Board Profile: President Gloria Bernard

“We need good mental health to live productive and happy lives. No one has to look far to find someone in their family, in their community, or among their friends who is affected by some form of chemical dependency condition, mental disease, and/or physical disorder. Many of those individuals living on the street or who are incarcerated are also enduring some form of mental illness or other brain disorder caused by alcohol or drug abuse. Without good mental health people often make poor choices that can have an adverse affect on them for their entire life. Mental Health is as important as physical health. Both are needed for an individual to live a happy and productive life.”

Gloria Bernard has been living on the eastside of Lake Washington in the communities of Kirkland and Redmond for the past 30 years.  During this time, she raised her two children while also completing a master’s degree in business and pursuing a career in commercial real estate.  She says…“I joined the board of Sound Mental Health as my way of giving back to the community and I am proud to say I have been on the board for 14 years and currently serve as President.” With business expertise, Bernard comments on the financial impact of mental health services:

“From an employers perspective providing a broad range of services at an early stage to individuals results in a cost savings. Good mental health increases productivity and longevity in the work place. Much of the economic burden of mental illness is not the cost of care, but the loss of income due to unemployment, absenteeism, expenses for social supports, and a range of indirect costs due to a chronic disability. The morale in the workplace is also much better when everyone is working with good mental health. All one has to do is listen to the evening news or pick up a newspaper and read about a devastating event that resulted from an individual or individuals suffering from mental illness. Early detection and care management, as provided by Sound Mental Health, can help reduce some of the residual costs. It goes without saying the ultimate end result will also be happier individuals living happier lives.”