I started grappling with my mental health in 2017, but it had been a long time coming and I had been developing a wildly unhealthy relationship with work for….ever.
It was actually a friend at work who clocked what was going on.
Two breakdowns, three therapists, countless books, podcasts, pills and walks later, I had spent two years trying to manage my mental health alongside my Head of Communications job and was exhausted.
After 11 years in communications, I set up mad and sad club in 2019. My mission is to help people manage their mental health at work and not just survive, but thrive.
I hope that this section gives you an idea of how the values I hold inform how I do business.
I also designed this section as an act of professional self-regulation. I do not have coaching specific qualifications – I personally don’t feel these are always necessary – but I commit to working in an ethical manner in line with the below.
This is my most important value. What it means in our work is:
- I will tell you, lovingly, if something comes up in our calls that you should seek therapeutic or clinical support for (don’t worry, this is a regular, totally normal occurrence!)
- In this instance what we’ll do is remain aware of this topic or issue and note where it’s coming up in our work, but we won’t unpack it together – as it wouldn’t be safe for me to do that work with you
- I will always be honest with you if I think you are *ahem* bullshitting yourself – I will kindly, and with love, challenge you in those moments
- If I’m not feeling well mentally I will tell you. I’ll probably rearrange our sessions in this instance – more on that below…
What I do is a mixture of mentoring – using and sharing my own experiences to help you navigate similar situations – and coaching – helping you to find the answers to your own questions and concerns.
This means that…
- We will work together on finding thought patterns that negatively affect your relationship with your work – I will highlight when these thought patterns are coming up and suggest ways to help shift these
- We will also work through The Heartwood Way to look at what practical steps we can take to make your business work better for you
- There’s no set approach here and I will be guided by you, what you feel you need and what comes up during and in between our sessions
This is one of the cornerstones on which I run my business. I need my business to be flexible to allow me my basic needs. What that means for you is…
- If I’m having a bad mental health day or week, I will rearrange our session – I am not able to be at my best for you at these times. Sometimes that will be with short notice, but that’s the nature of the mental health beast!
- If I’m really unwell and need more than a week or so off, I’ll let you know as soon as I do and we will either pause our work or if you need support right away, I’ll have someone step in for me to support you in the interim
- This flexibility is also available to you – there is no 48 hour cancellation policy here. If you need to rearrange, you can do so up to our session time – just let me know on Voxer and you can re-book easily through Paperbell
- If I don’t know that you’re going to be late or need to rearrange, I’ll wait for 15 minutes after the start of our session time, then I’ll drop you a note to rearrange
- If you’re a bit late, I’ll always try to make up the time at the end if I can
- To give myself the flexibility I need, some areas of my business need to be strictly boundaried – this means that my appointment times are on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm
I know that the ‘coaching/mentoring industry’ does not always feel open to everyone. Therefore, fairness, equitability and accessibility are really important to me in my business. This means that…
- I will always offer Pay What You Can places on my courses and programmes (take a look at the info here)
- I have worked with an accessibility mentor – the wonderful Kat Cuthbert – to review how I work and how I use my website, social media and business systems to make sure they’re as accessible to those with sight and hearing impairments as well as beautiful neurodiverse brains
- This work is ongoing and – in the spirit of my top value of honesty – this work has to be balanced with the financial sustainability of my business – it has to be affordable
- I always seek out, listen to and act on feedback from those whos brains, boodies and experiences are different to mine – pals of colour, those who have different trauma experiences to mine, neurodivergent chums and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, as well as trans, non-binary and non-gender conforming pals
- I set my prices based on what is sustainable for me energetically, and for my business, financially
as seen in
A guest blog for CIPR Inside, digging into the CIPR State of the Profession report, showing increased levels of mental health issues in the comms industry.
A piece commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Building to help their members consider the mental health of their staff and what can be done about it.
I shared my story with phenomenal creative agency Alive with Ideas, exploring the link between creativity and mental health. In writing this piece I realised that as my mental health improved, I have discovered previously unknown sources of creativity.
want to find out more?
I’m always chatting about all things mental health on