Thriving mental health stories from 2018

We love hearing about people overcoming mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, phobias or personality disorders, and 2018 saw some great stories from around the world come to our attention.


Student mental health was in the spotlight in 2018 as high rates of depression and anxiety led many Universities to rethink their approach to treatment and prevention. Emily was one such student suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, which are often made worse by big life changes such as moving away to start University or a new job. But, as Emily explains in her video, she is now loving life at Uni after completing The Thrive Programme course and learning how her mental health works. She feels in control of life and no longer has panic attacks when faced with a potentially stressful situation.


We’re passionate about young people’s mental health and Ben’s story really made us smile after he took our young person’s Cure Your Emetophobia & Thrive course. Emetophobia is a chronic fear of vomit or being sick and it affects millions of men and women around the world, although it’s more common in the female population. It’s considered hard to treat by many doctors because they rarely understand the causes behind this often-complex phobia. But, as young Ben shows, with the right tools, training and knowledge, it’s possible for anyone to overcome emetophobia. Well done Ben!


Men’s mental health and depression has also been in the news frequently over the past year but one of our frustrations with media coverage is that it often gives unhelpful messages relating to stigma and talking therapies rather than offering ways to overcome clinical depression. So it’s great to see more stories like Raymond’s, who attests that anyone has the ability to overcome even severe clinical depression despite what uninformed campaigners might tell you.


The spring saw Thrive Consultant Katie Gow hit the news with her amazing abseiling and climbing adventure. Katie suffered from emetophobia for years before overcoming her phobia and training as a Consultant so she can help others overcome their mental health challenges. The thought of hanging off the side of a building on a bit of rope would have terrified Katie before she beat her phobia so it’s a great achievement and her smile at the end of the video in the article below is fantastic.


Sleep issues are a major cause and symptom of poor mental health with roughly half the population suffering from sleep problems in some form, but to suffer from insomnia for two decades is tough for anyone to endure. So we were thrilled to see how Peter had overcome his sleep challenges in just a few weeks with the aid of one of our Thrive Consultants. You’re never too old to Thrive!


We were all hooked on the World Cup and England’s progress to the semi-final this summer, and one of the most popular articles on our website analysed the psychological lessons the Three Lions have learnt to overcome their poor tournament form.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been the focus of increasing awareness in the past few years as people deal with the aftermath of traumatic events through the lens of blanket news coverage and social media. But too often the story is one of continued suffering rather than overcoming PTSD symptoms to live a normal life, thus giving hope and increasing agency to others in the same position. So we love Owen’s story for this reason – he’s a great example of someone who’s now Thriving in life after beating PTSD.


With a slew of reports and statistics hitting the headlines again in the summer, we decided to set out a different perspective on the subject – one that emphasises recovery and overcoming issues such as depression and anxiety, rather than living with these problems for years, sometimes decades. Check out the fascinating article below to find out who said: ‘If we had asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses’

The annual season of The Apprentice was also keenly watched by the team as Thrive Programme graduate Sabrina Stocker head to the board room to compete for the coveted top job with Sir Alan. She made it to the final five, only exiting after the dreaded interviews round, and went home with high praise from Sir Alan. Here’s her original testimonial video after completing one-to-one course with one of our Thrive Consultants.


One of our most-watched videos in September was coverage of Thrive Programme graduate Becci appearing on Good Morning Britain to talk about overcoming self-harming. Her bravery and confidence in talking about the subject was refreshing to see and will have given hope to many young people that self-harming can be overcome.


Our global team of Thrive Consultants not only help people to have amazing mental health, they also offer some fascinating insights (usually via our website) into the subject through their own experience, training and studies. One of the best in 2018 was Cambridge-based James Woodworth’s article on the power of imagining what you want, a subject that distance runner James explores beautifully.


Twice a year, the Thrive family get together for a conference to catch up on the latest mental health developments from guest speakers, Consultants and, of course, founder and CEO Rob Kelly. This winter was no exception as people from around the world gathered in sunny England to hear, amongst others, a fascinating talk from Dr Lucy Johnstone on how mental health diagnosis could be at the heart of the current crisis. It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in a new way of thinking about mental health diagnosis and treatment.


Just as the weather got really cold and nasty in the UK, Thrive Consultant Lisa Erlandsen undertook a notorious Tough Mudder race, showing amazing resilience as she battled through the race to finish and make the video below. The freezing cold was nothing compared to the warm glow of satisfaction upon completing a big challenge.

December also saw us announce two new Thrive Ambassadors to help spread the message about mental health empowerment around the communities. Welcome, Emily and Marilyn!

We were also really happy to hear from Lynnette, who has Lupus and was struggling with anxiety and poor mental health alongside dealing with her illness. Thankfully, she’s now able to manage her mental health so it works for her, not against, and is no doubt looking forward to a Thriving 2019!

To find out more about the courses used by all of the above people, browse our website or check out our YouTube channel.