Lisa Alexander, a partner at Jakle & Alexander Law Firm, discovered HelpGuide through her participation in the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. HelpGuide started out as a Rotary Club project in the 1990s. “I was very impressed with the website, the scope and breadth of the topics, and the sharp writing,” she said. “There’s also no paid content so I knew it was really trustworthy.”
Lisa said she found the stress articles particularly helpful to her own life. “Mental health is a very important facet of our well-being,” she said. “If you have other kinds of health problems, having strong mental health can help you cope and build resilience.”
In addition to supporting HelpGuide, Lisa is also involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Breakfast Club, which provides free dental care to children in need.
When her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and moved to an assisted living facility, Lisa saw firsthand how important it is for caregivers to avoid putting themselves last. This is a topic touched on in several HelpGuide articles. “My mom went to visit him every day for 12 or 13 years,” she said. “She told me that the caregivers were dying before the patients. It’s like how you’re told on an airplane to put on your own oxygen mask first; you have to preserve your mental health before you help anyone else.”
Rafael Padilla, a principal at PAR Commercial Brokerage, enjoys an active lifestyle in his 50s. He takes a boxing class and plays basketball and football, sometimes with much younger athletes. Padilla uses the advice from HelpGuide to maintain his fitness level for as long as possible. “At my age, I’ve had a variety of ailments,” he said. “I try to find ways to keep doing what I’m doing without filling my body with drugs.”
Padilla, who has recommended the website to friends, said he admires HelpGuide’s holistic approach to health and the conversational tone of the articles. “It’s written in a way that a layman can understand,” he commented. “Not everyone went to medical school. Those of us who are dealing with an issue for the first time aren’t being weighed down with details. It’s not difficult to find the answers I’m looking for.”
Over the course of his life, Padilla has received advice from many different medical professionals. He checks these recommendations against HelpGuide, which either confirms what he was told or gives him ideas in another direction.
Another great thing about HelpGuide: it’s free. “HelpGuide doesn’t stick a hand out and say, ‘before we help you, you’ve got to help us.’”
Having worked in financial services for 60 years, Arthur Kraus often finds himself in a position to help his clients with personal problems.
“It’s an intimate business. When you get insight into people’s finances and family, you also get insight into the issues they face outside of finance and how they need help,” Kraus, a partner at Capital Intelligence Associates, said.
For many people who ask, Kraus directs them to HelpGuide, which can cover a wide range of situations.
“My client’s son was getting a divorce, and he said he didn’t know what to do. He asked me if I knew of anyone, so I referred him to HelpGuide,” Kraus said. “Another issue that’s come up recently is that clients are facing a spouse with dementia and don’t know where to turn. When you’re asked for a resource, it’s nice to have an answer.”
Kraus found out about HelpGuide through a mutual friend of co-founder Jeanne Segal. He said he became intrigued since someone as smart as his friend was so impressed with HelpGuide.
Kraus chose his line of work in part to help people help themselves. “I wanted to help wealthy parents who sometimes influenced their kids’ ideas in ways they didn’t realize,” he said. “One of them is, ‘I’ll never be as good as you.’”
To help preserve his own mental health, Kraus enjoys taking walks around Venice with his wife.