Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on High Functioning Alcoholism in the Workplace

Within the corporate world, high functioning alcoholism is slowly being recognised as a significant issue that requires open dialogue and proactive interventions. Let’s explore what industry leaders are saying about it.

Katherine Sellery, founder of Conscious Parenting Revolution and an advocate for mental health, stresses the need for empathy in the workplace. According to her, companies should create spaces where employees feel safe to share their struggles, including high functioning alcoholism. By fostering an environment of understanding, you’re enabling employees to step out of their shame and share their strength.

Tech entrepreneur and mental health advocate Ben Congleton underlines the importance of open conversations about mental health, including addiction. In his opinion, talking about high functioning alcoholism in the workplace is key to de-stigmatizing the issue. When you have these conversations, you’re not just acknowledging the problem, you’re taking a step towards addressing it.

CEO of Untoxicated, Matt Salis, himself a high functioning alcoholic, speaks from experience. He emphasises the role of speaking out in his recovery journey. Matt shares that expressing his struggles and seeking support were critical in his battle against alcoholism. If you’re dealing with similar struggles, voicing them could be your first step towards recovery.

Amy Edmondson, a leading organizational psychologist, introduces the concept of “psychological safety” in the workplace. This concept implies that employees feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of their peers. In the context of high functioning alcoholism, a psychologically safe workplace would encourage you to share your struggles without fear of retribution or judgment.

Prince Harry, a well-known figure who’s been vocal about his mental health struggles, stresses the significance of sharing one’s struggles. He asserts that speaking out breaks down the barriers of shame associated with mental health issues, including high functioning alcoholism.

The growing consensus among these frontrunners is that the path to dealing with this complex issue lies in creating empathetic workspaces, fostering open conversations, and promoting psychological safety.

To appreciate this shift, let’s delve deeper into some essential facets of this dialogue:

Creating Empathetic Workspaces: Katherine Sellery, a notable advocate for mental health, firmly believes that empathy in the workplace is crucial. Companies should cultivate an environment where employees feel secure discussing their challenges, even when it involves something as sensitive as high-functioning alcoholism. This approach essentially encourages employees to break the shackles of shame and draw strength from their struggles.

Promoting Open Conversations: Renowned tech entrepreneur Ben Congleton emphasises the importance of open dialogue about mental health, including addiction. These conversations serve a dual purpose. They help in acknowledging the issue at hand and take a leap towards addressing it.

The Power of Psychological Safety: In the words of Amy Edmondson, a leading organizational psychologist, workplaces should nurture ‘psychological safety’. In essence, it’s about employees feeling secure enough to be vulnerable and take risks. In the context of high-functioning alcoholism, it implies that you should feel safe to share your struggles without the fear of judgment.

As you navigate your journey, these perspectives offer a glimpse into how openness about high functioning alcoholism is being perceived in the wider corporate world. The emphasis is clear: sharing your story and addressing the issue openly is not just a personal step, but a catalyst for broader changes within your workplace.


  1. What is the role of empathy in addressing high-functioning alcoholism in the workplace? Empathy enables the creation of a supportive work environment where employees feel safe to discuss their struggles, including high-functioning alcoholism.
  2. Why is open dialogue important in dealing with this issue? Open dialogue acknowledges the existence of high-functioning alcoholism in the workplace and initiates steps towards addressing it.
  3. What is psychological safety and how does it help? Psychological safety means feeling secure enough to be vulnerable and take risks at work. For high-functioning alcoholics, it means being able to discuss their struggles without fear of judgment or retribution.
  4. Can speaking out truly help high-functioning alcoholics? Speaking out is often the first step towards seeking help, reducing stigma, and fostering understanding.

It’s clear that industry leaders are advocating for an open, empathetic, and safe workplace to effectively tackle high-functioning alcoholism. This approach not only benefits those struggling but also enhances overall workplace culture. Speaking out becomes an act of courage, a call to action, and a transformative movement towards healthier work environments.

Sharing your struggles with high-functioning alcoholism is not a sign of weakness, but an act of resilience. Your voice can encourage others, initiate change, and challenge existing workplace norms. As you bravely share your journey, you also illuminate the path for others facing the same struggle.

To wrap up with the profound words of Bren√© Brown, a renowned researcher on vulnerability and courage, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” Remember, your story matters, your voice matters, and you are not alone in this journey. Your decision to speak out today may become the lifeline someone desperately needed tomorrow.

Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on High Functioning Alcoholism in the Workplace
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