Specialisms: Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Intrusive Thoughts and The Power of Exercise
Oly lost 10 years of his life to severe mental illness. Prior to that, he was a confident and outgoing 22-year-old with endless possibilities. He’d suddenly found himself trapped and consumed by negative thoughts, OCD, anxiety, and depression. The days quickly became very dark, and all the things he used to enjoy and the people he loved to see fast become a thing of the past.
Five years ago the discovery of running “saved his life”. This allowed him to temporarily escape the constraints of his mental illness and in time rediscover his love for life again. Through running, great people, and “learning to become comfortable feeling uncomfortable”- His confidence and self-belief grew. Which in time enabled him to step out of the dark and back in to the light.
Today, he’s a thriving International Lived Experience Speaker, Mental Health Advocate, and Mental Health Trainer, sharing his story and inspiring others to seek help and embrace their own journey of personal recovery. He delivers talks and training sessions on mental health and wellness all around the world, offering hope to those who are struggling with their own mental health challenges.
His goal now is to serve as a positive influence and support system for those struggling with mental illness. For World Mental Health Awareness Month this May 2023, Oly and a colleague are embarking on a speaking tour across the UK to raise awareness on the prevalence of youth mental ill health and promote change, empowering these young people to find their voices and be heard. Over 20 days they will be delivering 100 free talks, across 50 schools, impacting over 10,000 lives, and raising funds for mental health charities.
Through his speaking engagements and activism, he aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and inspire others to take control of their own wellbeing. He believes he’s proof that even in the face of adversity, it is possible with a diagnosed mental illness to reclaim your life, and find happiness and purpose.
Oly is the founder of Run4YourMind Foundation, Lights On Mental Health, and co-founder of Talks for Change Co.