President’s Desk

United Way of Southwest Alabama / President’s Desk

The nonprofit organization Mental Health America’s “work is guided by its Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. When we think about diseases like cancer or heart disease, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention, identify symptoms, and develop a plan of action to stop and hopefully reverse the progression of the disease. Like other diseases, it is critical to address symptoms early and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.”

By Jill Chenoweth

I have spent the majority of my professional life in the company of women. The women have come from all walks of life and come in every color, shape and size. The majority have dedicated themselves to working in the nonprofit sector – suffering a lifetime of low pay, long hours, and little thanks for their work. Many have poured their lives into their careers helping to make Mobile and Southwest Alabama a better place to live.

In November, the Nonprofit World Celebrates itself – Nonprofit Awareness Month.  I have struggled to write this Blog and still am.  I have spent the majority of my life working in the nonprofit realm and see daily the amazing work that occurs in our community because of the generosity of individuals and businesses and because of the individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the quality of life through social services, health care, the arts or the environment – nonprofits in our community work in all of these fields and do improve the quality of life.

Sometimes, old dogs and old broads can learn new tricks or remember old life lessons.

Yesterday, my partner Jack and I had the privilege of retrieving a dog to foster until he finds a permanent home or returns to his family in the Irish Channel in New Orleans.  As I spoke with Debbie Stephens, the wonderful woman who facilitated the rescue and fostering, I said some unkind things about my foster dog’s family and stated that I did not think they should get him back if they return home or settle somewhere else.

I have a confession to make. I am currently suffering from depression.  This is not an easy confession for me to make.  I have everything that I physically need. I have the career of my dreams. I have a loving family. I have devoted staff. I have the best partners in crime, aka my friends. Yet, somehow, I have slumped into a funk that I can’t seem to crawl out of.

A friend and a colleague both confessed to me on Wednesday that they are in the throes of depression.  Why are three CEO’s of nonprofits in Mobile experiencing depression?

I have spent the last two days analyzing this.  Here are my theories.

July marks the celebration of National Culinary Arts Month and celebrates the professional cooks and chefs who bring innovative, unique cuisine from their kitchens to our tables.

As I write this blog, I can’t help but think of how many individuals in the food service industry suffered so much loss in the past 15 months due to COVID-19 and to natural disasters. The professional cooks and chefs could not showcase their kitchens to our tables.

NOW HIRING. JOIN THE UNITED WAY TEAM

X