Starting November 1st 2021, I’m embarking on a challenge to coach 365 hours in 365 days to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. There are two ways to get involved: 1) you can book a one off session in exchange for a donation to Mind, or 2) you can book a series of sessions and I’ll donate 20% of my coaching profits to Mind at the end of the challenge. But why?

My history with mental health is no secret. I first experienced depression when I was 15 and was consistently in a state of high functioning depression from that age until I was 23. I struggled with self harm throughout that time, alongside panic attacks and anxiety in general.

I had to deal with my mental health alone for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, I was high functioning and hiding it so there’s no balme here, but I also didn’t know where or how I could get support. It was a catch-22.

I eventually had to drop out of a Masters degree due to my mental health, and have thankfully been able to rebuild my life and health since. But it is a daily battle, and trust me when I say I do everything I can to protect my brain. It’s often at the top of the list of things I think about each day, and I never take my mental wellbeing for granted now that I have found my way out of the consistent depression that was once so pervasive.

When I think back to my younger self, I wonder what difference it would have made to know there was an organisation like Mind in the world.

Like me, Mind believes that everyone experiencing a mental health problem should get support and respect. They believe that no one should face mental health problems alone, and they provide a host of services that share supportive and reliable information, such as their infoline that provides confidential help over the phone, their legal line that helps with questions around mental health and the law, memberships, campaigns, professional training, and more.

I might have realised that I wasn’t alone. That how I felt wasn’t normal, but nor was it something to stigmatise and hide. It was something other people could understand and support me with.

Although I can’t go back and educate myself, I can share what I know now, and I can do my best to raise the voice of Mind and other initiatives like it in the hopes that another person might see it and realise they’re not alone either.

1 in 4 people every year will experience a mental health problem, and Mind provide the help and advice needed, whether you’re that one person or that one person is a friend, family member, colleague, or partner. Their work is so important. And their work can’t be done without the money to run, without fundraising and donations.

So, as I sat at my desk a couple of months ago thinking about how I could raise money for Mind, I realised I had the skills not just to raise money, but to help people in the process – through coaching. And, because I don’t do anything by halves, I made this a big challenge. A year of coaching. A challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone, that will allow me to do more of what I love, and that will encourage me to talk openly about my story and my struggles.

If you would like to get some coaching to raise money for Mind (or just because you want some coaching!), fill out the contact form on my challenge page and I’ll be in touch soon.