“and in our daily living. we live together, connected with the people around us. They occupy our thoughts and inform our feelings, and we speak their words through our lips. We are ever conversing, even through our silence.”

The Seven Paths – Anansazi Foundation

This quote is important for me right now. It’s informing a lot of my thinking, both personally and in the business. Over 2013 I blogged consistently about my mental health and I found my voice as an advocate. I started to speak openly with my clients about the challenges I face and it forms a crucial part of the resilience course that I run with Ian Pettigrew.

Instead of being a weakness it started to become a strength. People started to ask me how to deal with situations, what advice would I give?

Which confused me, because I’m not a doctor. I’ve slowly come to realise what they mean by the term “expert by experience”. I’ve seen the value I can bring but I’ve also seen conferences where there are no “service users” on the speaker list. We somehow lack the credibility that being a “health care professional” brings.

So I’ve decided to do something about that. Well I say “I” but I mean “we” because I’m not alone in this. Many of you will know my friend – the award winning blogger and public speaker Charlotte Walker. She and I are going to be working together. In the next few weeks we will be qualifying to facilitate Mental Health First Aid training. (That link is a short film about the course)

The MHFA course is designed to improve Mental Health literacy, reduce stigma and equip you with practical skills around how to support someone who needs help in the workplace whether on a day to day basis or in times of crisis. To that end it’s a natural course for HR teams and operational leaders. We want our supporters in the world of HR social media to get a chance to see us in action and so we will give you priority booking and an earlybird rate on our first course in London on the 4th/5th March. Check out our Eventbrite page for more details. Please come along or send some of your team.

Now we know that for many of you, London is a long way so we are lining up another course in Leeds later this year. We will be able to offer a priority booking / earlybird rate for this one too and in order to gauge interest we have set up a doodle with a couple of possible dates for you to show your interest. There will be 14 places up for grabs so book early to avoid disappointment. (Please note the doodle has 4 blocks of two days so please tick the block you can do most easily and make sure to tick both days)

Of course if you can’t make these courses we will be available to come and do in house training (and we are busily developing a suite of courses) but we wanted to give you a taster of what it is like to be trained by two “experts by experience”, to hear the insights we can bring and take part in the conversations we can start.

Which brings me back nicely to the quote – to that sense of connection and to how we transmit our thoughts. Charlotte and I want to deliver great training around mental health, we hope that you will choose us to inform you.


Special thanks to Tracey Pallett, (a good friend of both Charlotte and myself) for sketching the above image for us as we got alarmingly close to deadline.


About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
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