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Kathy Cronkite

Mental Health Advocate


Kathy Cronkite, the daughter of legendary broadcast journalist and anchorman Walter Cronkite, is a renowned writer, journalist and public speaker. However, as one of the millions who suffer from clinical depression, she had her own personal struggle, which led her to make a difference in the lives of others. Cronkite's arduous journey from darkness to light inspired her to become a tireless champion for mental health, striking down the myths surrounding her illness, changing the dialogue and educating others on healing and treatment.

While fighting her battle, she discovered that others, including many celebrities, had suffered from the same debilitating disease. This discovery prompted her to write the highly-acclaimed On the Edge of Darkness: Conversations about Conquering Depression, a collection of interviews with celebrities who have fought depression, including Mike Wallace, Joan Rivers, Dick Clark, Kitty Dukakis, John Kenneth Galbraith, and William Styron.

Cronkite continues to fight the stigma attached to mental illness by educating people about depression and how they can get the help they need. Her outspoken advocacy is legendary, and her personal knowledge and work is well respected by professionals in the mental health field.

Always informative, she enlivens her presentations with compassion, humor, and honesty. Speaking with a conviction born of experience, Cronkite delivers a call to understanding for all of us. Feeling better is now a way of life for her. "I am filled with hope," she encourages, "Getting well is your first priority. Depression is very treatable. There is help; there is hope."

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The Costs & Consequences of Depression

Kathy Cronkite discusses the costs to business, stigma and accommodations of mental health. The fact is, almost 1/5 of your employees may have depression, and you can’t afford to let this go overlooked! Lost productivity accounts for much of the nationwide economic cost — over $83 billion a year, more than the war in Afghanistan. For example, a 25-year-old woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder could lose as many as 14 years of functionality if her illness is undiagnosed or untreated, one of the reasons that everyone needs to learn to recognize mood disorders. Almost 70% of people with bipolar are misdiagnosed initially, and on average, their illness remains undiagnosed for seven to ten years. Cronkite knows all too well that mental illness affects an entire life. As an employer, it is imperative to combat the stigma of mental health and strive to do what is best for your team.

Depression or Drugs: Can You Tell the Difference?

A third to a half of people with a mental illness abuse substances; the same number who abuse substances also suffer from depression. The most difficult task is distinguishing between the two. Can you spot an employee with substance abuse? Or do they suffer from depression? Or both? Which do address first? All professionals are at risk when it comes to mental health and Kathy Cronkite can help you protect your employees.

Not Just the Blues: Depression in the Family

From personal experience, Kathy Cronkite can tell you how much depression affects your whole world. Inevitably, it takes a toll on home and family life. Statistically, women are twice as likely as men to have depression, which has an even greater effect on the family. Cronkite takes a hands on approach to rebuilding life after treating depression and acknowledging that depression can enter the family through any member, young or old.

Here's What You Need to Know About Depression

How can you try to invent and promote a cure for an illness you don’t understand? Kathy Cronkite seeks to educate those very people who have been blindly promoting depression and mental illness drugs for years – the sales reps. She wants and works hard to help them understand how doctors deal with their patients with these diseases and provides them with a personal story. With Cronkite’s help, the reps can talk more knowledgeably with their clients and understand the crucial, life-saving job that they do as reps.

Never. Never. Never Give Up: We Need You.

When in the lab, researchers can have a hard time understanding and appreciating their work – they don’t see the end result. What Kathy Cronkite aims to do is to put a human face and personal experience into the labs as well as the vision of scientists and researchers who make cures for depression. With the end result in mind, this speech offers a greater understanding and a more tangible cause behind the work going on in the lab.

Recognize the Symptoms, Recognize the Experience: A Patient's Point of View

With something like mental illness, it is difficult to find healthcare from someone who understands. Kathy Cronkite has found that not only psychiatrists, but other health professionals welcome and appreciate a greater understanding of what their patients are going through. With expert knowledge on mental illness and a personal story from Cronkite, they can treat patients more effectively and with greater empathy.

Mental Health: It's Not Just for Kids Anymore

Depression among the elderly is often misguided, undiagnosed, overlooked, or dismissed as part of aging. Meanwhile, it affects about 6% of elders and 50% of those in nursing homes. While childhood depression is given so much attention, our seniors are suffering. Kathy Cronkite works to bring attention to all victims of depression because she knows how much it hurts.

The Stigma of Age & Depression

Ageism among doctors can lead them to overlook symptoms of depression. Stereotypes lead to poor health outcomes and worsen the outlook for heart disease and diabetes, among other common illnesses of age – it’s a vicious cycle! Kathy Cronkite shares with audiences how we all can work together to eliminate stigmas. Doctors owe each of their patients the same attention and respect, whether they’re young, old, ill, or healthy.

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