Since the start of my breakdown at the end of 2014, I have become deeply committed to the issue of mental health and the workplace, exploring and developing ideas related to work-life balance, workplace culture and how teams and organisations can help their colleagues and team members not just survive, but thrive at work. My breakdown had a number of causes, but undoubtedly one was the role work and workplace culture played. I am currently writing a book on the subject, drawing on my own mental health lived experience and my 20+ years of working with organisations across the public, private and third sectors, and most recently in academia.
I am training to become a psychotherapist, doing a masters in counselling and psychotherapy at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). I lecture in resilience, mental health and work-life balance and have played a leading role at LJMU with HR and student support teams in developing a health and wellbeing strategy for staff and students and a range of resources to help them both as they work and study. The coronavirus virus has made this work even more important. I also mentor and informally coach and support a number of staff and students – as well as other former colleagues.
Psychotherapy and related work is now my main focus and will become my full-time work over the next two years or so: helping people and their organisations to find the right work-life balance, resilience and techniques for them, so that they can thrive at work and throughout their lives. I want to bring my lived and management experience, understanding of these issues, strong communication skills and my passion to help others.