Janet Barrett

CEO/Founder at Cerebral Health

Mental Health Care

Education: University of Northern Iowa, BA - William James College, MAOP
Boston, MA, USA


Janet Barrett is a proactive mental health advocate and writer. She is the Founder and CEO of Cerebral Health, a company focused on eliminating the stigma around mental health and helping individuals learn to thrive. She earned her Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from William James College in 2022.

Prior to this, Janet worked for and advised some of the largest retail and wholesale consumer brands on category management, product and consumer segmentation, and merchandising strategy. She worked with clients all over the globe, leading large scale projects for multinational companies. In her 30’s, Janet left the corporate world and started her own interior design firm which she led until she became a mom. Then with four kids, aged 4 and under, she stayed home.

Janet enjoyed her work in the business world, but always felt that it was a job. She didn’t uncover her passion for enacting meaningful change in mental health care until she went through her own personal break and discovered others don’t have to. She wants to change our approach to mental healthcare from REactive to PROactive. This passion is what led her to write Stop The Break in order to help others learn to be proactive in their own mental healthcare.

In 2015, after multiple moves, Janet and her four children settled just outside of Boston, where they currently reside. Her kids have made her promise they will not move again. When she’s not spending time with her kids, you can find her outside or in the yoga studio.


Proactive mental health

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More than 100 miles

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I always get paid for speaking


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Best Story

For almost 50 years of my life, I felt bad for needing help to deal with my little problems. I felt bad if I complained about anything, I felt bad if that polished professional didn’t live up to and exceed everyone’s standards. I wanted to show the world how resilient I could be – that I was practically unshakable and unbreakable.
Then, in November of 2019, I broke.
A very simple question and a simple answer broke me.
5 words “Are you having an affair?” I asked.
He responded with 5 more words, “Yes, I’ve been seeing someone”
We had been together for 18 years and 10 words ended it.
We had four kids and 10 words changed that family structure forever.
I was devastated, crushed.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep.
I found myself on the floor of my closet, hiding under my clothes, trying to cry as softly as I could because I didn’t want those four kids to find me and ask “Mommy, why are you crying?”
I was broken. 10 little words were enough to shatter my resilience.
Those that know me would tell you, I am an incredibly strong person. I’ve been through a lot in my life. I had pushed through a lot of things. Very little could actually push me off balance. I had resilience in spades.
But this time, I couldn’t find my balance. I couldn’t bounce back.
What was different about this? Why couldn't I push through?
What was going on?
Well, it took me about 2 years, but I finally figured it out.
It wasn’t that simple 5 word question and 5 word answer that broke me. It was 5 decades of ignoring and suppressing my emotions that broke me. It was 5 decades of just pushing through, not dealing with my stress and anxiety. This event was just the last in a long series of traumas that I never learned to deal with, and it’s what put me over the edge. But I was broken a long time before this.

Origin Story

My "a-ha" moment was when I started writing my thesis. My advising professor told me to find a topic that I couldn't stop talking about, and proactive mental health was it. I haven't been able to stop talking about it since, so I wrote a book about it, and now I speak about it everywhere I can!