Mental Health and Wellbeing with Chris Parsons

Chris Parsons, a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills for 36 years and Chairman of their India Practice for the last 16 years,  joins @drruth on the 11th Episode of Brain Health: Unchaining Your Pain.

Chris went public with his struggles in 2015 and since then has made it an essential part of his mission to help understand what mental ill health looks like. In this episode, we talk about how a combination of Chris’ unresolved childhood trauma due to an emotionally destructive relationship with his father, combined with the stress of his job, resulted in him having his first major mental breakdown in 1996 after collapsing in the gym.

After being told by the doctor, ‘there’s nothing wrong with you,’ the realization that his struggles were not physical but mental put him into a deep depression. At the time, the narrative at work was that ‘Chris is overdoing it and needs to recharge his batteries.’

The reality was very different as his specialist at the time described his mental breakdown as the equivalent of having a major heart attack. During the discussion, Chris praises the support offered by his firm and talks about the key steps they took to allow him to recover at his own pace without judgment.

In 2018, Chris completed an intensive program in Psychotherapy at Regent’s University in London. Chris’ passion now is mental health and wellbeing, and he is now a Trustee of MQ Mental Health

Having suffered from severe mental health issues himself, Chris is very aware of the stigma that surrounds the topic. He aims to reduce this stigma so that mental ill-health is treated the same as physical ill-health.

For more information about Chris: Website – LinkedIn

Books discussed in the Episode: When the body says no: The Cost Of Hidden Stress’ by Dr. Gabor Maté

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