Peace to our Homes, Streets, and World on November 24, 2015. Now parents and teachers don’t have to wait for the government to implement programs that will improve the lives of children. They can learn the skills and teach the children they nurture how to be more resilient and less stressed today.

Jeanine Joy teaches, speaks and writes about human thriving. She is an expert in teaching people how to adjust their mindsets in any way they deem helpful in reaching their dreams and goals.  Her books are available here.

If this helped you, please share so that others may be helped. Thank you.
For more of my articles on LinkedIn and at Happiness 1st Institute.


Robin Williams: Reflections a Year Later

One year ago my “to do” list for this week included “Finish editing suicide prevention book.”

Then I logged on to the internet and learned that Robin Williams had died by suicide.

I felt a lot of different emotions that day. I remember wondering if I had written the book sooner if I could have made a difference. I was very certain that I did not want to appear to be capitalizing on Robin Williams death. I was saddened by the loss, knowing that his was a rare and beautiful talent that brought so much that was good to our world. I worried about my daughter who was in another state visiting a friend because she had to be one of his biggest fans. I worried about the contagion effect, how someone who was suicidal might think that if Robin Williams could not make his life feel better than how could they expect to do so.

I remembered times in my life when I was suicidal and did not act on those feelings and felt grateful. I remembered those who had been suicidal whom I had helped feel better and felt more gratitude for the knowledge I had gained that allowed me to be of benefit and for being in the right place at the right time.

I put the book aside for a while. I thought the world was too raw to receive it as it was and perhaps I was also too disheartened not to have been in the right place at the right time for Robin Williams. I’ve always had an overactive sense of responsibility for others. This was no exception.

I had a month across the pond planned and I decided to finish editing the book after that trip. The week before I left I had lunch with a friend who knew nothing about the book I was writing. During lunch, she shared with me that a close friend of hers was suffering because her boyfriend had ended his life. I took that to be a sign that I needed to get the book finished.  I was too late to help Robin Williams, but there were hundreds of thousands of others who were still suffering and thousands of them would make a fatal mistake each year.

When I returned from my time overseas, I finished the book and it was published last Autumn. I’ve still been hesitant about being perceived as attempting to capitalize on Robin Williams’ death so I worked hard to put the book on Smashwords in an electronic version–something that had a steep learning curve for me. I did not really like the electronic format because citations and other helpful information did not translate well into the electronic format. I’m still not satisfied with the version on Smashwords, but it contains the essence of the helpful information. I frequently give electronic copies away. The current coupon code for Smashwords is JW78C. The print version is better, in my opinion. The print version is available here.

The focus of Prevent Suicide: The Smart Way is to prevent suicide through the use of Primary Prevention. Hand washing is an example of primary prevention of disease. Primary Prevention is something done that is truly preventative–not just early detection. Via early prevention, the undesired outcome is actually prevented. Hand washing prevents the spread of illnesses. Primary Prevention for suicide prevents the sustained low emotional states that can lead to suicidal ideation and suicide and also builds strengths. It is not just for those who are already in low emtional states, although it is beneficial to them. The time to use primary prevention is before there is a problem so the problem won’t develop. Every adult and child can benefit from this form of primary prevention.

I wish everyone a wonderful life. If my work helps you live a better life, it fills my heart with appreciation of where my life had led me and the knowledge I’ve gained along the way.

Be Well,

Jeanine Joy

If you are thinking that maybe you’d rather be dead or that those you care about would be better off if you were, call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor. Or, call your doctor, dial 911, or go to an emergency room. For a free detailed booklet on depression and its treatment, go to:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml

International Emergency Numbers

International emergency numbers

 


Radio Show Guest Appearance: Advocacy Heals U January 6, 2015 2 pm EST

Advocacy Heals U

Radio Show on Tuesday January 6th and re-play on Saturday

Broadcast is archived Advocacy Heals U Radio Show. Listen any time.

Tragedies can happen to anyone at anytime. No one is immune from this possibility.

Everyone has the ability to decide how to deal with the aftermath of tragedy. Some people decide they can never again be happy–and they aren’t. Some try to forget and use alcohol or drugs or other addictions to try to ease their pain, which leads to more pain. Some people give up.

But others thrive. They experience what is termed Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). PTG is the opposite of PTSD in many ways.

Surviving is not enough. It is not why you were born or why you live. You can thrive no matter what has gone before.

What makes the difference between the two? It really comes down to choice of perception. Now, to be fair, most people don’t understand they have control over their perspective. For some reason (something I am working hard to change) our society does not teach this critical life skill.

