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Harry Corin

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Harry Corin lost his father to suicide at the age of 12 and going through university and employment, decided to hide his true life from everyone that he met. When he started to sha...

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Who are you?

Hi, my name is Harry Corrin, founder of Corrin and Co, a mental health training and consultancy business In this experience, you can ask me anything about suicide.

What is your background?

So I certainly didn't plan to get into this space. I grew up in a place called St. Ives in Cornwall. You might know it. It's a place where people are designed to be happy. Cocktails, the beach, sunshine. And for me, I had a very easy life. I had kind of one moment in my life that I wanted to get to. I wanted to be Alan Sheer the football player. That was my goal and that was my vision and my childhood. I was very lucky. I grew up on a campsite, which was just outside of St. Ives, massive tourist destination. And we had a football pitch on that campsite, and I just played football every single day at this campsite. My life was on this football pitch or thinking, dreaming about Newcastle United and Alan Shera. I woke up on a normal school day ready to go to what we have as a county show in Cornwall. I love this day, every single year. And I woke up and went downstairs and I could hear that there were people talking and there was lots of people voices that I recognised downstairs. And on that morning, I found out that my father had died by suicide. I don't remember a huge amount about what happened that day and my response, but there are a couple of things I can remember. One is that I asked to go to school. It was my favourite day of the year. They're not going to take that away from me. And I can remember vividly thinking that they cannot take this away from me as well. And I'm not a parent, but if I was, maybe I would've followed the same tracks as my mom. And they didn't let me go to school that day. But what they did do was allowed a compromise, which was for me to go and play football. So that whole day when I found out that my father had passed away by suicide, I just kicked a football. And I would occasionally have these thoughts in my mind where I remembered what they had told me, and I would close my eyes like this and hold my nose and almost like that. And I'm back in the room, back into reality again. Like, stop thinking about it. Come on, you can block this out. And I did that on the road first day. And I can remember vividly holding myself. And the reason why I say that is because it was the coping mechanism I had when I lost my father to suicide. I went the whole decade from that moment that I shared with you just then never telling anyone what happened. I would hide every single aspect of myself, the biggest parts of me from every single person that met me. It got to the point where people, as I was going through different life stages, actually thought that my dad still was a fireman and he still was an electrician. He was still back at home alive. That's how bad the lie got inside of me. And it started to eat away. I would get frustrated why nobody understood me and no one connected with me. And there were various moments that happened during that decade after. But I got to this point, materialistically in life where on paper I had quite a lot going for me. I had a good job. I was able to spend money and do the things I wanted to in life, but I just got so frustrated that no one had a clue who I was. So I, for the very first time in my life, started to actually question my whole life. Still feels weird saying it now that I had fought my way through every single stage, not telling the truth, putting this facade and fake persona onto everyone. And then suddenly I got to the point that I was aiming for and I wasn't happy myself. And I was actually drinking more, spending all my money, getting angry with people, didn't want to check the football scores would get angry. Every single phone call I had to the people that I loved. And when I was having these dangerous thoughts and scary thoughts, I decided to go to a GP for the first time in my life. And that moment was a powerful one in that I actually kind of admitted that I needed some help That moment when I was living in Cardiff, I remember breaking down to a gp. I poured my heart out to the poor GP and I said, yeah, this is what I'd done. This is how much I'd lied. This is how much I'd buried the fact that I lost my father to suicide, how frustrated I felt. And they encouraged me to access counselling and medication to support my mental health. And I came away feeling quite relieved. But in the moments when I left the GP surgery, I convinced myself that I'd got to this point. I had so many good things happening in my life. I could get through this and I could keep on getting through it. And I don't have to admit this to anyone. So I never took the GP up on any single thing that was offered to me. And the thoughts, the behaviours, the reactions in life just got worse and worse and worse and intensified. And I just quit. I quit my job. I wanted to quit life and out of the blue just quit my job. And on that moment, I spoke to people and said what I had done and people questioned my decision, but I just went for it. And this is where I got a huge strike of luck. And this is why I got into this work. I was commuting into our office at the new company that I worked for in Central London. And for those who know Central London, Waterloo is a busy place. It's a busy train station. And my goal was to get out of this train station as fast as I could. I didn't particularly like crowded spaces. And this was three weeks into my new job. So a kind of false sense of enjoyment. This kind of fake persona was back again. Nobody knew the truth still. But I was in London living a new life, and I got to the top four of our office block and we had a meeting planned of a new colleague. And outside of the window, a panoramic window that circulated our building were people standing on top of a building. About 500 metres down the road in this moment, single handedly changed my entire life. And there's no exaggeration In that statement whatsoever. The people standing on top of this tower that I could witness from our building were not real people, but they were real people. They were people who had been built by family members who had lost someone to suicide. It was called Project 84 and 84 was reflected of the number of men who die by suicide in 2018 by suicide every single week. This moment captured me. So my heart was racing, my mouth was going dry, was shaking. It was almost like an out of body experience, like what on earth am I witnessing? And I searched on my phone, people on Tower London, and then I was exposed to real people who had felt something similar to me. And this moment sparked, I guess it was a catalyst for me. It was a catalyst for me to question why I'd acted the way I had. Why I could never tell anyone why I couldn't speak about suicide. I couldn't admit anyone to the truth, to anyone. And it wasn't like straight away I could just start talking about suicide. But it was a moment where I told myself it wasn't just me. And I started to do calculations. Okay, well, 84 men a week, each one of them is probably a dad or a brother or a best friend or a boyfriend, and you keep going. The ripple effect of that. And then I started to realise, actually suicide is something that a number of people are affected by. And it's not just me, but for my whole life. Up until that point, I thought that was me, and that's why I first got into this work.

What is Corin & Co?

Co. And CO is a mental health training and consultancy business built on empathy. We deliver mental health and suicide prevention education to businesses across the world. We believe that personal lived experience combined with certified accreditation and courses can make a huge difference to workplaces. So we exist, yes, to supply organisations with high level training and education, but we do it through real people. Real people who are connected to mental health and suicide. People who have stepped away from their career and want to drive real change through their stories, but also through true education and Co. And co, for me, started as a hobby. Mental health was not something I wanted to talk about. I couldn't have given you an actual answer or description as to what mental health was. But in time, this passion and this energy, I needed to infuse and capture within a brand and a company. And I wanted to be connected and aligned with people who I trusted, people who I'd seen make real change in organisations across the world. So Coron and Co has a fantastic team behind me. People who allow for real life lived experience to be in the training room and the moments that we have with people in the workplace. It's just amazing and we hear such fantastic feedback, but personal feedback. And for me, I want to take Kron and Co across the globe and to continue to deliver amazing partnerships and amazing training services. And I couldn't be proud of what we have done.

Who works for Corin & Co?

Why do you talk openly about mental health?