Submitted by BNI® CEO and Community Builder, Graham Weihmiller
BNI is a global community of business leaders united by Givers Gain®. We all care deeply about each other, so I want to address something serious: mental health. It is an important topic – perhaps now more than ever. Too many of us know someone who has suffered the often tragic effects of mental illness. Let’s face it: life can be stressful. As business leaders, we are pulled in many directions and bear so many responsibilities. Sometimes, our stress can build to an unhealthy level. And other medical factors or prior life experiences can make these situations really dangerous.
According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world will experience a mental or neurological disorder in their lives. And two-thirds won’t seek help for it. I love BNI’s Core Value of Positive Attitude, but I want to ensure that we always feel completely comfortable reaching out to others for help if we are experiencing a serious mental health crisis. BNI wants to help.
In the coming months, we’ll be sharing more information on a program we’re calling “…it’s ok to not be ok”. We want to break the taboo associated with mental illness and replace it with an openness for us all to discuss our challenges with others in BNI, and to feel fully-supported if and when we need help.
In the weeks to come, we’ll be working collaboratively with various advisory groups within BNI as well as external experts to find out how we can all be empowered to quickly and effectively refer anyone in BNI who may be experiencing a serious mental health crisis to trained community resources who can help. We will share more information in a few months here in SuccessNet™.
In the meantime, I would ask a personal favor: if you are experiencing a serious mental health crisis, please contact a trained professional for help. Not tomorrow or next week. Reach out to trained professional today. BNI has an exciting road ahead. And we need you there for every step of the journey.