Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Chances are, you or someone you know has struggled with a mental or emotional challenge—and it’s not always an easy subject to talk about.
Rob O’Brien, an intelligence analyst in the Defense and Military Intelligence (DMI) account, is starting positive conversations around mental health and emotional wellness inside Booz Allen and out in the community. As someone who encountered emotional wellness challenges in his own life, Rob understands the value of being open and honest with those around you to be successful.
Rob first learned how to balance personal health with professional ambition while studying Arabic in the Middle East. Rob went abroad during a time in which he required professional mental health support and soon realized that he could not receive the care he required in-country. Rob made the tough decision to return to the United States to focus on regaining his health.
Rob’s education and experience made him a good fit for Booz Allen. His client work involves conducting open source analyses focused on violent extremist organizations and deep web communications—a role that both fits his passion for the Middle East and drives him to learn new skills.
How does Booz Allen empower you—both inside and outside of the firm?
Booz Allen’s international service offerings led me to the firm; the people keep me here. I have an extremely supportive team of colleagues and leaders who empower me and always make time to listen. I also feel supported by our diverseABILITY Forum and Accommodations Team, both of which I am involved with.
I also represent Booz Allen as a director on the board of the DMAX Foundation, one of Booz Allen’s community partners. The DMAX Foundation works to establish mental health support systems on college campuses across the country—an issue very close to my personal experience.
What are your recommendations for someone coping with an emotional illness to create a supportive environment for themselves at work and/or at home?
Know your tools; know your allies; and don’t be afraid to use them. If you notice that you’re feeling unusually unhappy, stressed, or otherwise down, you must be attentive to your personal needs and proactive in taking steps that may help return you to a healthy state. It’s okay to ask for help.
Finish this sentence: I’m changing the world by:
Demonstrating positivity and sincere care for the well-being of my community.