Ultimate Guide: Speakers for Mental Health Awareness Week Events in 2022
A recent online poll conducted by YouGov discovered that 74% of people in the UK have felt so stressed at work, they have been “overwhelmed or felt unable to cope”. This staggering statistic demonstrates just how prominent mental health issues are in modern society, as this study was the largest known stress study ever conducted in the UK, and the importance of Mental Health Awareness Week.
This week is a great opportunity for workplaces to shift their perspective on mental health, and value the power of wellbeing. Here at the Champions Speakers agency, we understand how important it is to support the mental health of all our employees. This includes wellbeing initiatives, such as monthly massages and free access to our on-site gym.
Use our simple contents list below and navigate to our FAQ section, our selection of the best speakers for 2022, and 12 additional speakers available this year.
My Favourite Mental Health Speakers for 2022 Events
Blog post author Sophia Hayes chooses her favourite mental health speakers for this year's awareness events.
Personal stories of determination in the face of depression and anxiety can be the inspiration people need to overcome hurdles in their own lives.
A testament to the power of mental health speakers, below are three inspiring anecdotes from sporting stars, that show the importance of health over success, and calm during periods of high pressure.
World Cup Winner Speaks Up About Anxiety on ITV's 'This Morning'
Jonny Wilkinson's hair-raising story is a fixture of the history books; however, his intense battle with anxiety was kept secret for a large portion of his career. A heroic sportsman, few could have predicted his struggles, such is the unrelenting nature of mental health - it can burden even the strongest of people.
Showing an immense amount of bravery, Jonny later spoke candidly about his struggles on ITV’s This Morning, dismantling the negative stereotypes surrounding masculinity and mental health.
Jonny credits his strength to mental conditioning, a state of self that allowed him to manage the stress of his professional career. From flying high with the England Rugby Team to suffering from anxiety and, following Jonny’s silent battle, coming out the other end, his story is truly inspiring.
He is now a prominent mental health speaker, whose authenticity resonates with audiences, teaching them the essential strategies for managing high-pressure situations.
"Jonny is one of my favourites because he appeals to all audiences. Whether you are a fan of rugby or not, he has such a compelling presence on stage it is impossible not to be hooked by his story!"
Iconic Olympic Champion Joins the Mental Health Minute Campaign
Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic legend. As the poster athlete of the 2012 London Olympic Games, her gold medal is a testament to Jessica’s strength and determination.
However, her career hasn’t always been podium finishes and cheering crowds, she has also been honest about the crushing pressure of competing and how she managed “mum guilt” as an athlete.
Recently, Jessica helped voice the first radio ad for Mental Health Awareness Week, alongside the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Lady Gaga, Dame Judi Dench and David Hill.
The one-minute-long broadcast was played on all UK radio stations at 10:59 am, and racked up the biggest ever collective radio audience, helping to change the conversation and stigma attached to mental health. As a mental health speaker, Jessica conveys the same message, to change perceptions at events.
"I love the Olympics, so had to include an Olympian in my pick of the top mental health speakers. Jessica is such an inspiring person, aside from her success as an athlete she is also a powerful advocate for mental health."
Former International Footballer Discusses His Struggles with Depression
“Don't suffer in silence” - The words of former England international, Premier League and Championship goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland. His message is clear, talking to someone can be the catalyst to changing one's life, and tackling the serious symptoms of mental health illnesses.
Following his retirement, Chris opened up about how his depression made him feel “trapped, paralysed [and] desperate”, a sentiment felt by sufferers everywhere.
Now, Chris encourages people to value their mental health and listen to their bodies when the professional pressure feels overwhelming.
He openly promotes the importance of reaching out for help, stating; "there was a fear. But as soon as you talk, that’s when you’re helping yourself and your family”. Taking to the speaking circuit, Chris’ story of bravery in the face of depression serves to inspire audiences across the world.
"On the pitch, Chris Kirkland is a formidable goalkeeper, but off the pitch, he talks openly about his mental health. That is what makes Chris so special to me, he is a young speaker with an important message to share."
