Opening new doors

True stories

On the surface Sefik had everything – a loving family and successful career. But mental health struggles got on top of him, and he tried to take his own life twice over a decade. In the years between attempts, he didn’t feel he could open up to anyone, due to stigma and social […]

The Power of Telling your Story, Lily Asch

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As a teenager she was labeled ‘unsafe to self’ and locked in a psychiatric ward. For a long time Lily Asch continued to be ashamed of her experience, until she opened up and discovered the power of conversation. Now Asch runs Real Talk, a social enterprise organizing storytelling workshops in a safe space, enabling people […]

Surviving Suicide, the Tartan Way, Josh Quigley

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Two years ago, Josh Quigley woke in the middle of the night, got into his car and drove into a concrete barrier at 80 miles-an-hour. A crippling battle with depression had held this outwardly happy Scottish entrepreneur in a deadly grip. Miraculously, Quigley escaped unscathed. He decided to travel the world as ‘The Tartan Explorer’, […]

“Whatever it takes”: Head Talks launches!

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Oliver Chittenden, Founder of Head Talks   Whatever it takes When I flew home* to my wife and young daughter, having spent weeks in a hospital in Nashville, where one-by-one my internal organs had started shutting down in a catastrophic physical response to repressed mental stress, I knew I had to make a profound difference. […]

Seeking Attention – The Self-Harm Expert, Satveer Nijjar

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Self-Harm Trainer Satveer Nijjar had got so frustrated with society’s misunderstanding of self-harm that she decided to call her self-harm awareness company ‘Attention Seekers’. She was being ironic where others were being dismissive. At least one out of ten young people cuts, burns, or pinches themselves, or goes even further as a response to mental […]

We All Need Help Sometimes, Alastair Campbell

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Tony Blair’s Former Press Secretary We all know him as former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s communications maestro. What most of us don’t know is that Alastair Campbell suffers from on-and off depression. In his late twenties he had a severe nervous breakdown, which landed him in police custody and in hospital. Believing his experiences gave him […]

Mapping Depression, Andrew Solomon

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Writer, Lecturer and Activist Award-winning journalist Andrew Solomon always thought he was tough. But a series of losses, including the assisted suicide of his cancer-suffering mum, plunged him into a deep depression, which then morphed into ripping anxiety. ‘It was eating me alive.’ Driven to try and understand his condition, Solomon interviewed numerous fellow sufferers […]

Frazzled, Ruby Wax OBE

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Entertainer, Mental Health Activist, Author of “Frazzled” Having suffered bouts of depression from age 13, it wasn’t until after the birth of her first daughter that world-famous comedian Ruby Wax realized it was ‘not a virus’. Multiple institutionalizations, an MA in Mindfulness, and two books later, Wax now tours with her searingly funny and personal account […]

Breaking the Corporate Stigma, Geoff McDonald

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Former Global VP of HR at Unilever Geoff McDonald’s crucible moment came in the middle of the night. He had a panic attack. At the time, Geoff was Vice President of HR for multi-billion dollar company Unilever. A real career alpha-man, he had no idea what was wrong. In this riveting talk he describes his […]

The Man Who Saves People, Dr William Shanahan

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Psychiatrist Dr. Shanahan can tell ‘fifty to a hundred things’ about you, before you even sit down. As a psychiatrist he is the gatekeeper: as to who really needs treatment and what kind. Shanahan, who has been treating patients since 1984, is Medical Director of the London-based Nightingale Hospital and specializes in addiction. He’s been […]