October 10th 2022 is World Mental Health Day and the theme for this year is ‘make mental health and wellbeing a global priority for all.
Whilst the pandemic of the last two years continues to be a strain on our mental health, a number of other issues have risen to add to that strain, such as the war in Ukraine, and the increased cost of living. Even before the pandemic, an estimated one out of eight people was living with a mental health disorder, a statistic that hasn’t gone away. These anxiety and depressive disorders rose more than a quarter during the first lockdown, at the same time treatment were disrupted. (Stats: World Mental Health Day 2022)
Unfortunately, stigma about mental health issues continues to be a barrier to finding and receiving help, as well as equality and diversity issues limiting social inclusion and access to mental health treatment.
For this year’s World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organisation and partner charities are aiming to make a world where mental health is valued and protected, and everyone has an equal opportunity to source healthcare, regardless of who and where they are.
Here at Great British Speakers, we have a number of mental health and wellness speakers who all share the same goal, via their own personal experiences are advocates for global mental health care for all. So, if you’re running an event for Mental Health Day or you just want to boost your team’s mental well-being, you’ve come to the right place.
Below are just a few of our top Mental Health and Well-being speakers who have really caught our attention for their inspirational and motivational talks over the last year.
As a long-term survivor of domestic abuse in his former marriage, Andrew Pain knows only too well how isolating personal trauma can be. Not only did his homelife start affecting his performance at work – from the extraordinary levels of sick leave to the excessive and lengthy personal phone calls each day, falling asleep on the phone to his clients due to sheer exhaustion – but it also distanced him from friends and family, knocked his confidence and led to severe depression.
Andrew is keen to highlight that domestic violence isn’t gendered, that men can also suffer from abusive partners, and that it’s important to encourage people to reach out, as we never really know what may be going on in someone’s personal life behind closed doors.
Other speaking topics include Burnout and Imposter Syndrome.
Outside of her TV career as a presenter, behind closed doors, Anna Williamson suffered from an almost crippling battle with generalised anxiety disorder. During her own recovery and upon speaking out about her own experience, Anna realised there was a huge stigma attached to poor mental health. As a result, Anna was determined to make a difference and joined the mental health charity MIND as an official ambassador. She also qualified as a counsellor, life coach and Master NLP practitioner.
Anna now contributes her expertise to TV and magazine shows and is often booked to speak in schools, at businesses and at corporate events. She has also gained great success from her online videos for AOL, YouTube and The Telegraph.
Anna is also spoken about her own experience of suffering from post-natal depression after the birth of her son.
The last few years have been an astonishing period for Clive Branson, who is no stranger to the isolation that mental and physical illness can bring.
From dealing with personal grief to the diagnosis of two life-limiting diseases, and spending seven weeks in a psychiatric hospital, Clive is the epitome of an ‘inspirational speaker’. Today, Clive’s mission is to actively demonstrate that we do have the ability to overcome adversity. Resilience, hope and positivity are crucial words in his vocabulary, and the next chapter of his life will be met with stoicism and a smile.
Emmanuel Asuquo is a financial advisor who works with individuals and business owners to prepare for their financial future. He is particularly concerned with financial health and how money worries can lead to decreased mental health, and an increase in anxiety, depression and possible suicidal thoughts.
With the rising living costs and the stress that is bringing to many businesses and households alike, Emmanuel has been asked to give talks for the likes of HSBC, Barclays and NatWest, providing their staff and members information on financial health as well as issues with diversity in the financial industry.
You know Kelly Holmes the athlete, but do you know Kelly Holmes the businesswoman, the entrepreneur, the mental health advocate?
Affected by her own struggles, Kelly wanted to help others and so became a trained mental health first aider. Since then, she has channelled her love of fitness with good physical and mental health into her business interests. She is the owner of a unique events hub where she has several distinct operations including two wellness apps that were launched in 2020.
And when it comes to inspiring businesses, Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health and bringing teams together with a focus on improving workplace wellness, with talks and workshops on overcoming adversity, female empowerment, achieving your goals and maintaining your team’s mental health and wellbeing.
In June 2022, Kelly came out as gay and now explores how her hidden sexuality also affected her mental health and well-being.
Psychotherapist and author of the globally acclaimed Ten To Zen, Owen O’Kane has the necessary skills to analyse any mental, emotional, or stress-related issue with the utmost efficiency. Owen believes that a great mind warrants unprecedented improvements in every aspect of daily working life. Listening to him speak will undoubtedly provide you with the tools for a happier, healthier mind.
Owen’s acclaimed keynote talks are based on his Ten to Zen success, which provides a mapped-out plan to help quieten, calm and control the mind. Through his talks, he aims for mental clarity and to help put an end to unhelpful thought patterns. He has condensed a lifetime of experience into an exceptional book and enjoys sharing this with corporate teams through speeches and workshops.
Poorna Bell has acted as both a facilitator and guest speaker at many mental health and wellness events. She was identified by Balance Magazine as one of the top 100 wellness personalities and has held talks for the NHS and at the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit on the topic of mental well-being.
Trained in presentation at RADA, Poorna has presented in a number of formats from panel sessions to chairing conferences. Some of her keynote topics include diversity in the media, how social media is affecting our perceptions of identity, and imposter syndrome.
Poorna’s debut book Chase the Rainbow (2017) was described as a ‘memoir-meets-journalism’ piece based on her life with her husband Rob who suffered from depression and anxiety, and who unfortunately took his own life in 2015. Despite the heavy subject matter, the story is ultimately about love, includes elements of humour and is a brave attempt to break the social stigma attached to mental health. The book’s sequels In Search of Silence (2019) and Stronger (2021) were highly praised, with presenter Stacey Solomon saying they “…remind us all that we are stronger than we know.”
Capital FM radio presenter Roman Kemp became an advocate for male mental health back in 2021 when his documentary ‘Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency’ aired on BBC. Kemp was inspired to make the documentary after his friend took his own life in 2020, causing Roman and those around him to question how they couldn’t spot the signs of their friend’s depression. Roman has since held corporate talks on male mental health in the hope he can make other men feel not so alone and to seek help if they require it.
Steve Carr is an inspirational speaker who speaks from pure experience. Childhood traumas and turbulent early adulthood plagued by addictions and poor mental health led Steve to attempt suicide on multiple occasions. However, after getting the help he needed to overcome his past, Steve has turned his life around and is now dedicated to helping others so no one has to face adversity or challenges alone. Today, Steve Carr is one of only a handful of Suicide First Aid tutors in the country.
In May 2022, TV personality and Gogglebox star, Scarlett Moffatt opened up about her personal struggle with loneliness during the Covid pandemic and lockdown, revealing that she turned to the Samaritans for help. She is now an ambassador for the suicide prevention charity and hopes that by sharing her own story, she can raise awareness and help others overcome their own mental health struggles, loneliness and depression.
In the UK, many of us struggle with low moods, depressive thoughts and in extreme cases, thoughts of suicide, but by talking to others about our feelings we can help ourselves and others feel not quite so alone. Whether in our personal or professional lives, connectivity and engagement are vital to our well-being and a dedicated mental health speaker will ensure that your audience is left with key takeaways that they can use to enhance their mental health moving forward.
You can book your speaker now for Mental Health Day – October 10th 2022.
But our Mental Health Speakers are available to hire all year round, so if you missed booking your perfect speaker on this occasion, why not give us a call and book them in advance for any future mental health events?