Conductor CEO Opens Up About Mental Health During Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Although it's not often discussed in an open manner, the advertising industry needs to do a better job of addressing mental health.

This is especially important after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic period, when so many agency reps and executives at brands have been sitting behind a desk talking to one another through a video screen.

Seth Besmertnik, CEO of Conductor, opened up to share an important message on LinkedIn. He detailed his experience with mental health in hopes of helping others to seek guidance when it is needed.

Besmertnik describes the process of seeing a therapist for years. “No one tells me to go, no one even knows I go – I just do it. I’m 39,” he wrote in the post. “I started going religiously when I was 33 during a tough patch of life. It helped me through it," he says, "then became a powerful tool to navigate life.”

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Some weeks, he has something to talk about, while in other weeks he has no idea what will come up. 

Besmertnik wrote that when he goes to therapy it helps -- although he has an “amazing wife" and “friends to speak with,” plays sports and goes to the gym to get exercise to work through any frustrations, and is the successful CEO and co-founder who took his firm through an acquisition and buyback.

Therapy has taught Besmertnik to “turn problems into opportunities,” and he said he has become “a better dad and father and CEO as a result." He adds that it has helped him to "stay on the right side of this crazy life I have, and grow from it.” 

“We all face our own demons,” he wrote. “We all go through ‘tough patches.’ Professional support helps. I consider it a major privilege in my life to have a therapist to speak with.”

Besmertnik says he shared his story to invite everyone to feel comfortable, safe and proud to seek out help as they face challenges in life.

Although some people may turn to apps in hopes of finding relief, but Mozilla, the not-for-profit behind the Firefox browser, found that those with the most sensitive data seem to be the worst at protecting user privacy.

Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included team of analysts analyzed 32 mental health and prayer apps to determine what kind of privacy protections are in place. The Mozilla team gave 28 of the apps a “Privacy Not Included” warning label for weak policies and sharing personal data with third parties.

It's probably safer to stick with a therapist. 

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