My unexpected journey

Sometimes our lives don’t follow the path we had expected. If you had told me six years ago that I would be a published author and a Beyond Blue speaker I would have looked at you as if you’d just told me Donald Trump had won the Nobel Peace Prize and the earth was flat.

And if you had told me back then that I would now be teaching in a school that built a wellness centre called The Lighthouse, I would have shaken my head and asked you what planet you came from.

Well-being at work

The place where we work has a huge impact on our well-being. As Johann Hari highlights in Lost Connections, his game-changing book about depression, feeling appreciated by our employers, being in a workplace that supports us through good times and bad and welcomes our individuality, is vital to our well-being. Knowing we have control over the work we do, that it is valued, and that we are trusted, is also crucial for good mental health.

A healthy work environment is one that embraces growth, change, and new ideas, not one that remains static and says ‘this is how we do things here’. Toxic work environments can have a devastating effect on our well-being. Exclusion, rumour-spreading, undermining, closed mindsets, prejudice, negativity, ignorance and judgement are just some examples of damaging workplace behaviour.

Schools, like any other workplace, need to prioritise health and well-being, for students and staff alike. And they need to walk their talk, not just make lofty mission statements and cite values that mean nothing unless they can be seen in action.

I’m thrilled to now find myself in a school where I’m not only valued as a teacher of languages, but also as a writer and mental health advocate.

Persistence, purpose and passion

Six years ago I was broken, depressed, consumed by grief, beyond despair. I am living proof that with persistence and resilience you can recover from almost anything. I transformed my life by finding my voice through writing and speaking, by discovering a new sense of purpose, by learning and reconnecting.

I continue to share my passion for languages, in a school that prioritises well-being for all, and I couldn’t be happier. Funny thing, life.

To read my first Lighthouse News article in full click below.

You can read the full story of my journey through anxiety and depression, in my book, Changing Lightbulbs, available by clicking the link or on Amazon.

To book me as a speaker for an event email


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