Facts About Mental Health, Divorce and Domestic Violence

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Did you know that 350 million people of all ages and stages in life and from every socioeconomic background worldwide suffer from depression?

Depression is nearly twice as likely to affect women than men and tends to have different causes.  Women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder and dysthymia (chronic depression)

At worse, depression puts people at a higher risk of dying by suicide.  This is extremely consequential for ‘midlife adults’, according to Dr. Michelle Riba, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

41%-50% of first marriages end in divorce

60% of second marriages fail

73% of third marriages end in divorce.

Every 9 seconds a woman in the U.S. is the victim of domestic violence.

Every 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused as a result of domestic violence

3 women are murdered every day by an intimate partner

African American women were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000.  For Caucasian women, the rate was 0.99 per 100,000

Despite these startling statistics, many women’s business networking organizations meetings that I have attended rarely, if ever, make the connection between business success and mental health and are therefore, reluctant and unwilling to entertain discussions about mental health, relationships, physical health and how these invariably affect the bottom line.

No one is immune from mental health, relationship or physical distress at some point in their life.  Major American female business leaders such as Arianna Huffington have courageously talked abut the importance of sleep after she collapsed one day and realized that her life was out of sync.  Sheryl Sandberg has also openly spoken out multiple times and written about the importance of work/life balance.

Why is it so difficult for so many women’s organizations to acknowledge the importance of dealing with mental health issues?  Why do women’s networking groups focus almost exclusively on branding and social media connections without paying even lip service to how our bottom lines will indeed be affected if each of us is not in a good place emotionally, psychologically, psychiatrically and physically.

All of us…not just Michelle Obama and a few celebrities must put aside our fears, vulnerabilities, insecurities and embarrassments and commit to putting mental health on both our business and person agendas.

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