Know what you can change and what you can’t change: As the prayer goes, “grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
As a part of my series about “Mental Health Champions” helping to promote mental wellness, I had the pleasure to interview Tim Moore.
Tim Moore is the former CEO of Green Growth Brands, leading the company from its IPO through to January 2019, reaching a nearly billion dollar market cap. Mr. Moore is now leveraging his past experience in the cannabis industry to help create an effective path to success for Havn Life, a Canadian biotechnology company pursuing standardized extraction of psychoactive compounds, the development of natural healthcare products, and innovative mental health treatment to support brain health and enhance the capabilities of the mind.
Thank you so much for doing this Q & A with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you share your back story with us?
The majority of my career was spent in Packaged Goods. I worked with Clorox for 18 years, and then spent seven years with Brita. I transitioned into the cannabis space initially, before moving into psychedelics in May of 2020.
You are currently leading a company that is helping to promote mental wellness. Can you tell us a bit about what you or your organization are trying to address?
Our focus on mental health is two-pronged. First, we are building an end-to-end supply chain of naturally-derived compounds to supply clinical research in this space. Most researchers are currently using synthetic products, which lack the ‘entourage’ effect — where multiple compounds work together to produce a better effect than any of the compounds individually. The plant-based approach is also key, as we are seeing a growing trend of patients seeking naturally-derived medicines instead of pharmaceuticals. The second part of our focus is the launch of a portfolio of Natural Health Products that support cognitive health and human performance. These products will be available at Canadian retail outlets and online at the end of the Q1 2021.
Can you tell us what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
I’ve raised five sons and over the past few decades that has involved navigating various mental health issues that my children have dealt with at different times. They are all fine now, but two of my sons have anxiety disorder and one has aspergers. One of my sons was suicidal at 14 years old. My middle son was hit by a drunk driver six years ago and was seriously injured. He became an opioid addict because of his chronic pain and was eventually saved by cannabis. That was my motivation to get into the cannabis space a few years ago. I now see the promise that psychedelics can offer people suffering from a variety of mental health issues, and I’m excited to be part of an industry that can offer hope to so many. If I can help others to avoid what I’ve been through, then that will be my legacy.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “A-ha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
We realized there was a gap in the market, and that no one was offering a library of naturally derived compounds for research in this space. With Havn Life, I knew I had found the team with the skills and experience to bring this to life, so we went for it. The market responded, providing funding to breathe life into our business plan.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
I think it is fascinating that we have been able to launch a company in a very new industry, form the team, raise funds, and go public…all during a pandemic! I had not met any of my coworkers in person for the first three months that I was with Havn Life.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
I’ve had some great bosses over the years who have taught me a lot about how to lead a team and inspire others to succeed. One of my former bosses, Don Murray at Clorox, was perhaps the toughest boss I ever had, but he was fair and he was consistent. He always made principled decisions. His approach to work led me to develop my own set of principles to guide my behavior and decision making, even as I moved into very different industries.
According to Mental Health America’s report, over 44 million Americans have a mental health condition. Yet there’s still a stigma about mental illness. Can you share a few reasons you think this is so?
I very much see the mental health stigma as rooted in history. People with mental illness were seen as broken, and we locked them away in asylums or sanatoriums. This happened not that long ago. Years of public service announcements, education, and even high-profile celebrities talking about their own issues have started to make it “ok to not be ok.”
In your experience, what should a) individuals b) society, and c) the government do to better support people suffering from mental illness?
On the individual and society level, the work towards destigmatizing mental illness must continue. Things have improved significantly in the past decade, but there is still work to do. We do not stigmatize cancer patients for being ill, so why stigmatize those who struggle with and seek treatment for mental health? On the government side, I think it’s important that we keep investing in and being open to research that can shed light on these conditions, particularly novel approaches — like psychedelics. For decades, regulations made it very difficult to conduct serious research in this area, so thankfully we are starting to see that change.
What are 6 strategies you use to promote your own wellbeing and mental wellness? Can you please give a story or example for each?
1. Stay Positive: You can choose to be positive, even in the face of challenges. Even Eeyore gets it: “It could be worse. I don’t know how, but it could be,” he famously says.
2. Stay fit: Strive to be as fit as you can be, given your age and any underlying conditions. Over the past 18 months I’ve lost more than 100 pounds (on purpose) while trying to get fit. It started with a change in attitude that led to a change in habits.
3. Speak your mind: Don’t keep things to yourself, especially in a relationship. Say it, deal with it, and move on.
4. Smile and be nice: Be nice to other people, even strangers. It may surprise them, but more often than not, it will make them smile and you will feel better about yourself because of it.
5. Be in touch with your feelings: Learn to understand what you are feeling and why. If it is negative, ask yourself why this is happening and what you can do about it.
6. Know what you can change and what you can’t change: As the prayer goes, “grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
If you could tell other people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
One day you will be gone. Your legacy is all that will be left of you. How you touched other people and made their lives better is the way you will be remembered, or not. So, be nice. Be positive. Be helpful. Be generous. But above all, be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much and we wish you only continued success on your great work!