How we can learn from challenges and turn them into positives

by ERIC KUSSIN - CEO & FOUNDER - WE'RE ALL A LITTLE "CRAZY": GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE™
March 19, 2020

How we as individuals are treating this situation, how our press is handling it, is a microcosm of some of the shortfalls of how we handle most health situations that arise in our society.

I took a poll on my other social channels and the results spoke loudly: 78% of our followers believe that our traditional media & our social media feeds are being dominated MORE by outbreak #s, overwhelming fear, lack of supplies, and death rates, than they are by things like: HOW we cope, the importance of sharing our feelings, & discussions about the best strategies to thrive & take advantage of these challenging times we are facing.

When I first started my own healing process (you can see my original story of mental health challenge under my profile), an organizer of a Facebook group found my story on the site Medium, and asked if I’d join them. The name of the group (using an alias to protect them), was: “The Inability To Think Clearly” group. They reached out bc they’d searched stories of people with cognitive dysfunction, and came across mine.

It was made up of over 1K global members. We set up a Skype session so I could attempt to share what I’d learned in the process of digging out of my own cognitive hole. It felt like a productive 2 hour session, so I stayed in this private group, online.

But here’s what I noticed: every day, the page was a “vent fest.” After sharing helpful info w each other for a few days, I began to wake up to posts of: “How many of you have felt this miserable feeling”? “How many of you are hating life right now”? I eventually had to leave the group for my own mental health.

I get it - difficult times suck. Sharing fear is human nature. But if I learned anything from my own hellish period, it’s that the best way to ensure you stay STUCK, is to keep talking predominantly about how bad things are.

Our traditional media gets us started, & then our social media (not all, but the majority) fans the flames. Fear layers on top of fear.

The Coronavirus situation reminds me so much of how our mental health is discussed in the media, then social media: (all disorders, labels, statistics, erratic behaviors, etc.)- what gets shock value and eyeballs.

If we shift the focus to how we can stay positive, open up, cope, and share strategies to strive, we’ll be much healthier. My cry to you all in the sports industry is - in the down time you have, SHARE what you see others share on social, that are POSITIVE strategies and outlooks - with your own office coworkers/friends at other organizations.

I grew up in this industry, in the NBA League Office, as TMBO (Team Marketing & Business Operations) was being created - and the idea of sharing BUSINESS best practices was just getting started. Now, let’s do the same when it comes to our HEALTH best practices.

Let’s do our part to make a shift happen. We can be the generation of sports executives that makes this a commonality - and can pave the way for other industries to follow our lead!

-Eric