Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

I know a thing or two about mental health. It’s often the witness of a horrific incident who suffers from PTSD. The person I was with that day in 1996 has suffered from it but I was diagnosed with it too because of my vivid recollection.

Depression was something I lived with for around 5 years (beginning 5 years post accident, until 2006) and one of the key factors in overcoming that depression was meeting Fiona. The initial five years after the accident, my mental health was good but then five years of gradual deeper depression reached it’s trough between the ages of 28/29. I was prescribed medication but decided not to take it and went for a holistic approach instead. Anxiety is something I probably have always lived with when I think about my childhood and nerves before football matches, athletics and exams etc. where I’d be physically sick ahead of the bigger events but the accident made that worse, a renewed fear of heights had to be overcome again, crowded places suddenly bothered me, fear of violence, lack of confidence, the processes of buying a house, getting married and starting a family all create anxiety etc. 

Then twenty years after the accident, I experienced workplace stress for the first time and eventual burnout on 11th Nov 2016. My problem was that I couldn’t say “no”. Everyone wanted a piece of my time, so from that point onward, I created TEMPO which is a time management tool and began to apply it to my every day life (click online safety training for more information). 

Year 1 of my new career doing talks was great, year 2 better and year 3 my best ever. Then Covid-19 struck. I’ve struggled a bit through lockdown mentally but there’s always been a little light at the end of the tunnels I’ve been down metaphorically speaking. Everyone can speak but sometimes it’s better to be a good listener when it comes to helping people struggling with their mental health.