Aria Craig of Aria Craig tells us about her holistic mental health coaching services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Aria Craig: My family and I are blessed. A few have contracted the virus and are recovering well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Aria Craig.
Aria Craig: My career has had plenty of ups and downs. I created my company because of those setbacks. In more detail, I endured three different places of employment in which I refused to tolerate certain treatment and was disappointed with the lack of accountability from organizations. From two instances, I was admitted into an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program for mental health) after being diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD from hostile work environments. I also experienced symptoms that contributed to changes in my health. After speaking to someone in confidence who admitted that this was happening to many women of color, I knew more needed to be done. I decided to enter into a training program for integrative mental health coaching, then became board certified. Now, I coach employees who are experiencing the same issues and want to take a holistic approach to relief and healing. I also consult with corporations to support them in being proactive in retaining their top talent, reducing claims, and strengthening their brand’s reputation. I am currently in the Dispute Resolution program at Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law to incorporate mediation and ombudsman services, which would be a beneficial accompaniment.
How does Aria Craig innovate?
Aria Craig: We stay focused on the latest trends and modalities related to mental health coaching. There was a need to shift the focus to include the current climate into the coaching services, which is now being addressed.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Aria Craig: More people suffer from burnout due to carrying a heavier workload after their employers laid off colleagues from their teams. In addition, the regulations and increase in cases from one state to another have created a higher level of people experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. This, in turn, creates uncertainty with employees and their jobs or future operations. And more people of color are reaching out for mental health support, especially concerning what they are experiencing at work. This has been a crucial time to offer current services to that demographic.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Aria Craig: I absolutely did. The choices were to continue to work for organizations knowing there were holes in the system or create a lane in which I can fill in those gaps. It took the third situation to occur for me to finally understand that I could be the thought leader who could bring about change on both sides – for the employee and employer.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Aria Craig: My CRM is vCita, store files in Dropbox, and communicate with clients using Zoom since these tools have certain security and/or encryption features to keep my client’s information safe.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Aria Craig: Other mental health coaches would be considered competitors, as well as licensed mental health professionals who offer holistic remedies. I tend to be aware of competitors while being intentional about what I can provide from a training perspective and personal experience, which is the added touch clients are seeking. Also, I, personally, am not a huge proponent of medication, especially anything that alters neuro-transmitters and chemicals to control the functioning of the brain. As with most medications, there are side effects, and the brain controls the functioning of the body.
The mediation services will play a huge part in how I stay relevant and build my influence.
Your final thoughts?
Aria Craig: My holistic mental health coaching services are advantageous for being proactive about your mental health. The key is to find support early enough before the condition affects other parts of your being. If a person waits too long, their mental health can move into a state of crisis. By then, a licensed professional may need to prescribe medication, even for the long haul.