Gill Hayes

Leading Mental Health Speaker

A four month sabbatical in the French Alps in 2010 gave Gill Hayes and her family space and time to think about what was really important to them in life. As a result, her husband sold his business and they relocated to Devon for a better quality of life for themselves and their children.

However, living the dream didn’t quite go according to plan when Gill became severely depressed. In March 2013, she attempted to take her own life by jumping from a bridge. Miraculously, she survived. In her journey back to physical and mental health, Gill learned a lot about depression, suicide and herself. In 2017, Gill shared the story of her suicide attempt at TEDx Exeter in an attempt to spread hope to others with depression and to challenge some of the beliefs around mental illness.

The overwhelming response to her talk made her realise that in sharing her experience, she could really make a difference to people’s lives, shining a spotlight on an often taboo subject. Since then Gill has been invited regularly to speak at events and conferences about mental health and suicide prevention. She has worked with a range of organisations including NatWest, the NHS, Stephens Scown, Marlborough Highways, The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, St John Ambulance and the Samaritans.

Gill has written for The Sunday Times Magazine and been featured in a range of other publications. Gill is an Ambassador for Action to Prevent Suicide, a Devon based Community Interest Company which promotes suicide safer communities through the creation of a network of trained Suicide First Aiders. Gill was voted one of the 100 most influential women by Grow Exeter in 2018.

To book Gill Hayes as the keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Gill is known to cover the following topics:

  • Mental Health
  • Good Health
  • Overcoming Adversity

“An inspirational speaker, Gill addressed an audience of over 400, ranging from 11-91year olds and you could hear a pin drop as she spoke”. – Emma, organiser of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Carol Service

“Gill is one of the most powerful, courageous speakers I have ever had the good fortune to hear speak. Her wit, her eloquence, her ability to engage an audience and most of all her willingness to make herself vulnerable makes her a rare and truly powerful speaker”. – Vik, GP and Medical Director to Blue Ventures

“Gill’s story was incredible and I really can’t remember the last time a speaker left me and quite a lot of the rest of the audience with tears in our eyes .. Gill’s story is powerful and needs to be heard” – Susan, Group Occupational Health & Wellbeing Manager, Yorkshire Water

“Gill has a powerful story to tell, one that impacts and moves people, in a positive way. She is an accomplished speaker who can adapt her message to varying audiences”. James Court, NatWest, Business Growth Enabler “Gill has a wonderful style, balancing confidence and charisma with sweetness and honesty!“ – Julia, Senior Conference Producer, St John Ambulance’s conference on Mental Health & Stress Management, December 2018

“Gill tells her very personal story with insight and poise, generating an electric charge throughout her audience. All, old and young, were totally engaged and inspired by her message. Thank you Gill – highly recommended.” – Chris, Founder of SW Growth Service

“Gill recently spoke at the Exeter PA Network breakfast meeting, and the room was spell bound by her story. She spoke so eloquently about such a deeply personal and difficult topic. She built rapport with the audience and her delivery was clear and engaging. Amazing job – very thought provoking. Gill is truly inspirational!” – Kim, Exeter PA Network

“Gill is an engaging and relatable speaker. She speaks about a difficult topic with a balance of realism and humour.”  – Emily, HR Manager, Stephens Scown

“Thank you again Gill. Can’t recommend her sessions enough to everyone.” – Mathew, QSHE Manager for Marlborough Highways