• Andy Salkeld

Are We There Yet?...

You may have noticed that I've been quieter than normal over the previous few months. I haven't posted anything here or on LinkedIn since October or something like that. Not exactly standard behaviour for someone who 'should' be peddling their wares and selling themselves (short).


So what's been happening? What's taken my attention?


I started a journey two years ago when I wrote a shitty little piece titled Breaking the Stigma. It changed my life in a way I never thought possible. Since then I have told my mental health journey with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation to thousands of people all over the world. I've also had a shitty little book published to increase the scope of the audience. It's a story you've heard countless times, so I won't go into all that now.


So why bring it up?


Throughout that time I have always caveated that I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychoanalyst. I only have lived experience, and whilst insightful and sometimes inspiring, I cannot give people the professional answers and help they may seek.


But what if I was?


I am now part way through a Masters Conversion in Psychology. In a year, I will be one of very few people in the UK who is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Psychologist. I have decided to do this because it will allow me to help the many people out there who may be struggling with their mental health whilst at work and who may not feel equipped or able to seek appropriate help.


Breaking the Stigma: the Study


I titled my work Breaking the Stigma to create a very visceral description; as if there was something tangible to shatter and pass through. I didn't put a lot of effort into it, but it has stayed with me throughout my work promoting mentally healthy workplace cultures.


Now, more than ever, that title has taken on an entirely new meaning and will be the foundation of many things to come.


Unfortunately, I cannot say much right now. There are several scientific, professional and ethical limitations that restrict what I can talk about and what I can't.


What I can say is that I have received initial approval to lead a study into workplace mental health within accounting, legal and other professional services practices that will be for the benefit of all involved. It will be done through an online survey using scientific methodology under strict ethical guidelines. Once I have full ethical approval I will be able to discuss more.


My aim is for the study's result to be published in psychology, accounting and legal media publications once the analysis and write up is concluded.


Once I have ethical approval I will be able to talk about this more, but for now, if you are one of my network who works in the professional services sector, I would welcome a discussion and to invite you and your teams to take part in the study once it starts later in the year.


My belief is that we in professional services can build mental healthy workplace cultures and that we can support all our team members throughout their lives.


If you are interested in talking to me about this, please feel free to e-mail me at andy@andysalkeld.com.


Closure

I try not to dwell on the past. For many 2020 has been a tough, tiring and trying year. Whilst the year itself might be behind us, the repercussions will be with us for a long time. I personally am not expecting 'normality' for many months and see the longer term impact of the year lasting for a lot longer.


I wish all of you the best as we enter 2021 and look forward to catching up with you all either in person or on Teams.


Andy Salkeld

just another guy



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