Mental Health Advocate
Kathy Cronkite is a popular writer, journalist and public speaker. As one of the millions who suffer from clinical depression, she has become a tireless champion for mental health. As an advocate, Cronkite, the daughter of legendary broadcast journalist and anchorman Walter Cronkite, delivers a clear message: “Depression must be accepted as the medical condition it is in order to combat the stigma attached to it and to make help available for those who suffer from it.” Read More >
The Power of One
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Kathy Cronkite was absolutely fantastic!! Her presentation was excellent—attended by about 350 people. In addition, she attended many of the sessions and other events held during the Annual Meeting and had the opportunity to chat with many of AAGP’s elected leaders as well as other meeting attendees. She is extremely personable and very easy to work with."
"She was fantastic. She was moving, informative and funny. People said they really enjoyed her speech. I even had some tell me that they attend many events like this each year and this was the best event they have attended. Thank you again for all of your help in making this happen."
"We cannot thank you enough for being the keynote speaker at our 2009 conference at Wrightsville Beach, NC. The personal experiences and inspirational messages you shared were widely praised, and undoubtedly had a positive impact on those that we seek to serve. Thank you again for all that you do."
"The Festival of Hope was FABULOUS!! It could not have been better thanks to the wonderful participation of Kathy!! She is so articulate and relates so well to consumers, family members, and professionals. I don't know how many people bought her book but it was huge. She graciously agreed to autograph the books and to also speak privately with people who may not have wanted to ask her questions in the public forum after viewing Canvas. I hope Kathy has many more opportunities to make similar appearances! The message that she brings is just what the mental health system in this country needs! Thanks so much again for all the effort you put into this event. I fully realize that when our original speaker could not come, the contract called for the "event to be cancelled"! Your efforts made certain that did not occur. I hope that there will be other events that we can work on together."
"Kathy was an outstanding speaker—I've heard only positive things. We had close to 400 people and when Kathy spoke, the room was still and people listened with great attention. One person said it seemed as though Kathy was speaking personally to every person in the room. The Q & A was very good—many more questions than we had time for. Her interaction at the book signing also seemed very strong as she took a personal interest in each individual and gave them her attention and empathy. She also said such nice things about the event and our community which are of course appreciated, and also added a warm, personal touch! She was very special and an excellent choice for our event."
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