Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Depression & Mental Health in the Accounting World

Episode 3. On today’s show, Former Big 4 accountant Andy Salkeld shares his story of stress, depression, attempted suicide and subsequent recovery with podcast show host Rob Brown.

Andy Salkeld is a former accountant (Big 4), corporate financier and business intelligence specialist who seemed to have it all. But Andy lives with depression and has been suicidal. Now an investor co-owner of a small business, he speaks and writes openly about mental health and depression in professional life. Key takeaways from this interview include:

➜ how accountants and CPAS often introduce themselves as what they do, not who they are, and why this is bad

➜ how the perceived stigma of mental health affects professionals like accountants

➜ the competitive ‘Darwinian’ nature of professions that involve the mind – the survival of the fittest

➜ the huge pressures accountants are under in building their career, and why any sign of weakness can be detrimental

➜ how good or not accountants are at handling change, disruption and pressure

➜ much of a professional’s self worth, identity and acceptance is wrapped up in what they can do, not who they are

➜ how accountancy is like football in being a performance business with massive pressure to get results

➜ how accounting firm leaders and cultures are rarely equipped to deal with admissions of mental health and stress

➜ why in a data driven industry, it’s hard to make decisions about complex emotions inherent in mental health

➜ how a greater acceptance of mental health and liberation of views has led to a better understanding of the impacts

➜ how accounting leaders do genuinely care but don’t always know how to help staff with mental health

➜ the importance of sharing your struggles and vulnerabilities in work situations, especially if you’re in a leadership role

➜ why nobody has all the answers to mental wellbeing, especially in times of great disruption and uncertainty

➜ an example of the chain of events that might lead someone to take their own life

➜ the song lyric that turned a suicidal depressive’s life around to now helping other professionals deal with mental health

➜ the role of therapists and counsellors in helping you articulate complex emotions and situation

When not working, Andy loves playing board games, listening to ska and pop-punk music and cooking. He lives with his cat Pika – named after a Pokémon – in Leeds, UK. Recently he has been teaching himself music from no prior knowledge using only a GameBoy. You can reach him here…




The Accounting Influencers Podcast is a daily show with four segments coming out every Monday Martin which are repeated on the other 4 weekdays as standalone episodes, plus a bitesize highlights digest or bonus episode on Saturdays . On Sundays, listeners get a 2 min trailer for the coming week’s episodes.

Every Tuesday the show gives you a relevant news topic from the accounting and fintech world with a direct application to accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers. Great to stay informed and build your commercial acumen.

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