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SPEAKER 1 0:10
All right. Hey everybody. My name is Tiffany watt Lt. I’m here with a couple of good friends, new friends, old friends. Here I’m living corporate. If you are new to live in corporate, it is a writing and podcasting platform dedicated to exploring and celebrating underrepresented identities in corporate America. We are early to mid-career consultants who came together based on our shared desire to have Frank, real conversations about the ways we exist, survive and succeed in corporate spaces. As a collective, we represent a broad spectrum of beliefs, cultures and identities. And we know that our differences have shaped our perspectives and experience in the world of work. We want to engage each other as voices that often go unheard and have our conversations out loud. So know that living corporate is for anyone who wants to have these conversations with us, and push the needle forward on how we can create and sustain spaces that reflect true inclusiveness. Brandon.
SPEAKER 2 1:11
Yes, Welcome, everybody. My name is Brandon Gordon. And well want to talk to you about the access point. This is why you’re here today. Welcome to the access point where it’s part of the living corporate network. The access point is our weekly web show where we strive to bring down real talk prepare you for the workforce. While our content is for everyone. We’re focused on preparing Black and Brown College students just as yourself for future work. Every week, we’ll have an incredible guest to help us discussing the topic at hand. And this week, we have Dr. Like the Bible, she can associate professor at California State University Long Beach, California, introduce yourself.
SPEAKER 3 1:47
Hey, Tiffany Bennett. Thanks for having me. Hi, everybody out there watching. My name is Dr. Ola g de bam, Michigan. I usually go by GTA as Brandon said, I’m an assistant professor of psychology at California State University Long Beach. I’m originally from Miami, Florida, and I got my BA in psychology from the University of Miami. After that, I went to UCLA. Go Bruins. So I got my PhD in health psychology. And I worked at Cal State, Los Angeles, California University of Los Angeles for three years. And now currently, I’m at California State University Long Beach. You know, I teach lots of different classes of psychology, like racial ethnic minority, mental health, positive psychology, post, social psychology, health psychology. And I do research focused specifically on the relationships between stress resilience and health. And in general, my focus is on families and fathers and how stress impacts fathers. But broadly speaking, I’m an expert on how stress impacts us. Thanks for having me. And I came here today. Because I really passionate about mental health, right? The health thing that I’m most focused on is depression. Right? And I’m an expert in the topic, I care about it, I want people to be better because it can be debilitating, and it can negatively impact your ability to function in this world. So once again, thanks for having me. And I’m excited for this conversation.
SPEAKER 2 3:15
Okay, so that brings us to our very first question, it also guys have listened to live in corporate, you always know, please ask questions, please ask questions, please. Place these questions are for you. The guide is there to help you. So in our very first question, you know, we talked about mental health, what is mental health? You know, what, that?
SPEAKER 3 3:36
That’s a great question. Right? So, what is health? Right? Like, what is health? Right? So in general, health is just a state of well-being, you know, and when we think about physical health, we’re talking about how our physical bodies are doing, like how our insides are doing, how we make physically feel, how well we’re doing for mental health, we’re focused on all the aspects kind of up here, right? How are our thoughts? How are our behaviours? How our actions, and how is that impacting us and our ability to function? Right, with a focus. And once again, I focus on stress and depression, but you know, mental health cares about, you know, once again, your feelings, your thoughts, your actions, the types of stress that you’re experiencing.
SPEAKER 2 4:27
So, it’s a what type of type this questionnaire, but I want to bring this question, you know, most mental health, especially in the black community is a very taboo subject. Oh, how can somebody open a discussion to talk about their mental health? It’s a really unpack of what was going on inside of them?
SPEAKER 3 4:50
I think that’s a good question. So, you know, one thing is that we all do these things all the time. Right? So anytime you say, Man, I’m feeling kind of stressed out right now. Right? Now you’re talking about your mental health. You know, and you’re talking about the way you’re feeling and how it’s impacting you. Right? So I think, you know, it’s really about under understanding that mental health is something that shouldn’t be stigmatized, right? Or talking about it in certain ways such that depression and anxiety aren’t things that are negative. Right, in any type of way. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 5:26
So that’s a coffee wisdom. But what is mental health stigmatized in the black community?
