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Simon Jay

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Simon leads the Commercial team at JAAQ At Work, and has spent 16 years in the field of mental health following his own experience of severe depression. Ask him about his backgroun...

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Who are you?

So my name is Simon Jay. I'm a father to two amazing little boys, age, six weeks and five years old. I'm engaged to my wonderful fiance and I live in a small village in Hartfordshire.

What is your role at JAAQ?

So I lead the commercial team, although I don't really like the term commercial, in all honesty, I couldn't sell double glazing or something that I wasn't truly passionate about. But I don't believe people can be convinced to buy anything that they don't genuinely need or want. So selling to organisations has changed dramatically over the last few years, and my role is to ensure that we're doing our best to educate people as early as possible and providing people like you with as much information as we can, and in an upfront way as we can, so that you can make an informed decision about what is right for you, your people, and your business. Working with JAAQ is a true partnership, and my role is to ensure that we're not only partnering with the right businesses to deliver impacts, but providing a long lasting service to see tangible outcomes for you year on year.

What is your background?

So my background going back a few years is that I struggled terribly with severe depression between the ages of 18 and 20, and it all culminated in me trying to end my life when I was at university. My dad turned up at my uni dorm room the very next day, sensing something wasn't quite right with me, and he took me out, and that was the first time I'd opened up to anyone about how I was feeling. My knowledge of mental health prior to that was almost non-existent. I felt alone. I felt like I was a burden on everyone around me, and I felt like I'd never be able to achieve anything. From then on. It was a period of recovery, and I found my first full-time job recruiting psychiatrists and psychologists for the NHS and for large private mental health hospital groups, which I found absolutely fascinating. I got to learn all about clinical psychology, forensic psychiatry, and psychology counselling, and all the qualification routes and subspecialties and much more. I was never the best recruiter. I didn't make the most money in any of the companies I worked for, but I was truly passionate about doing things in an ethical way. I'm still proud to be connected 15 years later to many of the doctors I used to speak with regularly who kindly put their trust in me. Having worked in several recruitment firms, setting up their mental health departments, I founded my own firm thinking I could do things in a more ethical way only to be stung by my investor and having to wind the company down so, so much for ethical recruitment practises. Right from there, I joined the first business to business preventative mental health app as their first employee and grew the company to a team of 18 people working with me, supporting organisations all over the world from some of the largest fts, E 100 organisations, down to small but very mighty SMEs. I get a lot of satisfaction and unable to sleep well at night knowing that if I've helped one person today with their mental health, I've had some sort of small impact on someone who's needed help, and that's what gives me my motivation.

Why did you get involved in JAAQ?

Can you tell me something unique about you?