Career transitions can bring uncertainty, stress and upheaval, making it a crucial time to prioritize your mental health and seek help if you notice your mental health is deteriorating.
On Nov. 15, FIU hosted a panel discussion on balancing mental health and career goals in demanding industries such as entrepreneurship, entertainment and hospitality. It featured successful local entrepreneurs, a licensed mental health counselor, alumni and a celebrity.
The event was presented by FIU Student Health and Wellness in partnership with Florida Power & Light, FIU Student Access and Success and FIU Alumni; and was hosted and moderated by FIU Trustee Chanel Rowe JD ’14, who is a founding and managing partner at Uriel Law.
The panelists shared this advice:
Lean on your community.
Lamman Rucker, actor known for hit TV series like Greenleaf and educator, activist, and entrepreneur, reminded students that when you’re down on your luck or feeling down, you have a support system all around you—whether it’s family, friends, a mentor, a professor, a religious organization, or a university-provided wellness service .
Rucker said that throughout his life he sought support from his own community, including his “many fathers” — father-like figures who, in addition to his own father, played a significant role in his upbringing. He was also a source of support for loved ones, such as his godchildren, whom he cared for while their parents worked or went to school.
“Rely on your community. Lean on those who love you and who can support you,” Rucker said.
Remember that therapy is a judgment-free zone.
Jeff Rocker, Ph.D., a licensed mental health counselor and celebrity therapist, assured the students that therapy is a safe place and open to all.
“You will no get evaluated by a therapist … we’re going to help you find the best answer for you and help you get there,” Rocker said, later adding, “You’re not going to be helped if you don’t speak up and speak up, you have to to be vulnerable. There are people who look like you and think like you who want to help you.
Alexis Brown, chief experience officer of Miami-based events and marketing agency SocialXchange, encouraged students to prioritize self-care and understand that your self-care needs change as you age. When you’re young, self-care can look like a night out laughing and dancing with friends; but later in life, self-care can mean focusing on your emotional health, setting boundaries, and creating safe spaces.
For her, balancing self-care and a career in hospitality means prioritizing physical health, staying organized and keeping a calendar. No matter what your routine looks like, Brown says self-discipline is the key to your success.
“Discipline itself is a form of self-care. Love yourself enough to be consistent,” Brown said.
Keep an open mind.
Gaston Rosato ’08, alumnus and founder of The Barn Miami, a classic and exotic car boutique, shared that it’s important not to dwell too much if you find yourself thrown off course. He emphasized that resilience, open-mindedness, and the ability to turn things around will help keep your spirits up.
“Sometimes we think about things too much and plan too far ahead… For a long time I thought it was a weakness to dive into things without thinking too much. But I think in the long run, I realized that it’s probably a strength to listen to your gut,” Rosato said.
FIU Student Health and Wellness offers a variety of services to support mental well-being, incl Consulting and psychological services, online self-help platforms, etc. These services are funded by the University’s health levy and are available to enrolled students at no additional cost. Learn more or make an appointment online.