SPEAKER 3 5:34
That is a really good question. I think part of it is that, you know, historically, you know, mental health, I think is associated with the field of psychology. And, you know, just honestly, the field of psychology has kind of racist roots. You know, and many therapists and social workers, you know, don’t understand what it’s like to be a black or a member of racial, ethnic minority community, right. So they’re not able to accurately or provide the best care that they can give, right? So a lot of people may have had experiences talking to somebody and it doesn’t go well, right. You know, a big factor that you know, a lot of people talk about is that you can get mental health kind of support from different sources. One source that many black people get it from his church, right? You go to your pastor, or you go to, you know, your legislator, and they provide some type of, you know, mental health service to you or support for you. So that might be one, one reason why there’s kind of this stigma against it, right? Because, well, I don’t need to go to those people, right? People are gonna think I’m crazy, if they find that I have a therapist, right? Or a psychiatrist, right, and you don’t want to be crazy. You know,
SPEAKER 1 6:39
I’m definitely team therapy, and have been a long time. I, you know, I had the happy incident, I’ll say, of attending a college where the counselling resources on campus were highlighted. Um, I wouldn’t say it was normalized among all of my friends, but it kind of seemed normal enough at the time to at least try it out. And it was available for free. So a lot of the folks tuning in tonight and listening are either in college right now, or they’re about to graduate. So, or they may have recently graduated. So what steps do you think college students and recent grads need to keep in mind when it comes to prioritizing their mental health and wellness? Like, what does that look like? Is there an action plan? You encourage people to start with?
SPEAKER 3 7:28
Right? Um, you know, so I think when you’re, when you care about your mental health, right, I think first is you have to understand that your mental health is your responsibility, right? Like your health is, is on you, right? Things that happen to you are not your fault. But it’s your responsibility to figure out how you’re going to handle it, how you’re going to deal with it, how you’re going to move forward. So it’s very important that people recognize that to mental health is a part of your health, you know, so if you have a heart attack, right, you’re not about to go into work the next day and say, Oh, you know, I had a heart attack, but I got to go to work right now. Same thing, if you’re feeling depressed, if you’re feeling anxious, you need to take time to heal. Right. And, and, you know, take the efforts to make yourself feel better, if that is therapy, right. There’s lots of other strategies, you know, you can use, and we’ll talk about that probably a little bit later on. But you know, it’s part of it, it’s part of your health, right, and recognize that it’s important that that’s part of the first step, recognizing that, you know, this is something that’s really important to your mental health and your physical health are connected. So this is another big part. You know, when you’re stressed out, sometimes you might get headaches, and sometimes your stomach hurts, right? That’s just a quick little example of the different ways, right? Some people after they have a big test, right? They’ve been studying for four weeks, then they get sick, right? That’s part of your body getting ready. Right? They’re like, Okay, I’m gonna get you ready for this big thing. But after that, you’re pumped up my bodies tired, right? So recognize that these things are intimately connected. Last, knowing that if you don’t attend to your mental health, the rest of you know, your life will not be as good as it could be, right? You’re not living your optimal life, you know, if you are not working on the depression, right? Not necessarily the depression itself, right? But it’s that you’re taking the steps to handle higher fuel and candlelit types of different stresses that you’re experiencing in your life.
SPEAKER 1 9:37
Okay, that’s real. I think it’s, it might be a little hard for some people to hear that your mental health is your responsibility, because it does often feel like things are happening to us or you know, school is supposed to be stressful work is supposed to be stressful. It’s not must be doing something wrong. So I would love to hear a little bit more about that. Like, how do you categorize stress? Is that even a fair question? Right? Like, is stress, always bad? How do you know you’re teetering into? Like, what does that look like? And how can people start to assess that for themselves?
SPEAKER 3 10:17
That is a great question. Right? So stress, you know, I have my PhD in health psychology, I study stress, like, I could go on a dissertation and talk about this for, you know, hours and hours, okay? Um, but generally, stress can be three different types of things. Alright, if I’m gonna break this down, okay? Stress can be a stressor, something that stresses you out, right? So like, oh, you know, I have a test. That’s a stressor. I got in a car accident. Today, I got a stressor, oh, there was traffic, that’s a stressor, things that stress you out. Stress can be a response. Right? So something happens to you. Now I’m feeling kind of flushed, I’m feeling sweaty, you know, my heart’s beating kind of fast, there’s a stressor. And then there’s stressor that depends, in essence, right? So the same things that stress me out, are not going to be the same things that stress you out, are not going to be the same things that stress somebody else out, you know? So I love rollercoasters. My wife doesn’t like roller coasters, right? You know, so, so she’s gonna be stressed, I’m gonna be excited, you know. So in general, those, those are kind of different ways to think about it right. And even further, there’s stresses in different domains of your life, you know, so you can have stress in your relationship. You can have stress at school, that that’s a big one. And, you know, there’s a lot of research showing that college students right now are more stressed than they’ve ever been good is so bad, it’s more stressed than they’ve ever been. And their mental health is suffering as a result of it, you know, there have far, far higher rates of suicide ideation, far, far higher rates of serious psychological stress, distress right now, far, far higher rates of depression and anxiety, then, you know, years before, so it’s really affecting, right, the types of stress that you’re experiencing in the academic environment, be it, you know, test work, a pandemic happening right now, that’s making all these things so much harder. You know, um, you know, another one that, you know, and this is kind of what we talked about a lot is job stress, right, the stress that comes from working in a job and the kind of different things that you’ll experience in work. You know, at the end of the day, stress is a part of our lives. You know, it is a part of our lives. But if it’s becoming to the point where it’s impacting your ability to live the life that you want, right, or do the things that you normally do, then that might be the time to say, you know, I think I should do something about it.
