Paul Greenberg


When Paul Greenberg was the CEO of CollegeHumor, a comedy website, in 2012, he was having strong suicidal thoughts. He had struggled with depression all his life and had hidden it from everyone at work. Electroconvulsive therapy finally helped. In 2018, after starting a digital-video firm called Butter Works, he wrote about his experience in the Hollywood Reporter to help people with mental illness feel less alone.

“I wanted to go public with this,” he says. “It’s too important. This is a personal matter for me, but it’s also a work matter for our employees and our company, and this will help us all succeed better.”

As CEO of Butter Works, Greenberg promotes a culture where employees can put their mental health first. He bought a pricey insurance plan that covers out-of-network providers, which many mental-health professionals are. He tells employees and clients that he has a therapy appointment or a ketamine treatment in the same way he’d mention a lunch meeting. “I’m trying to create an atmosphere where people feel this is totally destigmatized, in the same appropriate way you’d talk about anything personal at work,” he says. Since he revealed his mental-health issues, younger employees have confided in him about their own, he says. “As soon as you normalize it, other people do too.