Women’s Health Tackles Mental Health; Editor in Chief Reveals Her Personal Struggle in May Issue

By Alexandra Steigrad

April 19, 2016

Original article posted on WWD

Women’s Health May Issue

Women’s Health is starting mental health awareness month with a special feature in its May issue that includes a message from its editor in chief Amy Keller Laird.

The editor reveals that she struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, an illness she was diagnosed with 15 years ago. She explained that her OCD centers around germophobia and emphasized the stigma attached to being open about mental illness of any sort.

“Sixty percent of people who are diagnosed with a mental illness won’t talk about it,” the editor told WWD. “This is something I deal with personally. I thought it would be impactful to have people from a magazine that promotes health and wellness to help women come out themselves.”

Initially, Keller Laird wanted to feature staffers who live with mental illness, but she ran into some hurdles from Rodale’shuman resources and legal departments. There was a worry that the employees would face a kind of discrimination if they disclosed their personal health.

Keller Laird found it ironic, offering: “That’s part of the reason why we needed to do this story. The reasons we couldn’t do the story are the reasons why we did the story.”