SPEAKER 2 12:52
So, I have a question. So please, let’s have a conversation my wife earlier about taking mental breaks, right? So how often should you take a mental break from life? How often should you just really just turn your brain off and just go on cruise control, and just really let stress? Get out your system and get out your body get away from stressful situations to make yourself better?
SPEAKER 3 13:17
You know, I, I would say that we’re probably not doing good enough, whatever, whatever amount that you know, we’re probably doing right now is probably not enough. You know, how much you don’t? Once again, it depends on everybody. Right? And, and the different levels of stressors that you’re experiencing? Right. But I would say that it’s important, I don’t think weekends are enough. I’ll say that, you know, you work for five days, and then you have two days a weekend. And I don’t think that’s enough time to recharge. Right. But you know, you should take it when you need it. But I think that’s, that’s, that’s really it. Like when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You know, like, life goes on without you. Right? Your workplace will continue without you, school will go on without you, right? You need to make time to prove yourself, right, whatever that mental break is. And for everybody, it’s different. But you got to make that time for yourself.
SPEAKER 2 14:08
And in dealing with missile and mental health and stress. Drug usage is especially in our country, not just the black community. So how does drug use this is chemical dependence and what type of drug you’re using? How does it affect you in your mental health and stress level?
SPEAKER 3 14:28
Oh, boy, that that is a really good point. So as you said, there’s a lot of research showing that during this pandemic, drug and alcohol use has skyrocketed, you know, all across the country. Right. And, you know, one reason why is that a lot of people view drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with different types of stress. Right? But the reality is, it does not make you feel better. You know, especially long term drug use. Write it does not make you feel better. In fact, alcohol itself is a depressant, you know, it makes you feel depressed. Right? Um, you know, marijuana use long term marijuana use, it’ll have you feeling chronically fatigued, right? You know, these other types of drugs, right, they’re more than anything, they cause more problems than they’re solving. Right? Like, I was feeling stressed at work today, you know, I’m gonna do this, you know, do this substance, whatever, sure, in that, like, little gap of time, you might feel better, right? But we’re still gonna be there. Right, the next day, the week after the month after work still gonna be there, you’re gonna have the stresses, you have to find a more constructive way to, to manage it, you know, because the chronic drug use and the chronic alcohol use, you know, will leave you with a dependency, right? That impacts you makes it makes you feel bad.
SPEAKER 2 15:51
SPEAKER 1 15:54
No, I think definitely for the college crowd, for sure. Sometimes that is the first time like that, two, four or six years of time in college might be the time that you are experimenting with different substances or trying to figure it out and buy everything your life out here on your own in some capacity. And so I think that’s really that’s heavy. How do boundaries around or creating boundaries around your work and personal life play into this conversation about protecting your mental health?
