Losing two powerful voices within a week — legendary designer and founder Kate Spade and advocate, storyteller and chef Anthony Bourdain — left our culture grappling, once again, with how we acknowledge and treat depression. This morning, Forbes contributor Chris Myers explored the unique emotional risks that entrepreneurs and startup founders face — which led me to this 2013 Inc. Magazine piece, exploring the price of entrepreneurship. The issues are complex, and there is no single answer.
If there is anything I can add to Myers’ work, it is that the responsibility to reach out doesn’t start and end with the individual living in depression or anxiety. It’s on all of us to be observant of our friends, family members and co-workers, and to say something when our gut feels wrong. If you work with an at-risk group like business founders, or have friends or family struggling with depression, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) provides 24/7 free, confidential support for people in distress or those around them seeking resources.
“You’ve got eyes,” my mom used to tell me when I was a kid. “Use them.”
If we want to be leaders in a creative, entrepreneurial community, we need to take care of the people who lead those lives. Depression doesn’t have to be a consequence of creativity and innovation, and recovery is within reach.