Putting on a brave face? You are #NotAlone

Mike Turner explains why mental health is an issue closer to home than we know and what The Benevolent’s #NotAlone campaign is about.

I can be a proper bore when I get going about certain topics close to my heart. Vermouth, cricket, mental health, Liverpool FC, maths…wait, what?  Oh yeah, I said it, mental health.  Why not talk about it?  1 in 3 people in their lives will suffer from a mental health condition, and the other 2 out of 3 will have to be there for the sufferers, which is no mean feat in itself.  So why not get it out there?

I have an anxiety issue.  It’s a hormone deficiency, I don’t equalize adrenalin very well, and I don’t produce enough serotonin.  If unchecked or you’re exposed to specific triggers, which is what happened about 7 or 8 years ago, it will develop into full-on clinical depression, so I just have to manage it on a day to day basis.  That’s how I see it now.  I’m not weird, I’m not mad, and I also have no problem being very matter of fact about it.  But we still live in a world where being open about these things puts you in a relatively small minority.

When The Benevolent Charity launched their mental health hotline at the start of the year, and launched the #NotAlone campaign, I was very impressed.  I got directly in touch with Ale, who was the point woman for the project and wanted her to know if there’s anything you ever need, I’d be happy to help.  It was a horrible time of my life, but talking about it openly, and the support of others, saved me.  Anything out there that encourages others to do the same should be lauded and supported.

So a few weeks ago, Ale called in the favour!  Chris Porter, the new chief of The Benevolent is presenting the findings of their recent industry survey at the London Wine Fair, followed by panel discussion.  I was invited to be on the panel along with some other fantastic guests to discuss the findings, but also talk about our own experiences and what our advice would be for sufferers, carers, HR professionals, and business owners to make sure the right support is there as and when needed.

Ale’s already told me that we’re nearly sold out on the tickets (they don’t cost anything, you just have to register), so it’s clearly not just a topic that’s close to my heart, is it?

So come along and get involved yourselves.  A panel discussion is just that: a discussion.  Join in and make it as successful and widespread as it can be.

Be great to see you all there…

By Mike Turner

Please register online to attend the discussion.