What it really feels like to have a breakdown
On World Mental Health Day, during an in-depth article in the The Telegraph, Geoff shared how he came back from the brink.
“The tingling had been spreading through my fingers for a few minutes by the time my heart started to pound vigorously. I was struggling to breathe; my chest felt like it was closing in. My bed sheets were wet with sweat. Gasping, I told my wife I was having a heart attack. She asked me to walk slowly around the bedroom, taking deep breaths. I obliged, and once my breathing was under control I returned to bed. I was left staring at the ceiling, wondering what exactly had just happened.” Read more…
Geoff McDonald is now best known as a global advocate, campaigner and consultant who is passionate about addressing the stigma of mental ill health in workplaces, and helping organisations embed purpose as a key driver of business performance, and prior to this Geoff was the Global VP of Human Resources for Unilever.
As an advisor and consultant, Geoff draws on his experience of helping to architect the transformation of Unilever to an organisation with purpose at its core.
As an experienced keynote speaker, he has a reputation for energising and inspiring people to take action to create workplaces that enhance people’s lives with health and purpose at their core.
‘Let’s Talk About Mental Health’ – Watch Geoff describe his own personal experience of Mental Health and how it now drives his passion as a business advisor and campaigner.
‘Mental Health: A Personal Perspective’ – Listen to Geoff McDonald’s latest talk at TEDxHultLondon – May 2019.
You’ll find more videos, articles, reports, podcasts, interviews and other resources for people interested in putting purpose at the centre of organisational success and challenging the stigma of mental health in the workplace in the Media and Resources pages.
Laura Cook – Tesco Bank
“Thank you for joining us and inspiring us on our journey to rediscovering our purpose.”
Gilles Andrier – CEO Givaudan
“I just want to say THANK YOU for the wonderful session you arranged today. It was a discussion so vitally relevant and yet so strangely absent in all of our lives (business and personal). A really brave and forward-thinking initiative!”
Feedback after “How to Maintain Good Emotional & Mental Health During this Unprecedented Period” Webinar – RCL FOODS (South Africa)
“Having seen thousands of speakers over my many years in events, I can honestly say there are VERY few I’ve seen who have such an incredible stage presence. You had every single person captivated and the mind shift that was happening was palpable.
Thank you – not just for ending our conference in a way that I don’t think any of us could have quite anticipated – but also for helping open a door for so many people to start a conversation.
One of our most apparently ‘hard’ production guys immediately afterwards said to me ‘I’ve suffered from depression for years and I’ve never been able to talk about it to anyone and that’s really made me feel that I can’ – and if that’s not a total affirmation of your time on stage, I’m a monkey’s uncle!”
international Corporate Client – 2020
It’s so important to me that we continue to focus and prioritise mental health and it was a critical reminder for us all. Rest assured we will continue the conversation and focus.”
Steve Murrells – Co-op Group CEO
“Geoff draws you in with his very personal and emotional story and then gives everybody a metaphorical wake-up punch, driving home the clear message that business has an ethical responsibility to support the mental health and well-being of its people. It’s not a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential, it’s not ‘we’ll do something about it soon’, it’s ‘do it NOW’.”
Amy McDonald – Founder & CEO Headtorch
“Inspiring, shocking, thought-provoking and moving – I never tire of listening to Geoff tell his story of his battle with mental ill health and his journey to recovery. And he certainly made a significant impact on the 50-odd Kerry Foods colleagues who were listening this morning. His story of the power of love, hope and self-compassion is as human as it gets. You are doing amazing things to smash the stigma around mental health in the workplace Geoff. Thank you!”
Emma Rose – HR Director Kerry Foods
“I asked whether people would be willing to raise a mental health issue with the chain of command, the response was about 50:50. However far more valuable, and enlightening, was the number of people who took the time to seek me out and ‘discuss their position’. Even two weeks later people are still wanting to ‘just state their position’. It has been an incredibly insightful and humbling experience.”
Colonel Garry Hearn – Director at the Defence Academy – Following a talk by Geoff McDonald