SPEAKER 2 16:34
Absolutely, that that, that? That is so important, right? So, you know, the reality is work is a part of all of our lives, right? You know, we all need to eat, we all got to pay our rent our mortgage. Right? So I understand that, um, you know, and we all don’t have jobs that we could, I mean, not many people have jobs, or they could just leave at any time. Right? You know, but so wherever you are, it’s important that you make the space to create those healthy boundaries for you. Right. So I’ll tell you a quick little story. Okay. You know, I’m married my wife, she just got her PhD this year. Congrats, right. I have two sons, okay, a five year old and two year old. So, my son’s first birthday. Okay, my son’s first birthday, has little day-care, they were gonna have like a little party, right? But I had some work thing. And I was like, I can’t really go to this little thing. You know, I have to go to work, right? You know, to this day, I don’t even remember what that work thing was. Right. But I know, I didn’t get to go to my son’s first birthday. You know, a more important event, right, but much more powerful thing, and right. And I don’t even remember what the worst thing was it I remember what the school thing was, I felt like it was the biggest thing and I had to do it. So it’s important to develop those boundaries on your life, because you know, your life continues to work, your work is just a part of you. You know? So, how do you do that? Well, first, I always want to point out, it’s the responsibility of the workplace to do these things first, right, and to make sure that they have healthy employees. So always want to start off with the structural issues, right of, you know, the structure needs to be in place to make sure that employees can be healthy, right? You don’t want to encourage a type of culture that has people overworked, overloaded, super stressed out a lot of conflict in the workplace, you know, you don’t want to have that. But with that being said, you know, you want to be how do I say this? You have to set those boundaries for yourself still, right. And whatever that means for you, you know, because everybody is different. Some people really like their work, and they want to spend all their weekends working, right. And who am I to tell you not you shouldn’t do that right now, if that’s what you want to do, if that brings you joy. Great, right. But you know, outside of that, you have to be able to put your phone down, right? Put your email away, and get to it next morning, because it’ll still be there. Right? The world doesn’t, you know, revolve around us, right, as much as people will try to convince us that it does, right. And, you know, thinking about the office space, right? There’s the office space, and the structure of the office. So making sure that people feel that they have enough hours to work, that they have flexibility in their work. And then that they have the ability to schedule the work in a time that’s important for them or good for them. And then the psychological aspect of the work, which is making sure the work fits your pace makes making sure that the workplace is managing different conflicts that may occur between people. And you know, making sure that it’s a workspace that people can feel positive at right that That it’s a space where there’s not like negative moods going on, right? It’s a positive space. So all those things are important for encouraging, I think a healthy workplace.
SPEAKER 2 20:08
That’s, that’s good stuff we get to go, that really dug into this concept of boundaries. And one of the things that definitely misses that conversation is the idea that, you know, people at work are not your friends, you might make friends there. But we talked a bit about how creating boundaries between work and home, can often be a healthy practice. Because if you’re looking for everything, at work to fulfil you, or every relationship at work to take the place of the ones you have outside, and something goes south, and you’re like, you still got to work. You know? That’s good. I love how you kind of broke down like, first, structurally, the company or the organization really is responsible for creating an environment where people can prioritize their health and wellness. That’s huge and huge. And I think we are long overdue for a paradigm shift.
SPEAKER 3 21:10
Absolutely. And then there’s a lot of research showing, you know, that even workers who feel better do better, right? So even if you’re a boss, and you know, you only care about making money and doing fine, right? Hope, hopefully you care about people, but if you only care about making money, the better you treat your people, the more money you’ll make. Right? You know, so also, that’s a reason to do.
SPEAKER 2 21:34
So, oh, go ahead, Brandon. How has COVID-19 in the fact that we I mean, we’ve definitely talked about it a little bit tonight, but we’re gonna hold. Right? And what ways do you think that COVID-19 has affected this conversation around mental health and working professionals?
SPEAKER 3 21:58
That is a, you know, it? It’s so depends, right? Like, it’s so depends on the job, you’re working in that field you’re in. I mean, but you know, I mean, COVID-19 stage everything, this generally, right, is change everything, you know, there are a lot of workplaces that were in person they move to online, they’re probably not gonna go back to in person. Right, you know, or they’ll go back to their person three days, a week, two days a week, right. So it’s definitely changed that, you know, the fact of the matter, this is an ongoing pandemic that has killed over 230,000 people. Right. Um, you know, and, and there’s no end in sight, you know, and in fact, it’s getting worse right now. Right? So, you know, we’re thinking about that, like, think about how many people have lost people, right to this, you know, in this country, right? Think about how many people have lost people. And they only got to see them through zoom. Right, the last time they got to see him was through, it was through a FaceTime. Right. And then they weren’t even able to have an actual funeral, they had to have a zoom funeral, because you’re not allowed to get together, right, depending on where you are, you know, those things impact our health, like, like sick, like, seriously, right? Grief. It’s something like, there aren’t even words to really describe what that grief feels like, and how it impacts you. But it