This Episode: Breaking The Stigma of Mental Health – with Andy Salkeld

This week’s special guest is Andy Salkeld, the author of ‘Life Is A Four Letter Word’, a mental health survival guide for professionals, who joins Lucinda to talk about his own journey through mental health challenges and how we should be breaking the stigma of mental health. Furthermore, Andy shares how he used those experiences to write his highly insightful book, and how we can take those lessons and translate them to our own workplaces.

Key Takeaways

  • We always seem to introduce ourselves as what we do, instead of who we really are. Indeed, we often find the truth about people to be overwhelming, and yet the truth reveals the person.
  • Certainly, in the workplace, success is often based around competitiveness. We are gently urged to be the best and most accessible version of ourselves. But this can come at a price: the loss of identity.
  • Often, mental health issues are kept hidden because those with issues do not perceive that the workplace will be friendly to these concerns. It’s about changing that perception, and making everyone feel as though these challenges will not count against them.
  • White label solutions will not repair the damage of stigmatisation. We need to act with integrity, and create holistic solutions that alter the culture in the workplace, along with the perception that speaking out will not stigmatise.

Best Moments

  • ‘Life is one of two halves – so here’s the other half…’
  • ‘You have to stand out in the ways that the business wants you to stand out – not necessarily in the ways that you want to stand out’
  • ‘It’s a pressure-cooker of competition’
  • ‘People are the most valuable asset in the business’

Valuable Resources

About The Guest

Andy Salkeld describes himself as living a life of two halves. At least he did until he almost ended them both.

Andrew Salkeld is a Chartered Accountant and member of the ICAEW. He trained at PwC specialising in Corpoate Finance. Following his move into industry he focused on business intelligence and analytics. Now, after numerous industry positions he is a Finance Director at a Leeds based tech business with ambitions of helping the high-street fight back.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Sounds like he has it all figured out!

But there’s two halves to this story.

Andy was diagnosed with depression a number of years ago. Following various events, he became suicidal and wanted to end everything. His life now has an almost end. He is medicated and regularly speaks to a therapist. Indeed, he does what he can to survive and now shares his story and experience with people all over the world in the hope that those that might be struggling and are too afraid to talk about it, like he once was, know that they are not alone. Andy first shared his story in Breaking the Stigma and has since gone on to publish it in Life is a Four-Letter Word.

Andy describes himself as a geek. He love board games, pop punk and ska music, enjoys cooking and being creative. He lives with his cat Pika and tries to enjoy life in the present, rather than worrying about the past and the future. Still everything from that first introduction. It just isn’t what defines him anymore.

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles and a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. Indeed it was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“When we look up we rise up”

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