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Daniel Wilsher

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Danny Wilsher is a full time award winning Public Speaker and founder of The Damaged Goods Co., an organisation formed to raise awareness around mental health and the effects of ch...

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What is your background?

So my background started when I was young and I unfortunately lost three grandparents at the age of five. Parents ended up divorcing at five years old, and my dad was an alcoholic, heavy drinker. Mum was a workaholic. But my life was thrown upside down when I unfortunately lost my dad to suicide at nine years old, which obviously was an event which threw my world upside down. And there was a complex belief system, which was formed at nine years old, which massively impacted my journey through both education and corporate. And I started to struggle with my mental health, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation at 17 years old. And the next few years would see me drop out of university. After failing first year and struggling for the next two years, it would see me lose a business, struggle to maintain my role in the corporate world, and kind of a mix of drugs and difficult behaviours in amongst all of that. And I then went through a year's worth of psychodynamic psychotherapy and medication. And that transformed my life. And what I learned in therapy has enabled me to be in a position where I'm today, where I am a mental health public speaker. I work with both schools and corporate businesses to deliver training guidance, to inspire people and give them the skills and tools that I didn't have when I was struggling.

What is Damaged Goods?

Damaged Goods is an organisation that I formed to change the mental health landscape in education and corporate through public speaking, staff training, consultancy, mental health first data impact sessions, which you may have not heard of before, but looking at ways that we can boost engagement for mental health. First data in the corporate world started consultancy projects as well. And all that has been designed to make sure, again, that I can inspire people to speak up, to normalise conversation, but then to also make sure that the organisations, whether it's a school or a corporate company, has the correct procedures in place to look after people should they feel like they can speak up.

Why did you choose the name Damaged Goods?

So this is actually an interesting question. A lot of people say to me, Daniel, why have you called a mental health business damaged goods? Like surely you can't use the words damaged. And for me, that's exactly why I used it, because the tagline is, we all have these areas of our lives that are damaged. That's what makes us human. It's how we deal with those areas that truly make us great. And that could be maybe someone said something about your teeth when you were young, so you look in a different direction when you smile, when you're older or you've been through trauma. I have, we all have these areas that are sensitive, that have been tough, and that do require a bit more support. But when we try and hide those as we often do in society, that's where the real damage is actually done. Because we pretend like they're not normal. They're not part of being a human. And actually in accepting those areas, what that enables to do us to do is to heal from them. And then when we heal from them, we can actually take that one step further and we can teach and we can give back. And when you do that, you flip these things that were once very heavy into something that is great and able to impact and create positive change. So I'm all about accepting those damaged areas and kind of using them for better.

Why do you talk openly about mental health?

Have you suffered with your own mental health?