#4 New Support Near and Far

Business relies upon the consumers. Therefore, successful business involves being unique, creative and innovative. Some ideas that Simon Sinek suggests for inventive and innovative business are working from the inside out. He speaks about how this separates those who succeed and are found attractive by the consumers versus those who do not get this triumph. Sinek discusses the “What, How, Why” principle and how this is the major factor that leads those to success. This principle is how a person thinks. The “What” is your idea, the “How” is how you plan on carrying out your idea, and the “Why” is why you do it. Pretty self-explanatory. Well in fact there is a bit more to it than just this idea. Some people look at business from the outside in. We have an idea so we simply say “Great. I have my idea, I know how I’m going to make this idea happen and I know why I’m going to do it.”  The thing is, if we advertise in this way, the “What” seems far less appealing as Sinek points out. We want to pull the consumers’ attention and have them believe our philosophy. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.” This is the main point Sinek drills throughout his talk. You must look at the idea from the inside out. People aren’t buying the “what”, they are really essentially buying the “why”.

As I conducted my research on my topic of mental health care, I discovered some very innovative new programs and ideas on the matter. One of these ideas, located in Finland, seems to go against all traditional treatments and really starts fresh with a wonderful, simple approach. They are making this change because they want to steer clear of prescribing medication and avoiding unwilling hospitalization and the stigma that surrounds that. This program is called Open Dialogue.  It is made up of a group of therapists that meet people who are in crisis sometimes once, but more often daily until resolution. Sometimes they meet in groups with clients because they believe some mental illnesses involve problems with relationships so families and other supporters are additionally included in the treatment. They listen to the voices of all of the people in the program, of course taking into consideration most, the voice of the client. They make the program individual to whoever the client is and really collaborate together to help the person. All of the services are provided for free which also is a major help to those who cannot otherwise afford help. Why this program is so clearly wonderful is that it takes away the heavy weight of stigma, makes it personal, unlike hospitalization or drugs and alleviates the worry of cost or coverage because it is free.

A second creative new program happens to be located right here in Vermont. It is a program called Diversity Rocks and is a multicultural youth group that helps not only with mental health care for young adults but much more as well such as education. Their program is based in Burlington, Vermont, but they also have a large presence on social media which appeals to young adults. They have educators and volunteers helping out with the program and providing support for the young adults in the program. It is yet another alternative to mainstream treatment and decreases the stigma around getting help. Here is a link to a short video some teens in the program made: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/LiveCulture/archives/2014/07/25/burlingtons-diversity-rocks-wins-national-awards

There are lots of new ideas and programs in the mental health field today, but there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go. By focusing my research on this topic, I would like to find an innovative and brand new way in which I can combine my knowledge with others’ knowledge to help make a real change. We have been given an amazing opportunity with WTS and I simply cannot wait to embark on this road to change. We have been given tools and great resources to assist us in this process and I believe we can work hard and put these to use and really make a change. I feel a sense of determination and excitement whenever I think of this topic and I am itching to get out there and start talking to people. I really do think we will make an impact on the mental health care system in Vermont and discover new people, programs and ideas along the way.


“Film About Open Dialogue by Daniel Mackler.” MFIPortal. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.
“Diversity Rocks.” Diversity Rocks. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.
“Diversity Rocks Wins National Awards.” N.p., n.d. Web.
Image by Gerald G.


Grace Widelitz

3 Responses to “#4 New Support Near and Far

  • Hi Grace,
    Great attitude! That is some real motivation right there, which is the key to getting things done.
    The programs that you described seemed like really great ideas, and so do your ideas about combining these concepts.
    I have a couple of questions:
    Why do you think people pay attention to why you do something and not what you do?
    Do you think that in some cases that talking with a group of people about you own mental illness could be stressful?
    How do you think we could get service like this in Vermont to be free? (I think this is a great benefit for many people).
    Thanks for a well-researched and creative post!

  • Courtney Krahn
    6 years ago

    Dear Grace,

    You definitely get at the heart of Sinek’s message when you sum it up at the end of your first paragraph: “People aren’t buying the ‘what,’ they are really essentially buying the ‘why.'” This philosophy seems like it could be especially relevant for your topic. When people think of where they want our community’s resources to go, innovative mental health supports and programs may not be on the top of their lists. However, when faced with the “why” of such initiatives, the need for change is much more appealing. You touch on some of these “whys” in your blog.

    Open Dialogue (it seems like our country is turning to Finland for models of excellence in many areas of social needs these days) is an example of an innovative way of supporting those who struggle with mental health. You write, “Why this program is so clearly wonderful is that it takes away the heavy weight of stigma, makes it personal, unlike hospitalization or drugs and alleviates the worry of cost or coverage because it is free.” Something that really strikes me about your summary of the program is that the focus is on words and collaboration as opposed to hospitalization and drugs. This has the potential not only for reducing stigma, but also for reducing the number of prescriptions that are written in our State, which I recently read is an initiative of our government.

    I’m curious about the youth group Diversity Rocks. I wasn’t aware that the group was connected to mental health issues. In further research I found a connection between the group and Spectrum Youth and Family Services. I am intrigued about how this group’s initiatives and its social media productions tie in with mental health. This seems like it would be one possible starting place for you as you head into your investigations. You have a big job ahead, so I am excited to read that you “feel a sense of determination and excitement whenever I think of this topic and I am itching to get out there and start talking to people.” I get the same feeling from reading your blog!


  • Dear Grace,

    Of all the wh question words (When, What, Where, When, Why), why is the most powerful one and the most challenging to answer since it is based on people’s worldview and beliefs. Your summary of Sinek’s video is accurate but remember he is talking about marketing and commercial products that ultimately have to result in profit. Success in the commercial/business world is determined by profits and high stock values. Is this how society should think about mental health services?

    As you discovered by researching mental health care, in Finland the services provided are free. You touch on that point by saying that this is “a major help to those who cannot otherwise afford it.” It might be worth asking why in Finland these services are free but at home they are not. What are the socioeconomic conditions that allow for that to happen in Finland and what it would take to offer these kinds of services here. Your research has identified Diversity Rocks as a worthwhile program to investigate. It might be a worthwhile comparing the two.

    Your posts are thoughtfully written and I am looking forward to your next one.


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