All Things Business - The Podcast

It’s time to talk to the experts about mental health awareness 

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week in May, the All Things Business podcast invited a trio of guests into the studio to discuss the issues and the challenges facing both those with mental health problems, and those trying to help them.

Andrew Jenkins, who appeared in the second series of BBC’s The Traitors, spoke about the serious road accident that left him fighting for his life nearly 25 years ago, and the years rebuilding his future in the shadow of the life he’d lost. Sherry Adams, CEO of Northamptonshire charity Kelly’s Heroes discussed the determination of the organisation to find the time and resources to help those in need; while Jon Manning, CEO of Arthur Ellis Mental Health Support in Milton Keynes, opened up about his own childhood experiences and their legacy and how he’s used that to build a service for those going through similar battles, and to advise employers on what steps they can take to help.

In conversation with Ben Thomas, Andrew Jenkins spoke about how he had grown up in a traditional hard-working, rugby-loving Welsh household and the devastating effects of a serious road accident when he was 21. The emergency services pronounced him dead at the scene but he somehow made it to hospital, was in a coma four weeks and when he awoke was told he would never walk again.

Although he fought hard to prove doctors wrong and eventually returned to near-normality, he still carried the mental scars for many years.

“Life didn’t get back to normality until fairly recently,”

he admitted.

“It was like  wearing a mask for 20 years. I was grieving for my old life. I was offered counselling after my accident and I assumed I would just see someone in a white coat so I said I didn’t want it. There was a stigma back then, and as a family we didn’t speak about feelings and emotions, so I couldn’t talk to them. We love each other, but we don’t show it, that’s just not how we are, and I was brought up to think you can’t show feelings if you’re a man.

“There was something missing in my life and I think I hadn’t come to terms with what had happened to me. Now I’m in a really good place. I want to help change the world.”

After a lot of reflecting, studying and self-analysis over the past few years, Andrew now wants to share his experience to help motivate and inspire others. He trained in NLP and gives  motivational talks to help try to break the stigma around mental health, proving to people that you can achieve great things in life even after suffering adversity, showcasing that to a wider audience with his appearance on one of the BBC’s most popular reality TV shows earlier this year.

Jon Manning spent time in a children’s mental health institution from the age of five after suffering abuse during his first year at school. He admits now that he has blocked out memories of most of his childhood. After a number of attempts to take his own life, the first at the age of 16 and the last when he was 24, Jon was staggered by the waiting lists for mental health appointments and saved enough money to buy himself a single appointment at The Priory, the clinic famous for its celebrity clientele.

In his Podcast interview, Jon said:

“In the appointment, I was diagnosed as bipolar. I was working in a fairly high-flying job but there were maggots in my kitchen, I was obviously functioning at work but not coping generally, and so on my way home from my appointment at The Priory I looked into what kind of training is out there for employers and there wasn’t really anything, so I decided to set up Arthur Ellis.”

Arthur Ellis: Mental Health Support provides help for individuals, who can self-refer, and sees anyone from the age of eight upwards, but also offers training to corporate clients on they can do to offer practical help to employees with mental health issues.

“Businesses are keen to address mental health and wellbeing, but the truth is that a lot of the training, sleep apps, wellbeing apps, bowls of fruit etc has no effect whatsoever,”

said Jon,

“it’s sticking a plaster on the problem but it’s doing nothing because it is putting the emphasis on the employee having a problem rather having a problem because of their environment.

“Our four-stage plan helps businesses look at how they can be more aware of what mental health problems are all about and put in place the help and resources to tackle the issues and look at what they can do to change things.”  

Kelly’s Heroes was founded in Northamptonshire by the family of Kelly Hewitt, who took her own life aged 24 in 2018. 

Sherry Adams, who is CEO of the charity, described the day-to-day workload, which includes counselling and a live chat service that is available seven days a week, taking in excess of 100 calls every week.

“People need different types of support and we’re not all counsellors but we are trained listeners,”

she told Ben Thomas.

“It’s often about early involvement and hand-holding, someone who’s never spoken to anyone about how they feel, and if we can talk to them, then get them to come back tomorrow, chat again, and after a while they might have the confidence to make a GP appointment or visit a counsellor.

“Funding isn’t straightforward. Early on, we had funding for an 18-month pilot programme, people were coming to us because they had been bereaved and we met some of the most wonderful people and heard some of the most harrowing stories. When we went back at the end with our report, with comments from clients who said we’d saved their lives, and we delivered all our feedback, they just had to tell us there was no money available. We can’t say to people ‘I’m sorry there’s no more funding, you’re on your own’ so we continue with the fundraising and doing as much as we can.

“We don’t have an office, there’s not much expense, so the money we do have goes to making sure clients get the support they need and helps save lives.”

Visit to access all episodes of All Things Business – The Podcast. The Mental Health Awareness Week special episodes will be published during the week, which runs from May 13 to 19.


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