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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Apr 15, 2019

Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family enterprise Advisors in strengthening their clients.



This episode explores the often difficult question of mental health issues in family enterprises.


Your host Ruth Steverlynck is joined by Arden O’Connor, principal and founder of O’Connor Professional Group, a concierge behavioral health firm based in Boston Mass.


Key Takeaways

[:16] Ruth introduces Arden and invites her to talk a little bit about her background.

[3:40] During any given year one in five adults will experience some form of mental illness, Ruth asks Arden her perspective on this sobering statistic.

[5:18] Ruth and Arden discuss why it could be that, given these very high statistics, very few people actually talk about these issues, and how this dialogue has been evolving.

[8:16] At what point does “feeling a little down” turn into mental illness, and when should it be categorized as such? Arden talks about some definitions.

[10:26] Are there any red flag behaviors to watch for in terms of mental health? Arden dives into some things to watch for, as well as how to best offer support in these situations.

[15:20] Arden offers a wide variety of practical tips for advisors who might need to approach the subject of mental illness with a family.

[23:31] Are there different approaches to take when the issues are coming from the wealth creator? How can an advisor help when there is a power discrepancy in the relationships?

[28:30] Are all mental illnesses treatable?

[30:38] In the situations where you do have a person who is unwilling to get treatment, does your focus need to revert to supporting the other members of the family?

[33:07] Arden shares the impact she has seen for a family system where there is a mental health issue and nothing is successfully done.

[35:40] Are there any resources for advisors to learn more on how to best support families who are struggling with these issues?

[38:37] Arden recommends a few books, articles, and ways to contact her personally for specific questions.

[39:49] Ruth thanks Arden for her time and experience and invites listeners to subscribe and tune in for the next episodes.


Mentioned in this episode

Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Xchange

O’Connor Professional Group

ADLs (Activities of daily living)

Family systems therapy

DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy)

Book: Addiction Recovery: A Family’s Journey, by Diana Clark

Contact Arden with specific questions:



More about Family Enterprise Xchange

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More about our guest

Arden O’Connor at O’Connor Professional Group

Arden O’Connor on LinkedIn