Mental Health Means Business for Hannah Hardy-Jones
A new wave of female entrepreneurs who are using their own experiences of mental health to help others feature in Forbes, including New Zealander Hannah Hardy-Jones, founder of The Kite Program, “the world’s first personal development app for mums”.
Postnatal depression is widely discussed but what’s lesser know is that this depression can manifest in many different ways. For Hardy-Jones, a HR professional and mother of two from Christchurch, it was bipolar disorder.
She’d given birth and within weeks, became very ill. But rather than the ‘baby blues’ she’d heard about, she was manic and high.
While Hardy-Jones felt on top of the world, her family could see that something wasn’t right and she was soon diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder. Her high was followed by a depressive low and this made it difficult to bond with her baby.
Following such a traumatic start to motherhood, she found it difficult to return to her corporate job so instead decided to use her experience to help other mothers – new and seasoned – “as if I was their own supportive HR manager,” she tells Forbes.
Hardy-Jones developed The Kite Program app, which takes you through a 35-week course covering topics like sleep, stress management, relationships, mum guilt and coping with the ‘juggle’. Each day you’re sent a note containing a simple and practical activity to work through your own pace.
“Female founders are still hugely underrepresented in the business world,” Hardy-Jones notes, “let alone women who have come through mental illness to start a business. Hopefully as the stigma around mental health reduces this may change.”
Original article by: Annie Ridout, Forbes, May 9, 2019
Photo by: Hannah Hardy-Jones