Santa Monica resident Michael Wolper, co-founder of two non-profit organizations that teach mindfulness to people struggling with depression, stress and other life challenges, joined the Board of Directors of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services this week.
Wolper said he has dealt with mental health issues within his immediate and extended family and recognized how they could ravage a family and a community if not addressed in an accepting way.
“Didi Hirsch is doing very meaningful work in the world by helping to erase the stigma of mental illness and by teaching people how to navigate it rather than suppress or hide it,” Wolper said.
Wolper is executive director and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Education, which teaches secular mindfulness practices to children and adults in schools, businesses and organizations.
He also co-founded Operation Mindful Warrior, which provides mindfulness training to veterans struggling with depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and other psychiatric disorders.
A socially conscious entrepreneur and philanthropist, Wolper is a member of GlobeOne, a privately held company that provides financial services to people in communities around the world who lack access to banks.
The American Romanian Chamber of Commerce named Wolper “Humanitarian of the Year” in 2001 for his work with Veritats, a Romanian non-profit that brings mindfulness practices to Eastern European government, schools and hospitals.
Wolper’s eclectic professional background includes an early career in the entertainment industry as a music video and television producer; former Director of Marketing for Hard Rock Cafés in USA and Europe; and Los Angeles Director of Marketing and Promotion for Warner Bros. Records.
He is the son of acclaimed American television and film producer David L. Wolper, who created some of television’s most-watched programs and who died in 2010. Michael consults occasionally on strategic and creative matters for The Wolper Organization, which his brother, Mark, now runs.
Wolper earned a management degree from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He is a certified yoga instructor, a single father of four adult children, and a Santa Monica resident.