does, like, deeply, right? And I hope that workplaces are being amenable to understanding that like, you know, this is really happening, right? You know, I’m a college professor, and I have students all the time, you know, who’ve told me, oh, I lost my grandfather, I lost my mother, I lost my father, and the only thing I can do is be flexible for them. Right? You know, and care about them as people, you know, I’m a big, you know, one big thing is that a lot of people never stop going to work. There are people who never missed a single day of work. In the midst of all this, right? And how is that for them? Right? Like they have to go to work, they have to wear masks, they have to wear gloves, they’re by themselves, you know, I don’t know how that’s impacting them, right? There are people who’ve lost their jobs, millions and millions of people who have lost their jobs, you know, and that’s definitely something that impacts your mental health. Okay? Because you’re not able to provide if you have a family, you’re not necessarily able to provide for your family. You know, you’re not able to provide for yourself, you’re not able to do the things you need to do, right. And especially if your job is something that you kind of wrapped your worth in, right and now it’s gone. Right, like that. Debt proof, you know, that that impacts us, you know, um, you know, a big, big part. I like I said, I’m a father. I have two kids, people have kids, and schools are not open. Right? Yes, we got it. We got it. Yes. You know, people have kids and schools are not open, right? And listen, I love my kids, okay, I want to be very clear, I love my kids, okay? I never imagined spending this much time with them in my entire life. You know, and hopefully, once again, workplaces are amenable to the fact that we’re human beings, right? Who have real lives? And my kid, one of my kids has a zoom class here when my kids have zoom glass here. So hopefully, you understand that we’re not going to be as flex we’re not, they need to be more flexible, much, much more flexible, and right? Because this is really, this is real life. Um, you know, yeah, and at least in my field of academia, I feel like many people, or many institutions are being more flexible. You know, in a lot of ways for students, and for, you know, faculty. So, you know, we have a tenure clock, you get tenure, after a certain amount of years, a lot of universities have said, they’re gonna stop the clock, because they know that our work is impacted at this time. Right. So being aware of that, so it really depends on the on the workspace, you know, but no matter what, this is all impacting us, you know, very, very deeply.
SPEAKER 2 26:11
Great. 100%. Yeah, yeah. So, another question we can ask is, should you share provide resources for college students and recent grads who are interested in censoring their mental health and wellness now?
SPEAKER 3 26:29
Absolutely. So, two places that I will start, okay, is hold brother mission. Okay. It’s an organization that provides some mental health care for black men in particular. Okay. And therapy? Sorry,
SPEAKER 2 26:48
If it’s possible, can you type those type details in the chat?
SPEAKER 3 26:52
Yes, yes. Yes, absolutely. So first, there’s whole brother mission, um, which provides, you know, access to some free therapy sessions for black men in particular. And, you know, in general, men really need to go to therapy, but particularly black men, so that’s important. And then therapy for black girls. Same thing, except for black woman. Right. So these are two places that I will absolutely start, you know, always, you know, outside of that, I always want to be aware that not everybody has access to therapy. Okay, that is important. But there are things you can do for yourself. Okay, that can make you feel better. Right. So first, get some sleep. Okay. So like sleep is one of the linchpins of our lives, and I don’t think we treat it as importantly as we should, right. So make sure you get some sleep, okay? Because that definitely impacts your mental health and physical health. So make sure you get some sleep. two, do your best to avoid drugs, alcohol, okay, because once again, you know, oftentimes people use these as coping mechanisms, but they don’t actually work as, as positive coping mechanisms, right, they’re not necessarily gonna make you feel better, right later on, right? Maybe in the moment, they might, but long term, you know, that drug uses, and I’ll call you, it’s not gonna be good for you. I’m three, if you can try to get some physical activity or exercise in, you don’t as, there’s just things that help you write a lot, and a lot of research has shown these are things that just help you feel better get an exercise, it’s able to reduce levels of depression, reduce levels of anxiety, and generally make you feel better. And same thing with diet. You know, make sure you’re trying to eat, eat, as well as you can. Right. Once again, I know these are not all of these are not necessarily accessible to everybody, you know, but I’m just do your best. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 28:53
So we have a question. And, and it’s actually my question. So you brought up that you know about therapy, we are talking about rescuing therapists here. They’re one of those individuals can’t get a therapist who should you consult to help with mental health?
SPEAKER 3 29:14
That is a really good question.
SPEAKER 2 29:17
Because I because I know as a young lad, such as myself, I consulted with very close confidants very close friends. You know, my grandmother was like my therapist. So we talked about everything. And once I once he passed, it was it was hard to find that person I can really trust to, to have those deep conversations with to really unpack those mental issues that I was having. So should you find a close friend close confidant? I personally meet Personally, I don’t believe your therapist to also be your spouse. And the reason for that is you don’t want to unpack your issue to your spouse and then whose you’re gonna unpack their issues on, you know, can’t be back on you can they just back and forth deflecting the energy and it’s not paid anywhere. So I personally feel that spouses should be off limits when it comes to therapy and mental health because they gonna need therapy based on everything that you told them. So who am I? So my question is, who should you consult? Who should you trust with this information to help you out?
