Watson-Alyson_ModernHealth "Knowing I have a team around me that’s supportive, that has empathy … it really allows, from the top down, people to be themselves" -- Alyson Watson. Photo: Modern Health

“Mental health issues are skyrocketing. Suicide rates are increasing.” Those are the reasons for Modern Health founder Alyson Watson’s earnest efforts to make mental health as mainstream as physical health. But in her exclusive interview for our Social Capital section, her rapid-fire comments skillfully describe the types of support people really need and how that availability of support has eroded in our modern daily lives. And that’s why her company is dedicated to working with other businesses to help them help their employees get that help back in their lives.

After all, she points out, “Where people spend most of their time is at work, so employers are seeing impact on productivity, success of their business, their bottom line, [and their ability to] retain and attract top talent.”

This has been a very personal journey for this CEO, who we honored in our March feature "The Power Of Knowledge – And The Leaders Who Spread It."

“One of the reasons I started this company was because I was really struggling,” she shares. And part of the strength of what her company offers its clients comes from the strength her team builds with each other. “Knowing I have a team around me that’s supportive, that has empathy … it really allows, from the top down, people to be themselves.” The paradox is that this strength comes from their ability to be vulnerable, and to share their struggles.

“ I think a big part of being able to be vulnerable is failure and being okay with failure,” Alyson says. Observing, “As civilization has progressed and technology has advanced, we as human beings have not been given the tools to figure out how to be resilient,” she discusses from many angles the basic question of “How can we thrive in this world and regain that connection and regain that sense of community so that we can thrive, we can continue to innovate, we can continue to be productive?”

It’s a serious problem, and Alyson affirms a positive solution – but one that rests on acknowledging the basis of the problem. Buckle your seatbelt and listen in.

Click on the link below to hear Alyson’s interview for this Social Capital section.