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Imagine being on top of the world, literally, successfully holding a global role where you are making a difference.

And then mental health changes it all…

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 about helping organisations embed purpose as a key driver of business performance. 

But before that he was the Global VP of Human Resources for Unilever. During his 25 year career with the corporation with a turnover of £50 billion and 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world. His experience has been truly global, working across Africa, the Middle-East & Turkey, Australasia & Asia, Europe & the Americas.

In the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’, Geoff shared intimate insights into his personal mental health journey and the pivotal moments that led him from a successful corporate career to becoming a passionate voice for mental health awareness worldwide.

His HR experience spans leadership & talent development, organisation change, capability and business transformation with purpose at its core, and we’re delighted to announce this inspiring individual is now one of mentl’s official partners aimed at delivering transformational services to organisations.

And, if that’s not enough he will also be a judge in this year’s ‘the mentl awards 2024’, which will be officially launching soon.

Email awards@mentl.space for more information about entering or becoming a sponsor.

A panic attack that led to a revelation

Despite his successful corporate life, Geoff faced a significant turning point when he experienced a panic attack in 2008, leading to a diagnosis of anxiety-fueled depression.

This marked the start of his journey towards prioritising mental health and destigmatising mental illness. Geoff emphasised the role of love and hope in his recovery, underscoring the importance of seeking support and openly addressing mental health challenges.

Geoff’s decision to confront the stigma surrounding mental health was pivotal in his recovery process. Through openness with family, friends, and colleagues, he found strength in vulnerability and built a strong support system.

His experience with a colleague’s struggle and recovery further fueled his advocacy efforts, aiming to create a world where individuals feel empowered to seek help for mental and emotional well-being.

Listen Now

This  transformative journey from corporate executive to mental health advocate exemplifies the power of resilience, openness, and advocacy in navigating mental health challenges.

By sharing his story and insights, Geoff continues to inspire individuals and companies to prioritize mental well-being, foster supportive environments, and drive positive change in how mental health is perceived and addressed in professional settings.

Five Ways Companies Can Boost Mental Health

1. Foster Supportive Work Cultures:

Encourage open dialogue, provide mental health resources, and promote work-life balance.

2. Prioritise Mental Health Training:

Offer training programs to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and equip employees with coping strategies.

 3. Implement Well-being Initiatives:

Establish wellness programs, mental health days, and activities that promote self-care.

4. Support Employee Assistance Programs:

Ensure access to professional support, counseling services, and mental health resources.

5. Cultivate Leadership Involvement:

Encourage leaders to role model healthy behaviors, prioritise mental wellness, and advocate for mental health awareness in the workplace.