SPEAKER 3 30:30
You know, I think, I think once again, for a lot of people, they do use their religious communities, right? You know, you’re a pastor, and that that can be very helpful. So I don’t want to make it sound like that’s not necessarily a good thing. Use that, if that’s available to you, right? Like, if you need that, and, you know, particularly if your faith is important to you, as is the case for many black people in the country, right? Do that right talk to talk to a pastor or priest. Um, you know, I think the point you made about having confidence is so important. Okay, so that’s just social support, right? Having support from your friends, your family, you know, people around you, right? Make sure you’re able to do that, make sure you have somebody that you can talk to, that is easier said than done, of course, right. And it takes a level of vulnerability, right with another person to be able to do that. But it, you know, something is better than nothing. Right? And one thing that’s important is lots of times, lots of times, how do I say this? How do I say this? I want to make sure I’m being very, you know, correct with the language that I want to use, right? Absolutely. You know, it is important to just have people in your life that you can talk to, you know, just somebody you can call on when you’re feeling stressed when you need them, right, somebody to talk to you, down ledge, right, like that. Just that just can’t be understated, you know, obviously, I, you know, you made the point of your partner shouldn’t be a therapist, the only person who should be your therapist is your therapist, right? Because they’ve been trained in that, you know, like, nobody else should be your doctor, right? Same thing, but, you know, I, it’s just so support, support, support, support. And, you know, for myself, I feel lucky that I have a strong social support, you know, community, I have my I have my family, I have my friends, my wife, you know, I have every everything that I could use, right, and I still have a therapist. Right? Somebody I can talk to help me, you know, when I’m dealing with, you know, my own types of issues. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 33:02
So I have a question about therapists, right? So the therapist needed therapists.
SPEAKER 3 33:08
So, uh, so therapists need to go to therapist who sees therapists, they can’t just go to any therapist, right? So there are therapists who specialize in treating therapist, right, because like, I know, all the tricks of the trade, right? Like, I could kind of play with you in certain ways. If I’m, so I want to be clear, I’m not a therapist. I’m a researcher. Right?
SPEAKER 2 33:28
SPEAKER 3 33:30
Um, you know, if I’m a therapist, talking to another therapist, I know all the tricks of the trade that they’re gonna use, right? Depending if we’re using the same modality and blah, blah, blah. So it’s, so there are therapists who specialize in treating therapist because they’re able to see kind of pass all the BS, right? Because they specialize it yeah. So many therapists do see therapists, right? Because I mean, think about what they hear all day. Right? You know, they hear so some pretty messy,
SPEAKER 2 34:01
Some deep stuff.
SPEAKER 1 34:05
I think about coaches need coaches, I mean, every whatever professional you’re talking about, or experience, those people also still need support, right, like their human being, or having a lived experience. And particularly if you’re in human services, you definitely need a strong support network, even when, you know, contextually and textbook wise. Coping mechanisms, you still you still, right, so that’s huge. Someone in the chat, said your pastor is great. But if they’re not trained and certified, they can find a train and certify as their certified therapist that is of your same faith.
SPEAKER 3 34:45
Yes, that’s very true. What you know, once again, you know, everybody doesn’t have access to everything right. But there are therapists who are Christian based therapist, right. So if you’re a Christian and you want to see somebody who integrate faith into you know, your treatment? That is like, you know, that’s perfect, right? Because that fits into your life. Right? Yeah. And, and also, this is another thing, if you have insurance, depending on your insurance you may have, you may also have access to therapy. Right. So that’s something that you may want to check, you know, your insurance plan you’re about to see if you have it.
SPEAKER 1 35:22
That’s important. Definitely critical. I think that’s something that especially for those of us are not, I’m not in college, but those of us that spent a long time in college, or you know, have started, you know, maybe one or two years out, it’s really important to unpack and understand your benefits package to know what is available to you, through your air or through the institutions are like you may have a resource on campus or through your EAP program, etc., etc. And then to definitely lean into those, because one thing sorry, this just came into my mind, I always tell people, especially when they’re new to finding a therapist, that you want to shop around like you do with other types of doctors, you have to find it.Do you have?
SPEAKER 3 36:13
No, absolutely, you know, so it’s so important to find, you know, you want. So therapy is for you to get better. Right? If you’re in a space where you feel like, you know, I don’t know, if this person is working for me, or if this is gonna, you know, make me feel better find a new one, you know, if you can, right? So I live in, you know, Southern California, right, like, I’m in LA County. So you could throw a rock in there as a therapist, you know, I understand that may be different in different places, you know, but now, even with the pandemic telehealth is, you know, big, it’s huge, right, people meeting that therapist over zoom, so you’re not really limited in that way quite as much anymore. So I think that’s, that’s important.
