Welcome back how did you make itMetro.co.uk, Metro.co.uk’s weekly career travel series.
This week we speak with Dr. Nick Taylor, a mental health expert and ex-psychiatrist who is doing building now just chilla workplace mental health platform that he co-founded.
Mental health provisions often seem few and far between, especially with the insufficient funding the NHS is getting in this area.
Nick knows this very well, having started his career in the NHS.
He’s now working with companies like ASOS, Uber and John Lewis to make sure employees are equipped with tools to help them with well-being and mental health.
His goal is to “create more mentally healthy workplaces,” something we can all aspire to.
The 39-year-old from Hampshire has always known mental health was his area of interest.
Here’s how he achieved it.
Hi Nick. When and how did you know you wanted to be in the medical and psychological field?
I grew up with three sisters. My middle sister, Jessica, has Down Syndrome, which has had a huge impact on my growing up, leading to my fascination with the human mind at a very young age.
This passion for psychology only grew stronger later in my life after I began volunteering with the Samaritans, as well as being a support worker for the mental health charity Mind Mind, and working with people suffering from mental ill health.
How do you think Jessica influenced your career decisions?
Growing up with Jessica shaped my life in so many ways – more than I can remember – and I could spend many hours talking about it.
I think as a result of Jessica, I learned early on the value of being different, how to accept people as they are, and how to engage and build deep and meaningful relationships with people less dependent on words and conversations.
I also learned a great deal about humor, honesty and how to have fun.
How has volunteering with Samaritans helped your career journey?
My mother has been a Samaritan for many years and I have always respected and admired her for giving priority to this work, she was the one who inspired me.
I was a Samaritan towards the end of my studies and found the experience rewarding but challenging.
As an organization, it is made up of an army of amazing volunteers who make themselves ready to talk to people in crisis.
The foundational training they provided was invaluable and helped shape some of my early thinking about how to engage people therapeutically.
How did you train for the position you hold today and how many years did it take?
While I initially graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in classical music, the experience I had as a Samaritan and mental support worker greatly influenced my decision to return to university in 2007 and earn my degree in Psychology.
After graduating from Cardiff University in 2008, I took some time to reflect on the path ahead, and eventually applied for a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield, where I spent three years before graduating in 2013.
This is a thoughtful key. What happened from there?
I wanted to go straight to the front lines and started working as a clinical psychologist with the NHS in south London for two years, before taking on a leadership role with the Kensington & Chelsea Community Learning Disabilities team in 2015.
I was also briefly on the Board of Trustees of Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma – a charity that supports mental health initiatives for small businesses and individuals.
Four years with the NHS has really opened my eyes to how we can adapt the technologies we’ve used to help our patients, and apply them in the field of corporate wellness – specifically why and how organizations can benefit by taking care of their employees.
This sparked the idea of Unmind.
When you came up with Unmind, how did you manage to make it happen?
Throughout my time on the NHS, I faced three different scenarios that left me very frustrated.
First, I have not met any of my patients in time on their mental health journey.
Second, it is often very difficult to access the right resources for mental health care despite living in a technologically advanced world where information is at the touch of a screen.
Finally, the focus should be on to forbid Mental ill health rather than just treatment.
The truth is that no matter how much we invest in conventional mental health services treatment, there will never be enough resources.
This is where digital comes into play in providing a scalable, affordable platform that is customized to everyone’s unique needs.
An average day in the working life of Dr. Nick
7 a.m.: Nick starts his day by spending time with his family and dropping his kids off to school
9 a.m.: He starts working and he’ll go through emails.
10 a.m.: Meetings will begin to discuss the development of his product.
2 p.m.: Nick will hold virtual meetings with clients, academics, senior HR officials, and our US-based colleagues.
7 p.m.: He’ll end up spending the evening with his family.
How do you relax and leave after a long day?
Spending time with my family in the evenings is always a priority, but I also try to make time for my hobbies which include gardening, playing music, and exercising, often with my colleague and co-founder Steve Peralta.
What do you love most about your job?
They are undoubtedly the people I surround myself with – my colleagues at Unmind, but also the ardent group of mental well-being advocates with whom I work closely.
These also include our clients who are driving a mental health transformation within their organizations and the broader industry.
Is there anything you don’t like?
I like to get more hours in the day!
Do you have an interesting career journey?
Do you have a story to share?
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