By choosing perspectives that feel better we are able to function. By choosing the perspectives that feel best, we become instruments of change and thrive in ways no one would have anticipated or expected prior to our going through the tragedy.

Making the choice to make meaning out of the nonsensical is the only choice that leads to thriving.

Chronic stress has negative effects on immune function, digestive function, cognitive abilities and other physical functions of the body. It also increases relationship difficulties.

There are ways to lower stress even when you can’t change circumstances. I am pleased that I will be on Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry’s radio show, Advocacy Heals U, Tuesday January 6th at 2 p.m. Eastern allowing me to share some techniques those who are suffering can use to ease their burden. Please join us if you can. If you’re not able to listen on Tuesday, there will be a replay. The details are noted below.

I’m having a guest appearance on ADVOCACY HEALS U with show host and author Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry on Tuesday, January 6th, 2:00-2:50 p.m. ESTwww.W4WN.com(Women 4 Women Network) and www.W4CS.com (Cancer Support Network). No downloads or Apps needed to listen. (If you miss it, catch the rebroadcast on the Sat. after the show at 4:00 p.m. EST on both networks.)

All shows are archived on iHeartRadio.com.

If you, or a friend or co-worker, have endured a tragedy please share this with them. The techniques I’ll share during the show can help ease their burden

Jeanine Joy understands what helps humans thrive. She is the Founder ofHappiness 1st Institute, Co-Founder of Achieve Affinity, and a Member of the Board of Directors of AWES International and the AWES Foundation.

Her research into understanding what creates resilience, good physical, mental, and emotional health, and strong relationships yielded answers. Drawing from many scientific disciplines and philosophies including positive psychology, sociology, quantum physics, psychoneuroimmunology and other sciences as they relate to what cultivates human thriving, she developed practical steps that empower individuals and organizations to thrive more. Because her focus addresses the root cause of human thriving, the benefits of her techniques extend into every area of life—making even difficult situations easier.

Her focus is on building strengths that are known to protect individuals from undesired outcomes and helping them overcome existing problems. Her work emphasizes what could go right and helps individuals create more thriving in their own lives.

She is the author of two books, True Prevention—Optimum Health: Remember Galileo and Prevent Suicide: The Smart Way and she also contributed toPerspectives on Coping and Resilience.


Are You an Adult?

[l2g name=”” id=”869″]Are you an adult?

When did you become one?

Was it overnight when you reached a magical age? 18? 21? 25? 30? Older?

Or do you still feel like you’re faking being an adult—that there are secrets someone forgot to tell you that will make you actually feel grown-up?

Being an adult today can be very difficult but it does not have to be.

One reason being grown-up is so hard is because there are a lot of false premises taught by society. It’s not their fault. Really, it’s not. Your parents, teachers, and religious leaders were taught the same false premises.

Understanding what is truth and what is not can make the difference between a life filled with inner and outer struggles and one in which you flourish. Would you like to live a life where you can pass the truth on to those you love and help them flourish, too?

One of the false premises drilled into almost everyone’s head is that making a mistake is BAD. We’re taught making a mistake means you are less than others who do not make that mistake.

Can I be quite frank?

That whole concept of making a mistake being bad is bogus, utter BS.

That single concept keeps so many people in society “in their place” when they could be thriving so much more.

Making a mistake is part of the process of success. If you never take one or our programs or read one of my books and you just plant that belief firmly in your mind, your life will be better than it would have been with a belief that mistakes are to be avoided at all costs.

One of the big computer companies had an employee who made a mistake that resulted in the company losing over 6 million dollars. When the mistake was discovered, the employee’s manager wanted to fire him. The CEO forbid it stating, “I just spent over 6 million training him to succeed.”

I don’t expect you to make a mistake of that magnitude, but reframe your mistakes (past and future) as learning experiences and it will serve you well.

The key is to take the lesson. If you are beating yourself up for making the mistake you’re not learning the lesson—you’re just reinforcing a belief that you should not make mistakes.

Another reason being an adult can be so difficult is we are trained to believe that adults act certain ways and that they know things. Well, they do know things. But not all of them know the same things. Everyone on this planet knows things you don’t know and you know something no one else on this planet knows.

I don’t know what those things are but I do know those statements are true. You can check it out for yourself. Start asking people you encounter what they know that you probably don’t know that they think you might benefit from knowing. If they ask, (or even if they don’t, depending on your personality) share something you think will benefit them.

The long-winded point I am making is adults don’t know everything. I read and study voraciously in the field of human thriving. Because I teach and interact with others on this topic, it is very common for people to ask me if I have read a particular book or research paper. Often the answer is no. I have been studying this subject for decades! I am a fast reader. I spend far more than 40 hours a week in this field. This is my passion so working is fun—it is common for me to spend as much as 80 hours a week in pursuits related to human thriving. Yet I continually meet others who have a tidbit that I didn’t have.