SPEAKER 2 37:00
Question, a faithful listener, either. She says, how do we break the stigma? For youth, especially black and brown to go to therapy? I see counsellor?
SPEAKER 3 37:13
That’s a great question. Um, you know, I think it starts with understanding that, once again, mental health is a part of your health. Right? So if you have, you know, a severe cancer, right, you’re not healthy, you’re not healthy in the sense of healthy, right? The same thing, if you’re in the midst of a severe depressive episode, that’s, that’s not healthy, right? Even if even if you’re not dealing with a heart attack, or, you know, cancer or something like that, that’s still you know, you’re still not healthy. So you need to, you know, focus on it, right. I think just understanding that, like, it’s not. Mental health is not crazy, right? If it’s, if it’s, if it’s crazy to go to a therapist, it’s crazy to go to the doctor when you break your leg. Right? It’s the same thing. You know, it’s crazy. It’s crazy to do so. You know, um, and you don’t, and you don’t want to do that. Right. But I think it starts with, you know, teaching our kids about what they have access to and the roles of these jobs. Right. So I think a lot of people don’t even hear what a therapist is, right? Like, if you ask the average middle schooler was a therapist, I don’t know if they would even know what that is. Right. So making it something that’s talked about integrating mental health into curriculum starting at a young age. Right. So pizza parents know, right, so kids know, and parents know, you know, this is the thing, it’s for them, right? It’s for their wellness and their well-being. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 38:42
Understandable. Okay. We have any more questions in the chat? We do have a question from a long time listener, how can prepare themselves mentally, for the corporate world? Did any of you have any hard experiences at first transitioning? And I can answer that question, I actually did not. I match up my transition from the corporate world to me from college to the corporate world, it was very easy for me. The only issue I really had, which is dealing with the people because now I’m dealing with a whole new demographic, I came from an HBCU. So I was I was around black and brown people my whole college experience. So going into the trick to transition into the corporate world. You know, I was already around like-minded people who’s ready to work and really kids how to work. So that was an issue that issue, other types of people. And I really understood how those people act and carry themselves in the workforce. It was just like, it was just blending in, you know, laughing jokes and govern yourself accordingly, so you won’t lose your first job. So my transition was very easy. How about yours?
SPEAKER 1 39:58
I would say that my transition into my first job was not particularly challenging, but I had a pretty, a, let’s say rough and tumble transition once I became a mom, because, you know, prior to that a lot of my identity had been tied into my professional accomplishments and my academic accomplishments, which I know, I’m talked about earlier how people can be very wrapped up in their kind of professional identity. And so for me, it was like, oh, my gosh, I became a parent in the middle of it sort of after several years of being in the workforce. And at the same time, I also had a really challenging management experience. And so that was a lot of change, and a really compressed timeframe. Um, one thing I will say that was very helpful to me is, I think I already mentioned, I’m to therapy. So I had a therapist at the time. And that was already part of my life. And I revisited it at that time. And I also had a really strong support network of other working moms that I could talk to about their experiences, strategies that they were employing that were specific to that. But it was definitely I would say that first year of motherhood and working for me, it was it was you know, you’re going through a lot of physical and mental changes that you don’t have, like people can tell you read books, you can have been around children, but until you, you know, regardless of how you become a parent, certainly not saying this is a mom specific thing, but you’re shifting roles. And for me, that was a really challenging year, and I navigated a bit of postpartum as well. So one thing I can say to current students and even recent grads is cultivating a support network that you know, and trust, or things are heavy, or because you really don’t know what’s around the corner, like, there’s no way to know, hey, I’m gonna be in a toxic work environment, or, hey, I’m gonna have postpartum like, no, there’s no like parting shot. There was no warning shot pandemic. But one thing before is I have a really tight friend network that I know I can lean into, or I can say, Hey, y’all check on me in two weeks, I’m going offline for a little bit because they know each other well enough to know when we need to jump in, to jump out. So I just take it, you can’t overly prepare for everything. But you can put support structures in place for yourself and consider that like, like, we’ve talked about an investment in your house, just like going to the gym, or, you know, going to the grocery store and getting some vegetables, maybe you don’t have time, but you know that you need vegetables sometime. And it has your diet, I think that you know, mental health and wellness and, and it evolves over time, too, because the things that I do now are very different than when I was in my early 20s. The things I need now are different than when I was in my early 20s. And that’s okay, too. And like knowing what that means, and we’ve all been with it.
