In this interview, I had the opportunity to chat with Bob Funk, Co-Founder and President of Awareness Network. Check out Q and A session below, as he talks about the importance of anxiety awareness.
- Q: Hello! Please provide us with a brief introduction about yourself and your organization?
A: My name is Bob Funk. I’m the Co-Founder and President of the Awareness Network. The Awareness Network is a nonprofit dedicated to ending stigma and promoting the treatment of anxiety disorders.
- Q: One major inspiration for starting Awareness Network?
A: We were inspired to start the Awareness Network because we saw a gap when it came to mental health advocacy. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the world, but people rarely talk about them. Most people don’t know about the symptoms or the treatments. In fact, most people afflicted by anxiety disorders don’t seek treatment. We wanted to change that.
- Q: What is the most rewarding thing about running a non-profit business?
A: It’s very rewarding to see a community come together to better the lives of other people. It’s powerful and it’s exciting.
- Q: What is one of the most challenging aspects of running a non-profit, and how do you rise to meet that challenge?
A: That’s easy. Raising the money and resources we need to complete our mission.
- Q: Can you please tell us more about the “No Stigma Pledge”?
A: Our mission is to make it easier for people to seek and receive treatment. One of the biggest barriers to people actively seeking treatment is a fear of stigma. They worry that they’ll be judged by their friends, co-workers, and even their loved ones. The Awareness Network’s “No Stigma Pledge” is all about showing people suffering from anxiety disorders that they have nothing to be ashamed of and that they are not alone.
- Q: Your organization is based in Helena, Montana (awesome). Are there any upcoming community events that people should be on the look out for?
A: Good question. The Awareness Network is working on a number of things right now. We’re actively involved with NAMI Montana, including the NAMIWalk; we just partnered with the University of Montana on their clinical training program; and we’re coordinating with high schools to provide them with informational materials regarding anxiety disorders.
We’re also in the very early stages of hosting a summit on behavioral disorders.