Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with John Duran

John Duran head shot quote

Mental Health Month may be over, but we are still dedicated to empowering individuals to “light their way” to better mental health, happiness, and improved well-being. As part of this commitment, we are continuing to profile “Mental Health Warriors,” or individuals who have been outspoken in their advocacy and support for mental health issues. This week, we caught up with West Hollywood city councilor, human rights lawyer, and LGBTQ activist, John Duran.

Talkspace: How did you first get involved in advocating for equal rights and mental health?

John Duran: I first got involved in June of 1985, when a close friend of mine named Scott Fleener died very suddenly of HIV related pneumonia. I hadn’t been very politically involved up to that point. I couldn’t tell you who my member of Congress was or how he or she voted on issues regarding equal rights or mental health. His unexpected death at 26 years of age rocked my world. Continue reading Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with John Duran

Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Chinae Alexander

Chinae Alexander headshot quote

Throughout Mental Health Month, we focused on ways to empower individuals to “light their way” to better mental health, happiness, and improved well-being. As part of this celebration, we profiled “Mental Health Warriors,” individuals who have been outspoken in their advocacy and support for mental health issues. We caught up with lifestyle and fitness expert Chinae Alexander.

Talkspace: Society imposes some pretty impossible standards around female beauty. Did you absorb this message as a child or was it something you became more aware of later on in life?

Chinae Alexander: I think it was a little easier for us growing up, those pressures were certainly there, but with the onslaught of social media, etc, I can’t imagine what it’s like being a young girl now. I also grew up with a mom who always reminded me of my beauty. It’s amazing how shaping that has been and I’m glad I had that foundation to help me navigate the current age. Continue reading Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Chinae Alexander

Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Brandon Marshall

brandon marshall quote headshot
Source: Chicago Splash

Throughout Mental Health Month, we are focused on ways to empower individuals to “light their way” to better mental health, happiness, and improved well-being. As part of this celebration, we profiled “Mental Health Warriors,” individuals who have been outspoken in their advocacy and support for mental health issues. We caught up with famed NFL wide receiver, mental health advocate, and founder of Project 375, Brandon Marshall.

Talkspace: You have been open about sharing your experience with having Borderline Personality Disorder. Thinking back, at what point did you realize you had an issue?

Brandon Marshall: It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I realized something was off. I had made it to the NFL, but my life had become a living hell. After living in my own hell for six years, I finally sought help and ended up at McLean Hospital in their outpatient program. I spent three months there and that’s where I received the diagnosis of BPD. Once I got the diagnosis, I started doing Dialectal Behavioral Therapy as well as some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It was the most phenomenal experience and it changed my life. Continue reading Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Brandon Marshall

Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington headshot

Throughout Mental Health Month, we focused on ways to empower individuals to “light their way” to better mental health, happiness, and improved well-being. As part of this celebration, we profiled “Mental Health Warriors,” individuals who have been outspoken in their advocacy and support for mental health issues. To kick this series off, we caught up with Huffington Post founder and Thrive Global founder and CEO, Arianna Huffington.

Talkspace: You’ve been vocal about your history with burnout and exhaustion and “the fall” that precipitated a complete life overhaul. Can you talk a bit about what the state of your mental health was like as you were approaching this crucial turning point?

Arianna Huffington: When I collapsed, I’d just come off a week of very little sleep – having taken my daughter on a college tour, during which I was staying up late every night working. But my mental state was – I thought – fine. I’d done plenty of weeks like this in the past and so to me this was just a slightly more extreme version of business as usual. But that’s what exhaustion and sleep deprivation do to you – one of the many aspects of your physical and mental health that gets impaired is your own judgment about the state of your physical and mental health. So just because you feel like you’re doing fine on four or five or even six hours of sleep per night, it doesn’t mean you are. The science that tells us otherwise is much more reliable.

TS: At any point did you seek out help before this moment? If not, what was keeping you from getting it? Continue reading Mental Health Warriors: An Interview with Arianna Huffington