Coming from the Health and Wellness industry and sports world, I have personally seen how mental health is continuously pushed to the side, whereas physical health gets prioritized.
Standing Up For Mental Health
Take Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete of all time and the No. 2 ranked women’s tennis player in the world. She was recently fined $15,000 for skipping news conferences during the 2021 French Open to focus on and protect her mental health. Osaka received profuse backlash when she made the brave stance that mental health was more important than money. Television personality Piers Morgan called Osaka “narcissistic” and “world sport’s most petulant little madam.” At the same time, former tennis played Andrew Castle argued that part of being a professional athlete is engaging with news reporters, not just “hitting tennis balls.”
However, I believe that Osaka’s decision to stand up for her mental health was courageous. She potentially could have lost thousands of dollars in sponsorship money from major brands such as Nike and MasterCard, yet she recognized that there is no amount of money worth sacrificing your mental health.
Prioritizing Mental and Physical Health
After immigrating to the United States at a young age, I fell in love with tennis and began to play the sport competitively, just like Osaka. I later decided to switch to competitive powerlifting in college. As an athlete, I saw how mental health was not taken as seriously as physical health and wellness.
After breaking into the health and wellness industry and successfully developing over 300 nutritional products, I realized I wanted to do more. When we founded Vivera Pharmaceuticals in 2018, we operated on the belief from day one that the needs and experiences of the patient should be prioritized above all else. To fulfill Vivera’s vision of a happier and healthier tomorrow for all, we know that it’s essential to focus on improving our patients’ physical and mental health.
When I take care of my physical health by eating healthily and exercising, it makes me naturally feel better. Similarly, taking care of both my physical and mental health improves my overall quality of life. I want to help merge the importance of mental and physical health into the pharmaceutical industry because I’ve seen how unwanted side effects can affect patients’ mental health. According to one review, about 50% of medications prescribed for chronic diseases are not taken as directed, with 29% of patients stating the reason they stopped was due to the side effects they experienced. For reasons such as this, it’s crucial that when we’re talking about physical health, we talk about mental health as well.
Putting Patients First
Comparable to how Osaka showed the sports industry that mental health is important, I want to make mental health a factor in the pharmaceutical industry with the innovative technology that Vivera is producing. By merging patients’ mental and physical health needs, we are putting patients first and ensuring a brighter future for all.