(CBS Local)– Jen Gotch is a successful businesswoman, an author, and a leader in the conversation about mental health.

The founder of the multi-million dollar business ban.do recently published a book with Simon & Schuster called “The Upside Of Being Down.” Gotch dives into the success of her company while also sharing intimate details about her battle with anxiety and the emotional ups and downs of her mental health journey. The author loves the progress that has been made in the conversation about mental health and knows there is still work to be done.

“I’ve always been forthright with the illnesses I struggle with,” said Gotch in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I feel like somehow I’ve been in this protective bubble. The people in my orbit have always been quite open about it [mental health.] People are now aware of it. The conversations maybe aren’t where we want them to be, but there is a growing awareness. We have a long way to go, but we’re much better than we were when I started my journey 20 or 30 years ago. Right now, there are a lot of people dealing with mental health issues they’ve never had before. I do think this will open up conversations in a more public way because there is a larger mass of people dealing with this.”

FULL INTERVIEW:

While Gotch addresses many important topics in her book, one of the most important is valuing her mental health and self care at work with ban.do and in professional settings.

“My job now is my first job in a professional setting. I started at 36 and I was a freelancer for a long time. Photoshoots are professional, but it’s more of a relaxed thing,” said Gotch. “Going into this work, I didn’t even know there was a stigma against emotions in the workplace. I’ve always operated from that place. I realized that we had something special here and we could model a workplace with emotions. I’m not advocating for walking around and sobbing every day or if you’re in a bad mood, lashing out at everyone. The key is understanding our own emotions and having emotional intelligence. It allows us to react appropriately when something is happening in our lives because we’re working more than we’re not.”

“The Upside of Being Down” is available wherever books are sold. Watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.