Clive Branson’s Story: The Importance of World Mental Health Day
This exclusive guest blog post was written by Clive Branson. Clive is a former Royal Air Force member who experienced a tragic loss when his father passed away and he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and cancer. The experience led to severe mental health issues, which Clive reflects on in this post, as well as the process of finding mental peace and his role as a mental health speaker.
Over the last five years, my mental health has been severely compromised. Forcing my mind to discover hidden reserves of resilience and fortitude, that I didn’t realise I had. My story so far has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster, that includes personal grief, terminal illness, psychiatric hospitals, and the total loss of confidence and identity.
Related Post: Ultimate Guide to World Mental Health Day
This journey stole my perspective, disguised any signs of hope, and allowed severe anxiety to impose its vice-like grip. However, thanks to the unconditional love and support from my incredible family and friends, I was able to regain perspective. To grip the side of the slide and re-discover hope, nurture positivity, and learn how to adopt a positive mindset.
This profound story, associated experiences, and ongoing life lessons are a vehicle that I choose to use, as I endeavour to inspire, encourage, educate, and motivate others as a speaker. I have come to realise that we must live life, on life’s terms. And that we can influence very little, and control even less.
Whilst I’m in danger of sounding like a slogan on a fridge magnet, we hear repeatedly that ‘you only live once.’ But actually, this saying is factually incorrect.
Because we only die once, and we live life every day!
My medical condition changed almost every aspect of my life. However, it will not define me. In my search for a new direction, I decided to play to my strengths. Having red hair and a big gob, the world of public speaking was beckoning me forward. I learned about speaker bureaus, studied successful speakers, and began to share my story.
I spoke to schools, colleges, universities, Premier football foundations, Police forces, and corporate events. I was even honoured to speak at the Chris Evans’ CarFest event this summer.
“We were absolutely honoured to have Clive speaking at our Wellness Festival at CarFest this year. Clive was incredibly inspirational and had the audience hanging on his every word. We are hoping he considers joining us in 2023!”
– Alice, Event Production & Talent Management
This new career path is proving to be hugely personally rewarding. I have always been a people person, so connecting with my audience, gauging their reaction, and experiencing the shared inspiration and positivity as I close my presentation is something that I hope to continue for many years to come.
Mental health is thankfully discussed more now in peoples’ personal and professional lives. Prominent people within sports, entertainment, and the wider media have bravely chosen to put the unforgiving spotlight on their own stories. Demonstrating that fame, fortune, and a filtered social media presence, often hide the challenges of real life.
We have to develop and grow as a society. To the point where we recognise, respect, and give credence to, mental health, as we do physical health. The stresses and strains of everyday life will not cease. However, striving to raise awareness and develop a general understanding of mental health must continue, the world over.
Now, as I have already stated, sharing my story is proving to be rewarding on a personal level. The inspiration and positivity I express to my audience bounce back at me. Replenishing my reserves and leaving me searching for my next engagement! But this journey also exposes a harsh reality. And that is, there is a huge number of people, from all walks of life, that are in immediate need, of empathy and support.
Whilst I fully accept that I am a one-man drain on the NHS, and whilst this is certain to continue, I will remind myself every day, that I love, and I am loved. My wife is a force of nature, and she is very well aware that I have stretched the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows, but she stands by my side, guiding me through life, whatever the weather. We have four sons, and three grandchildren, so therefore our house does not have a front door, but a revolving door.
These blessings keep me buoyant and strengthen my resolve. Please recognise and support this year’s World Mental Health Day, on the 10th of October. Let’s work in earnest towards “making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority!”
Book Clive Branson as Your Mental Health Speaker for World Mental Health Day
If you are interested in booking a Clive Branson, get in contact with one of our dedicated booking agents on 0203 9816 296 or fill out our online contact form to enquire about speakers for World Mental Health Day.