You don’t have to know everything. You’ll never know everything. You could live to 100 with a sound mind and still not know everything. Do you know how much new information is created every day? How much new research is completed? How many new products developed? How many new people show up in the headlines?

Don’t try to know everything. Don’t beat yourself up for not knowing something. Being an adult does not mean you have to know it all.

But being an adult is easier, far easier, if you become comfortable asking questions.

Despite the fact that I don’t know everything, I know a great deal. In fact, I know the secrets to human thriving. Over the last several years there has not been a question anyone has asked me on the topic where my answer has failed to provide helpful and clarifying information. Sometimes so helpful it is lifesaving and often it is life changing.

Earlier this year I wrote a novel where the main character, Maia, demonstrates mental processes that increase thriving. Imagine my surprise when Maia, (who was really writing herself as I wrote the book) wrote four training manuals while she was in the novel. I’m already receiving requests for the manuals even though the first novel has not yet been published.

I hope the tidbits I shared above help you be easier on yourself about being an adult. I would like your help. I would like your questions.

Have you ever watched the movie, Pay It Forward?

Have you wanted to do something to help the world and the people who share it with but you but did not know what to do?

Did helping seem like an overwhelming task?

I need your help to help the world and all I am asking for are your questions.

I would like you to send me questions Maia can answer to create the training manuals referenced in the novel.

Please send me your questions or post them in the comment section. Any question is welcome. If you have the question, it is likely the answer will help you and others. I’ll also post as many answers as possible here and on my main website.

Thank you for helping me write books that will benefit all of us. If you want to help even more, please share this with your friends.

Thank you. I appreciate you more than you know.

Love,

♥ Jeanine Joy

For more techniques on defusing stressful thoughts so you can relax and enjoy the holidays, try one of my books.

I really appreciate that you are reading my post and hope it provided value to you. On LinkedIn, I regularly write about Happiness, Stress Reduction, Human Thriving, Primary Prevention, Health and Wellness, and more. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click ‘Follow’ (at the top of the page) and feel free to also connect with me via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Please consider sharing this information with your network if you found it valuable, they may also find value in what I have written.

Here are other posts I have written for LinkedIn Pulse:

I wish for you many blissings. (Blissings = blissful blessings)

About : Jeanine Joy Jeanine Joy is an inspiring and life-changing author, speaker, and scholar. The purpose of her life is to seek out knowledge that increases human thriving, create explanations and processes that provide practical ways for individuals adopt strategies that enhance their lives. Her programs, books, and speeches empower people to fulfill their dreams and enjoy more loving, happy, and successful lives. Her ultimate goal is to help create a better world for everyone on Earth.

Available Now

Coming in 2015


Robin Williams Can Leave an even Greater Legacy: Eliminate Stigma

President Obama on the passing of Robin Williams:

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But, he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”

I would add to this that Robin Williams will be an instrumental part of removing much of the stigma associated with mental health issues–opening the way for more to achieve greater mental and emotional health.

People will ridicule and stigmatize strangers but there are so many who love Robin Williams whose attitude about seeking help will change because they will understand that if society had been different, if we had deeper conversations with one another, if we understood more, Robin Williams might have received the right help at the right time.

This shift in the stigma associated with mental/emotional health may become Robin Williams’s greatest legacy. Let’s make it so.

He can’t do it alone but with the help of those who love him there has never been a better time.

We live in a world where people in emotional pain suffer in silence. Their pain affects everyone. Mental health affects physical health, behavior, relationships, and cognitive abilities.

The origin of the stigma came from fear about the cause of mental illness and the inability of healers to cure it. Today we know more and can do more. It is time for everyone to understand the mind-body connection and how to attain and sustain better emotional and mental health. We have the tools to accomplish this—now it is time to educate, to help everyone understand how much difference it makes and how simple it can be to feel better.

Think about what you would have wanted for Robin Williams if you had known the pain he was in. Make a decision that you’ll be supportive of eliminating any negative bias you may have toward mental and emotional health issues.

Make a decision to give a smile to those who have none and a hug to those who need one. Compliment more, criticize less. Be open to deeper conversations. Learn more about how to decrease stress and increase happiness–they are opposite ends of the same stick. 

This great man, with a great legacy, has the potential to become even greater.

Rest in peace Robin Wiilliams.

P.S. I ran across an excellent write-up about stigma by Dr. Lynn K. Jones. You can read it Dr. Lynn K. Jones Stigma write-up.