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.
As well as my Head of Communications role at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), I lecture in resilience, mental health and work-life balance and am playing a leading role with our 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. In September, I start a part-time masters in counselling and psychotherapy at LJMU. If all goes to plan, I will qualify as an accredited therapist after two years.
This 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.