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Depression & Mental Health In the World of Accountancy

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. Shownotes:

  • How we often introduce ourselves as what we do, not who we are, which doesn’t always create honest conversations
  • 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
  • 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
  • In accounting firms, people (and leaders) do genuinely care but don’t always know how to help with mental health
  • The importance of sharing your struggles and vulnerabilities in work situations, especially if you’re in a leadership role
  • Nobody has all the answers, especially in times of great disruption and uncertainty
  • One 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…

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