A wonderful man died Sunday. It was a heart attack. Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser. The mental health professionals were going on strike, and he had chronic stress from all the protests and deaths and more. Obesity increases the risk of stroke, as does the intergenerational stress of being Black. What must it have been like for him to go so HIGH in the corporate world, and what wires of a different life were at odds with that? We'll never know.
This week a major article on wellness and EBT will be published, and in it I say that the corporate suite is a major role model for deactivating the stress-reactive wires that make us vulnerable to sudden death from heart disease. Also, acknowledging that with high-stress times, those who are in charge, pay. Being out of control of the outcome, with people's lives and livelihoods on the line, chronic stress and episodic stress-reactive responses make people vulnerable. The reason they say "risk factors" is that nearly all conditions are so multi-factorial that one never really knows.
Full disclosure here . . . I write this with horror as my daughter-in-law Meg Mellin spent 2.5 hours with Tyson during her graduate studies recently, and was profoundly impressed, and my partner Walt went to one of his recent talks about six months ago. Tyson was . . . formidable and so caring.
It's such a tragedy when someone dies so young and with so much goodness in his heart. Life can be pretty cruel. I'm going to share a story with you that is not a happy one, but I'm sharing it in service of all of us being at risk of pretending that we are OK, because we are not. You can't stream enough videos to avoid the realities of the stress we face. Most people do not have the EBT tools. Nor the one-on-one support and the cozy life sitting around a fire or having someone who loves you bring you a cup of tea.
Three years ago, one of my closest friends tried to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. He had late-stage Parkinson's and wanted to take charge before he could not. He could not manage to climb over the guardrail. The police took him to Kaiser (his carrier) and knowing he was suicidal, let him go home with a teenage neighbor to check in. Although he begged for a psychiatric evaluation in the hospital, they didn't have resources. They put him off for two weeks, and he drove his Tesla over a cliff one day before his psychiatric appointment.
This is way too much information, but the point is that the stress levels for all have way outstripped the brain's capacity to process it. We NEED more psychiatrists and counselors. Our strategy at Brain Based Health is to say, "At the very LEAST give people who are in distress (or who want to prevent it) the EBT Tools. Cognitive methods go offline at Brain State 3. This Brain Based Health app needs to be fundamental support for all people in stress or who want to prevent stress.
It's time to mourn the loss of this dedicated man, and to mourn the loss of my friend, and so many others. What is it going to take for corporations and health programs to know that we have outstripped the brain's ability to process stress? Make Brain Based Health with EBT the new CPR to counteract the epidemics of emotional stress we face.
What can you do to help? Email me at Laurel@ebt.org. Corporate health? Physician EBT? University health? Finally, the Brain Based Health app is OUT. Please help us help others and take two minutes here and there to switch off stress.
Together we are stronger!