STARTING WITH WHY: working in mental health

Jo Hooper

Since setting up mad and sad club and working in mental health, I’ve been on a huge learning curve. Both involuntary and sought out!

This week, after hearing a recommendation from Kayte Ferris, a simple marketing coach, I sought out another opportunity to stretch my mind. I watched this TED talk from Simon Sinek.

His theory is that in all you do, you should start with WHY. Most companies, people, start with the WHAT (product, service), followed by the HOW (differentiator, USP), often not even getting to the WHY.

His theory is based on biological science. In the brain, our neocortex is responsible for rational thought and language – this is where we make sense of the WHAT.

Whereas our limbic brain is responsible for our feelings and decision making – where we make sense of the WHY, driving behaviour.

As someone running a business I essentially made up because I felt there was a reason, this has been revolutionary for me.

So, here’s my WHY.

Working in mental health: THE WHY

I believe that too many people and organisations are getting themselves tied up in how complicated it is to tackle mental health at work. Too sensitive an issue. Too many blurred lines between departments – whose responsibility is it really?

I know that that this is leaving many people struggling and unwell at work. Needlessly.

I’ve hit rock bottom – twice, once just wasn’t enough – and I know that what had the biggest impact on my was simple, human, empathetic communication.

Someone told me: “I don’t think you’re OK.”

I know that  you can have a hugely positive impact on people’s mental health at work by being human. By keeping it simple.

mental health help

I’ve spent more than 10 years in communications – I know how to plan, run and evaluate a compelling comms campaign (oohh that’s a lot of c’s!).

I use that experience, as well as my experience of being mad and sad at work to help organisations take meaningful action.

I also run an online community where I can test my ideas, theories and help others feel less alone and part of a ‘thing.’

That’s up to you really.

I want to work with organisations to help them evaluate what’s going on with their people’s mental health; think strategically about what action you can take to improve things; and DO IT.

I run workshops, training, provide consultancy and advice, I write and speak on mental health issues.

I do all of this because I think there are simple, human things organisations can do to have a positive impact on people’s mental health at work.

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What’s your why?

If this struck a chord with you and you’d like some help to tackle mental health in your organisation, please do get in touch.

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