My Story

A bit about me and how 'Talk About It Mate' came to be

A little bit about my background

My name is Mike and I have managed various issues throughout my adult life. Since 2010 I have been working as a primary teacher, however I am planning to continue my Counselling studies by starting a masters in 2020. Nowadays I manage my struggles well and further counselling and self-exploration led to me being diagnosed with ADHD in late 2018.

I am a Primary Teacher with over 10 years’ experience in a career which has brought me back to Manchester via The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and London. In 2018 I completed the Level 2 CPCAB Counselling Skills Qualification at MCTC and I am planning to begin a masters in Counselling at Salford University in 2020. More recently I completed Mental Health First Aid training for Adults.

The principles of Courage, Compassion and Connection run through my personal journey and guide me with all that I do for Talk About It Mate. Firstly, I showed Courage to want to make a change in my circumstances, which led to adopting a Self-Compassionate approach to my thoughts, feelings and actions. Next, I then began to project my compassionate qualities outward to others with the creation of this group. Finally, I have reached a stage where I regularly use Connection to present an authentic, organic and empowered version of myself.

Where my journey started

My issues with mental health became apparent when I started university aged 18 and dropped out due to depression, but in reality, they began much earlier. I struggled throughout my twenties to deal with worry, stress and ultimately anxiety making me deeply unhappy and affecting my confidence, self-esteem and resulting in weight-gain. I began drinking more and became deeply frustrated, experiencing problems in both my career and relationship, culminating in a traumatic mental breakdown in 2015.

Since then I have made significant changes to my life, while overcoming setbacks, of which I am incredibly proud. I have lost four stone in weight, found a caring and supportive partner, began my Counselling studies and created and founded Talk About It Mate after I shared my experiences in a blog post. I am unashamedly open, authentic, honest and inspiring – the embodiment of what I know Talk About It Mate can achieve. I am finally discovering who I am as a person and being true to myself as I learn and strive for personal growth. I know I can inspire positive change in others by being my authentic self.

Founding Talk About It Mate

My initial aim was to help people to understand my own struggles, however before long I realised that I could potentially help others make sense of their own. I thought if I could help just one person it would be a success!

Now the Talk About It Mate MeetUp group has exceeded 500 members and we have held dozens of peer-support events. Recently registered as a non-profit Social Enterprise (Community Interest Company) I am pleased to offer workshops, peer-support safe talk spaces, mental health education in schools as well as 1:1 talk therapy.

Learn More About What I Do

Join our community and attend local meetups!

A friendly, non-judgemental environment in which to meet others who share similar experiences