SPEAKER 2 43:00
Right. Thanks for sharing. Yeah.
SPEAKER 1 43:07
Your ultimate stressor is fear, fear of admitting you need help make seeking help worse.
SPEAKER 2 43:12
It’s very real. This spiral effect.
SPEAKER 3 43:16
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for sharing that this was very real. That’s very, that’s the first step. Yeah. I’m saying like realizing, you know what, maybe I do need help. Right. Maybe I do need maybe I do need you this. That’s the first step. You know, and it can be a long, hard road. But if you start if you if you can, like admit that to yourself, boy, yeah. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 43:38
Yeah, that’s tough.
SPEAKER 3 43:41
I can just say for myself, you know, therapy has just opened my life. You know, like, it’s just, it’s just open my life in ways that I didn’t think were possible. You know, dealing with, you know, different problems, you know, growing up, it was nice to have somebody to talk to, and still have somebody to talk to, and it’s just made my life better. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 44:04
And Lewis says, The 12 step, per se, the first step is the hardest, which is absolutely true. Anything is a fear of the unknown, the fear of doing effort in a change, unless you’re really over those, those things, where you can do whatever you want.
SPEAKER 3 44:22
SPEAKER 2 44:25
Even what choices in the chat anybody, anyone else while we have a good doctor here. Those who are from Jungle Fever.
SPEAKER 3 44:37
And wait a minute.
SPEAKER 2 44:39
That’s a great blessing. We get out.
SPEAKER 3 44:43
I will say so the last question was about transitioning to the workforce. Yeah. I’ll say that, you know, as particularly if you’re a member of a marginalized community, you know, go, so I’ve never been in corporate America. Okay. Well, I want to say that I’ve been in academia that that’s where I’ve been, so take what I say with that knowledge. Um, you know just know that things that you experience in the workplace you know every you know different people experience you know, different problems but like, don’t question yourself, right know that like experiences of racism, discrimination, sexism, there’s documented evidence that these things happen to marginalized communities at work, right. And a big part of what these you know, racism does, right? Is you go Wait, is it me? Right? Am I am I am I trippin? Am I crazy, right? Just know that it’s not you. Right? And always keep in mind No, no, no, no, no, no, I’m not crazy. I’m qualified. I’m here. I work hard. Right. It’s the other people. Yeah.
SPEAKER 2 45:48
That’s huge. Yes. Thank you. We, we greatly appreciate the conversations we could talk all day about. We thank you that Dr. Phil for coming here and really sharing your knowledge. And we invite you back. If you want to come back to the access point and do a part two of the mental health topic please come back. Next week. Next week. Will get you in the schedule? We can we can have a second point. Anything else? Please email us and let us know. Tiffany, where can people find you? Contact you.
SPEAKER 1 46:27
People can find me on Twitter at Tiffany I Waddell. I’m also on the Instagram over at career Maven consulting. So happy to connect there and talk it up and talk about transitioning to the workforce. For anybody who’s on.
SPEAKER 3 46:48
I’m on Twitter. Also, you can find me on Twitter at GTA bam. I’ll type it in so you can find it. Yeah, and I have a lot of fun on Twitter. So
SPEAKER 2 46:59
I did to talk about everything from beyond say anything on Twitter as well. Sir, yes, sir. Follow us on live in corporate and living corporate underscore pod. I’ll put that in the chat as well.
SPEAKER 1 47:18
Great, awesome. Any one last word, you want to tell the folks about protecting their mental health before we sign off?
SPEAKER 3 47:26
Um, I just want to reiterate that, you know, attending to your mental health and attending to these things, can really, really improve your life, right in ways that you’ll be like, why didn’t I do you know how you put something off for a really long time? And then you finally do it, and it takes five minutes. And you’re like I could have done this weeks ago. Right. And I spent all this time, you know, having it in the back of my mind stressed out about it. Right? This is this. I think the same thing with mental health, right? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you know, feeling whatever, go on and do your best to get help. Right? Because you’ll realize it can actually make you better and just improve your whole life. Yeah.
SPEAKER 1 48:05
That’s all right. We have so appreciated you sharing your time with us tonight. For having me. Yes. Everyone else tuning in or watching the recording later access point, same time, same place every Tuesday at 7pm. central time. 8pm. Eastern time. We’ll be here, chopping up chopping it up with another guest next week and we think opportunity. Good night.
See you guys next week.