Does having a mental health problem make you less qualified for a job? Of course not. But sadly, some people still hold this belief.

When I was working for Time to Change over the summer last year, I interviewed so many people who had experienced bullying and discrimination as a result of disclosing their mental health problems. I’ve experienced the same myself. It’s disgusting that this still happens in 2019.

But this isn’t just about promoting peer support roles – as brilliant as they are. It’s about the fact (yes, the fact) that people with mental health problems are no less likely to make an inspirational and dynamic leader in a wide range of roles and sectors.

To prove this point, I interviewed former NHS trust chief executive, Lionel Joyce, who has previously been hospitalised due to bipolar and depression, and who experienced problems with alcohol due to his attempts at self-medication.

Having this experience informed his approach to developing the trust and its services. It’s not just about the front line conversations between mental health nurse and patient. It’s about designing services and policies for people.

If you’d like to find out more, there are three ways you can join in the conversation.

  1. Listen to the full interview with Lionel on my podcast by following this link.

2. Read the article in The Independent, featuring comments from Lionel as well as others who have experienced negativity with regards their experience.

3. Check out the conversation on Twitter following the podcast and Independent piece with this Twitter moment.

Let me know what you think!

Lucy x

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