Acknowledging mental health
Mental health is a really hot topic at the moment and for all the right reasons. Your mental health is not an anyway separate from your physical health, they are one and the same. But it’s invisibility makes it difficult to understand both for the individual and those around them.
At University, my friend Rob and myself always talked about starting our own design agency. And at at the age of 23 we set up Morrama. It was a risky, but neither of us had heavy financial responsibilities; no mortgage, no family, very little stopping us jumping in head first. We spent the initial 6 months landing our first big client, setting up shop in Shoreditch, hiring our first employee and generally making it by the skin of our teeth. After that 6 months I made the decision to quit my part time job and put everything into Morrama.
6 months after that - Rob left to start another business.
Looking back a lot of what happened after that all kind of blurs into one. It was about making ends meet in whatever way possible. I threw myself into work. Working all hours, jumping on flights across the globe, having client meetings at 10pm and 6am depending on timezones. I hired three more team members and found myself at 25 years old with three salaries to pay, clients to keep happy, a project that kept taking me off to China for 2 weeks at a time and a full time product design job to fit in, not to mention working out VAT bills and invoices.
Only now, looking back, do I know that by this point the lifestyle I was leading and the level of stress I was putting on myself was beginning to have an impact on my mental health. The problem was I had noone to talk to about it.
Over the next month I’m going to be writing some more about the key factors in both the low points and the high points of the last 3 years. When you wish to have a conversation about something, someone has to talk first. By opening up a dialogue, hopefully more people will feel able to openly acknowledge that everyone has mental health and it's OK to talk about it.
The first of these blog posts is about my search for a teacher.