About a month ago, I had the chance to hop on a Google Hangout with the founder of NoStigmas, Jacob Moore. I had the chance to ask him some questions about NoStigmas, how he prioritizes his mental health while working in the Acting/Voiceover fields while running a non-profit (the guy has a LOT going on!)
NoStigmas is our brand partner this quarter. I'll be donating a portion of every product sale to them, as well as running the NOT5k on August 19th. Not signed up yet? Click here to register
***please note: while the below is not an exact transcript, I took a ton of notes while we were speaking, and did my best to use Jake’s words*** ***Also of note, Jake and I have known each other for about 12-15 years so I did cut out some of the "catching up" stuff***
Amber: “Hi friend! How are you? It’s so good to see you! So tell me a little bit about what you want my clients and the people who will be donating to know about No Stigmas?”
Jake: “It’s good to see you too! I’m good! Well, we’re really proud that we have just about 65,000 organic users (of the NoStigmas community site www.nostigmas.org) now. We are at a point where we now have a blueprint with the hub of the main office personel, so that events and local communities can have their events look however they want it to look. Every community is different, so each event can be too”
A: “So there’s you, and Elizabeth, how many other people are working full time for NoStigmas right now?”
J: “We have 3 people on the payroll, but the majority of everything is handled by our volunteers. Those of us on payroll are here helping to facilitate and coordinate events all over the world, like the walk you’re doing!”
A: “That’s awesome! Self Care is such a buzz-word right now, How important do you believe it is to mental health?Tell me a little bit about how you prioritize your mental well-being.”
J: “It’s the first thing every. single. day! I wake up at 5am to give myself time to care for myself. I do about 20 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of writing and 20 minutes of exercise...sometimes a little more, depends on if I do tae kwon do or not, that’s an hour and a half. No phone, no tv, no computer, and it sets me up for the rest of my day. It’s one hour out of 24”
A: “Social media has lent itself to a society that always wants to look perfect...especially younger people. You’ve been really open about your struggles with mental health in the past, and I want to thank you for that,( ***insert Amber crying here***)because it encouraged ME to be more open about my struggle with anxiety and ocd. What compelled you, in this current appearance of perfection society, to be to open and show your humanity in such a real and raw way?”
J: ”I spent so much of my life pretending to be an image of what I saw as perfection, but inside I was dying. I wasn’t connecting - I call it time travelling - you’re in a place but your head is somewhere else. I wasn’t happy and I felt like life was passing me by. I was on a flight to argentina and I met someone who became a mentor to me, and I realized I could have both. The moment I opened up and became vulnerable, I started having real relationships, the thing I had been searching for all those years. And the thing is, once you experience those real connections with people, nothing else is as good or acceptable, and I realized I could have a bigger impact on someone else.”
A: “What has been your biggest challenge in running NoStigmas?”
J: “Trying to maintain stability and consistency. It’s easy for me to coast, so I had to learn to create systems.
And it took me about 5 years to learn that I can’t do it all myself, I don’t always know whats best, and when I hand it over to someone else, I’m not the pinch point anymore. I’m not the one getting in the way of growth.”
A: **I’ll be honest now, I don’t remember what question I asked to get this response, but I just loved it….***
J: “There is power and strength in vulnerability. I get up onstage and sometimes I’m talking to hundreds, thousands of people, and it's like, I’ve crafted this message in a way, being vulnerable, to get up there and just go “I dare you to judge me!”
A: “Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me, I appreciate you”
J: “well, thank you!”
Amber’s follow up note: I’m so proud of my friend. He has been a huge influence on my ability to speak openly about my own struggles with anxiety and OCD. He was the first person I saw being so open and transparent about their personal life, while crushing it their professional life. Thank you so much Jake for being a beacon of light in a sometimes lonely feeling world.
Jacob’s Bio Taken from NoStigmas.org (you can also find him on IMDB ;)
Jacob Moore is a wellness coach, mental health speaker and the founder of NoStigmas, a social movement for mental health equality. Having lost his father to suicide at age 6, Jacob grew up plagued by questions and anxiety. In high school Jacob developed panic disorder and eventually clinical depression. Throughout his teens and 20′s he struggled to find a "cure" with the aid of several medical professionals and 20 various combinations of pharmaceutical drugs.
Ultimately, he discovered a whole-person approach to mental wellness, which included: nutrition, fitness, professional and peer support. Wanting to give back, Jacob created a community called NoStigmas where people could share their story and learn about mental health without feeling alone or ashamed. The community grew and in 2011, NoStigmas became recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.