Mental Illness & Health in the Event Industry

Last week, I discussed how to handle a client’s anxiety within the anxiety driven industry of events. This week, I have decided to continue my conversation around mental illness. I have decided to read the article, “Bipolar Disorder and Event Planning: My Story,” which depicts Helen Moon’s journey through her diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder to her current coping mechanisms.

Unfortunately, mental illness is not a foreign concept for event professionals. While most of us deal constantly with anxiety and depression, Helen’s st

ory takes on a heavier form of mental illness. Helen struggled with Bipolar Disorder from the age of 16, and was misdiagnosed multiple times before finally being diagnosed in 2009. She continues to go through episodes, mostly of Hypomania, but can manage these episodes through the knowledge of proper diagnosis. Her episodes can be brought on through many different channels, but one of the main channels is through pressure in her work and personal life. This is an extremely hard trigger point to deal with since event professionals are seemingly constantly under pressure. Throughout all of her struggles, Helen has persevered through some of the hardest times of her life and is a thriving member of the event industry, as well as an extremely bustling business-owner and new mom!

Mental health and mental illness is a constant battle for many event professionals and something that is, unfortunately, not discussed enough.”

CC’d by Victoria Tobin
Taken from my photojournalism essay of my personal journal with mental illness

Helen’s story is truly inspirational. As someone who struggles with mental illness on a daily basis, it is refreshing to read about Helen’s journey and success. Mental illness is something that is so prevalent within the event industry, but there is still a heavy stigma within our greater culture around mental illness. People who share their stories, like Helen, are able to give a face to the concept and raise awareness to the impact of mental awareness to the majority of adults. Within an industry that is cladded with mental illness, event coordinators should be at the top of the list for advocators for raising mental illness and health awareness.

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2 thoughts on “Mental Illness & Health in the Event Industry

  1. So I am trying to get my mind around how mental illness particularly correlates with event planning. Is it just that mental illness is prevalent in all businesses, including this one, or is there something particular to event planning that makes planners susceptible? I think the post could use just a bit more context to help readers understand the argument here, though it seems crucial to consider stories like this as you enter a new field and try to build sensitivities and processes that are healthy for everyone.

  2. Wow – I had no idea the prevalence of mental illness that was associated with event planning. I could absolutely imagine that with such a deadline-heavy schedule and lots of people’s happiness dependent on your success- that this profession could lure darkness. I’d be curious to hear more about how event planners struggle and if there are any organizations dedicated to ameliorating their stress.

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