12 Additional Mental Health Speakers Available for 2022 Events
One of the best ways to promote kindness is through an expert on mental health. Our inspiring speakers use their stories to inspire a new perspective and instil strength in audiences.
An event featuring one of our top mental health speakers casts positive ripples through their audience's lives, encouraging self-love.
Britain’s first openly gay rugby union player, Gareth Thomas, made history when he came out in 2009. The star was a huge success on the pitch, playing 100 times for his country, but off the pitch, he suffered from mental health issues.
Trying to hide his true sexuality, he got married in his teens and when he came out and got a divorce, he made several suicide attempts. Incredibly honest, Gareth opens up about his experiences at events, opening the audience’s eyes.
Previous testimonials of Gareth's include:
"We all very much appreciated his kindness and honesty in sharing his journey with us. Gareth was a huge hit and we have received nothing but positive feedback about the evening from clients and staff alike."
- Stephenson Howard Law Firm
People within the LGBT community are at a greater risk of mental health problems, according to an online report. As a trans woman, Kellie Maloney has lived this statistic, and through her work as a diversity and inclusion speaker highlights the essential need for increased support.
At events, she can give inspiring speeches about her own experiences as a trans woman, as well as her career in boxing.
Previous testimonials of Kellie's include:
“We have just finished working with Kellie on a large-scale conference. The theme was around gender identity and stereotypes, and our audience was split between practitioners and members of the public. Kellie was an absolute joy to work with from the start. Kellie arrived early to conduct media interviews which she was incredibly professional at doing. Kellie has a true talent for public speaking and is a great name to attract people to your event. My thanks also to the team at Champions UK who were easy to work with, and always communicated with me promptly.”
- Safer Poole Partnership
One of England cricket’s greatest ever batsmen, Jonathan Trott, represented his country in the world’s biggest cricket events. This includes being a member of three back-to-back Ashes wins, but it was during the 2013/14 Ashes that he suffered his lowest point in cricket.
In the middle of the series that saw England defeated by Australia, Jonathan suffered from anxiety so severe he flew home from the event, describing it as a “long-standing, stress-related condition". Through his speeches, Jonathan discusses this time in his life, and how he lives with anxiety.
Previous testimonials of Jonathan's include:
"Jonathan went down really well on Saturday, the room was really quiet and engaged!"
- Leicester Tigers
Ollie Ollerton gained several incredible skills and thrilling experiences from the Special Forces, including determination, mental resilience and leadership.
However, coupled with the highs were also devastating lows, traumatic experiences that left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicidal thoughts. Ollie recounts the actionable strategies that he used to turn his mental health around, positively influencing audiences.
Previous testimonials of Ollie's include:
"Ollie was brilliant, his speech was insightful, motivating and relevant. We had really good feedback from those who attended and our Project Director was very impressed. A couple of people mentioned they wanted to ask a question during Q&A but they were a bit star-struck. And some have said they are going to buy his book, so clearly, Ollie made quite an impact. Ollie was a pleasure to work with yesterday so please pass my thanks and feedback on to him. From myself, and on behalf of the LM Leadership, a massive thank you to Champions and Ollie."
- LM JV
DR CHRISTIAN JESSEN
Popular television presenter and respected doctor, Dr Christian Jessen, found fame on such shows as Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny. While Christian was helping patients overcome their issues, he himself was struggling with body dysmorphia and depression.
When booked for events as a celebrity mental health speaker, he takes audiences on an inspiring journey of recovery, proving that mental strength is possible with professional help.
Previous testimonials of Dr Jessen's include:
“You were fantastic to work with and we were very happy with Dr Christian.”
Samantha Clarke is an authority on workplace culture and employee happiness. She tours the speaking circuit sharing her wisdom, encouraging business leaders and managers to value the importance of their teams' wellbeing above all else.
Samantha believes that the key to business success is an environment that promotes innovation, not judgement, support not criticism; a belief that has made her one of the best workplace wellbeing speakers available to book.
