Jeff Zinn: From Manic Bipolar to Mental Health Speaker

My 30 years as an executive in the wholesale women’s garment industry would take an unexpected turn in the year 2000. In hindsight, I realize the frequent extreme manic bipolar highs and lows I experienced weren't normal. If I sold a big order, BOOM, I was feeling high as a kite. If the stores weren’t selling my merchandise, BOOM, I would feel as low as an excavated pit. But I didn’t recognize the symptoms until it was too late.

Losing It All

On that fateful day in December, I had a psychotic break. Eventually I would lose everything: my family, my high-paying job and my home. Here’s a short video during that life-altering time, right before and during my psychotic episode.

Knowledge Can Make a Difference

I now wish I had been taught the symptoms of mental illness. My parents suffered from addiction and mental illness. I should have been told I had a high predisposition to follow in their footstep. If I had known, perhaps I could have prevented the perfect storm that forever changed my life.

The Surprising Cost to Corporate America

My story is not unusual. Did you know, according to a nationwide coalition in Ohio called Employers Health, mental illness in the workplace causes more absenteeism than heart disease and cancer! The cost to corporations is estimated at almost $100 billion in yearly lost productivity. But these disorders continue to go unrecognized by employers while their employees suffer silently, afraid of losing their jobs if they seek help.

My Mission

I want to help bring mental illness out of the shadows and dispel the stigma that comes with it, not only in the workplace, but everywhere. My mission as a mental health speaker is to educate others on the tools of prevention, intervention and recovery. With my knowledge through first-hand experience, education and the passion to help others, I am blessed to be in a position to do this.

For more information about how I can help mental health specialists or anyone struggling with mental illness, please contact me.  I offer keynote and experiential workshops for providers, mental health organizations and the general public.

1 Response

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