HomeBlogPersonal UpdatesFrom CEO to Leadership Mental Health Advocate

From CEO to Leadership Mental Health Advocate

In 2001, at the age of 18, I faced a significant personal challenge when I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. This event marked the beginning of an intense journey of personal struggle and growth. Despite these challenges, I co-founded Talk Staff during the challenging times of the 2009 Global Recession, leading the company to significant success. However, behind the scenes I had a constant battle with mental health, a reality that many leaders face but seldom discuss openly.

The Stark Reality of Leadership and Mental Health

The path of leadership is often viewed through a lens of success and power, yet the reality includes a significant mental health burden. Research reveals that 72% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues, compared to 48% of non-entrepreneurs. Additionally, 30% of founders report struggling with depression. These statistics highlight a critical, yet often overlooked aspect of leadership: the profound impact it can have on one’s mental health.

A New Chapter for Gary Parsons

In April 2024, I transitioned from CEO of Talk Staff to a Non-Executive Director. This change has allowed me to dedicate myself more fully to a cause close to my heart: advocating for mental health awareness in leadership. My mission is to transform the business environment into one where mental health is openly discussed and supported, promoting the idea that showing vulnerability is not a weakness but a strength.

Through my speaking engagements, I aim to bring these statistics to life, sharing personal stories and insights that resonate with leaders and entrepreneurs, emphasising the message that they are not alone. My upcoming podcast ‘Leaders in Disguise‘ will further this mission, inspiring and empowering leaders to prioritise mental health and create supportive environments within their organisations.

An Invitation to Support and Engage

The conversation around mental health in leadership is more important than ever, but it requires your voice. I invite you to support this crucial cause by attending speaking events, engaging with the podcast, and sharing this message within your networks. Every action you take can help dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health in leadership.

Join Me in Making a Difference

As I continue to share my journey and advocate for mental health awareness among leaders, your support can significantly amplify our collective impact. By participating in events, engaging with our content, and spreading the word, you contribute to a movement that ensures no leader feels they must face their mental health challenges alone.

Together, we can create a future where mental wellness is a cornerstone of effective leadership. Let’s embrace this challenge, support one another, and lead the way to a healthier, more empathetic business world.

Leadership Mental Health Advocate & Inspirational Speaker

About Gary


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