Previous testimonials of Samantha's include:
"It was very obvious that Samantha loves what she does and cares about helping people. She genuinely cared about the problem we were having on our team and thought very critically about what could be done to help solve it. We appreciate Samantha’s hard work and dedication. She is a very talented woman, my team enjoyed working with her"
- Shopify Studio Team
Widely regarded as one of Britain’s Brainiest Footballers, Clarke Carlisle is a vocal advocate for positive mental health and inclusion within sports.
Having appeared in the documentary, Is Football Racist?, he bravely takes to the speaking circuit to showcase the mental strength he needed to recover from a suicide attempt. Clarke can connect with audiences on a personal level, to make a life-changing impression.
Previous testimonials of Clarke's include:
"Absolutely amazing! They were fantastic and surpassed all our expectations. The event went even better than we could ever have hoped for. Thank you for all of your help."
- South East Water
DR BRENÉ BROWN
Best-selling author and emotional intelligence expert, Dr Brené Brown, has dedicated her career to the study of human emotion; shame, courage and vulnerability to name a few.
Her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, has been viewed over 50 million times, a testament to Brené's popularity as a speaker. When booked for events, she provides audiences with empathetic and scientific analyses of mental health.
Dr Brown's speaking topics include:
Dare to Lead
Braving the Wilderness
The Courage to Stand Alone
The Quest for True Belonging
Though Marcus Trescothick thrived as part of one of the most successful teams in cricket history, the pressure of performing at such an elite level eventually took its toll.
He discusses with audiences his experience of depression and anxiety as a sports mental health speaker, offering a thought-provoking perspective on pressure, mental resilience and self-belief.
Previous testimonials of Marcus' include:
"Marcus was also great, to have someone speak so candidly about their anxiety and how they cope with it was super refreshing – and I must say I’ve never seen the Hg audience so engaged. So a big thank you to him too."
After falling victim to an acid attack, Katie Piper's life was turned upside down. As a former model, she was forced to redefine her perspective of beauty, an experience that she shares with audiences.
Katie now encourages people to address their own idea of beauty, promoting body positivity through her inspiring story of resilience.
Katie's speaking topics include:
Michelle Elman is a body positivity advocate and influential TED Talk speaker. As a life coach with Mindset for Life, she has developed several campaigns like Scarred not Scared, that have helped thousands of people to love their bodies.
Through social media, publications and her speaking arrangements, Michelle is on the frontline of the battle for body positivity.
Previous testimonials of Michelle's include:
“Michelle was invited to speak about Battling Body Image and Surviving with Scars at our Find Your Sense of Tumour Weekend for young people who have or had cancer. Body Image is an important issue for our young people and Michelle provided some fantastic guidance and insights and really resonated with the audience. We are hoping she will come again!”
- Teenage Cancer Trust
Bryony Gordon is a successful journalist, who has enjoyed a career writing columns for the likes of the Sunday Express, The Mirror and The Daily Telegraph. Bryony is also the Host of the Mad World podcast and has released several books including the titles The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos and Mad Girl.
Throughout her career, Bryony has struggled with OCD, Alopecia, drug dependency and bulimia, all of which she discusses openly in her books and as a mental health speaker. An avid supporter of mental health charities, book Bryony to create open and supportive conversations surrounding mental health.
Previous testimonials of Bryony's include:
"We have had amazing feedback from the audience and we couldn't be happier with the event, Bryony was a pleasure to work with and listen to!"
- Jamie, J.P Morgan
Book a Mental Health Speaker for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
Sophia Hayes joined the family business in 2011 as Champions’ Magazine Sales Director and Sports Manager. She has spent the last decade managing the Aspirational and Inspirational Magazines, which were named “the best independent magazine[s] in... Read more
Champions does not speak for or claim to represent all the individuals listed on this website as the exclusive booking agent or agency unless specifically stated. Acts listed on this site are for informational purposes only.