2023: A Year Shaping Mental Health

As the year winds down, I’ve been reflecting on the incredible opportunities and highlights that 2023 has brought!

This year has been about connections, sharing insights, and contributing to initiatives that align with the values of well-being and mental health.

Here’s just a snapshot of what has been, and an insight into what’s to come…

One of the highlights for me has been the privilege of supporting both Age NI and Relate NI for their winter campaigns. The festive season can be a challenging time for many, and being part of initiatives that bring warmth and support to those in need has been truly fulfilling. It’s a testament to the power of community and the difference we can make when we come together.

Collaborating with City & Guilds on a mental wellness project for their staff has been a unique and enriching experience. It’s a reminder that the conversation around mental well-being extends beyond personal spheres; it’s integral to our workplaces. The project aimed at fostering mental wellness among City & Guilds staff highlights the importance of creating environments that nurture the holistic well-being of individuals.

Engaging with educational leaders at headteachers’ conferences across the UK has also been a great experience. The education sector plays a pivotal role in shaping the well-being of our future generations. My keynote speeches at these conferences allowed for meaningful discussions around mental health, resilience, and the role of educators in a supportive, learning environment.

A festive highlight was interviewing with Fearne Cotton! Fearne Cotton, author, broadcaster and host of Happy Place podcast is launching her YouTube Christmas special series, and it was great to be a part of it. Conversations like these provide a platform to delve into essential topics around mental health, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Looking ahead to 2024, the journey continues with numerous corporate talks lined up. These engagements provide an opportunity to share insights and encourage a culture of well-being.

And of course, I am thrilled to continue my role on BBC 5 Live as the resident Sunday night therapist. This ongoing commitment allows for a consistent dialogue on mental health, reaching listeners across the airwaves and offering support and insights into navigating life’s challenges.

As the curtains fall on 2023, I carry forward the lessons, connections, and experiences into the coming year, hopeful for new opportunities to contribute to the well-being narrative.

Here’s to a great wrap-up of 2023 and an even better new year!

Owen x

2023: A Year Shaping Mental Health, blog by Owen O'Kane