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Dan’s story…

Where do I start? Well, my name is Dan, a proud Ambassador of Dorset Mind and I live with Biploar Disorder.

After growing up in the military and a brief but destructive few years in hospitality, I moved to Bournemouth to start a career in Digital Marketing & Technology in 2010. I subsequently started my own consultancy in 2015, where I specialised in supporting charities and social enterprises flourish through digital.

What are your interests?

My interests all seem to be fitness related. I enjoy football, swimming, climbing; and running is my new favourite. I’ll run anywhere, any time with anyone – it helps clear my mind!

How did you come to Dorset Mind?

I was due to run the London Marathon for Mind, and engaged with the Dorset Mind team to support my fundraising efforts. It was then that I was made aware that I could choose to fundraise for my local community instead of the national charity; which is when I decided to campaign for Dorset instead.

Has anything changed since learning more about mental health and wellbeing?

I suppose my whole life has. From a personal point of view, I have become so much more aware of my own mental health. This has led me to empathise more with my surroundings.

On top of this, I have been influenced by wanting to create a much more accepting world of mental health. I started two mental health companies in recent years; Zero Percent – an online store and journal that raises awareness around suicide prevention, and Well Good – an online mental health workplace platform that looks to prevent employees from crisis.

How has Dorset Mind helped you?

Yes it has. Not only has Dorset Mind helped me with my own mental health, but they have connected me with an incredible community that firmly believes in inclusion and diversity.

What do you hope to achieve and what’s driving you?

For me, being able to inspire other men to be able to speak out about their mental health is extremely important. On top of that, to be able to share my entrepreneurial highs and lows, as it’s a big contributor to my mental state. It’s likely to be the same for other people in a similar situation.

My goal is to inspire others to live more positively with their mental health. To start with, that involves creating awareness around how someone can live positively with bipolar. Secondly, it is to be able to help support Dorset Mind thrive; to be able to support those who need it most.

One piece of advice I can give:

There is a lot of advice out there for people looking to improve their mental health. But for me, I think the absolute game-changer in how I manage my mental health was when I started to reflect regularly, and plan to achieve something everyday – no matter how small.

On top of that, stay active. No matter how I feel, I try to get out for an hour or so for a walk or run down the park or beach. I will often come back with a new sense of perspective that I might not have if I’d be stuck indoors.

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