We’ve teamed up with our partners at PH7 Health to deliver a campaign about mental health in the workplace.

Our 7 prominent North West Businessmen have come forward to give us 7 words, describing their mental health over the last 7 years. 

Breaking stigma is the first step we can take to help men open up about their mental health. The more men who talk, the more the statistics will come down and more men will be able to access the help they need.

PH7 have mental health at their forefront, and champion better mental health care for everyone. PH7 partners at Farley’s Solicitors and Carr’s Pasties have implemented programs to give all of their staff free private mental health care. Whilst 38% of men claim they would be embarrassed to tell their employer they struggle with their mental health, these prominent businessmen champion and actively encourage their staff to talk!


Three in every four suicides are by men.

191,000 men have been given a medical ‘stress’ diagnosis each year

1 in 10 men in the workplace have been diagnosed as ‘extremely stressed’

34% of men strongly agreed they felt ‘constantly stressed’ in the workplace.

Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under age 35.

Only 36% of men access mental health services.

87% of rough sleepers are men

72% of male prisoners suffer more than 2 mental health disorders


Paul Howarth – The PH7 Group

Paul Howarth is a qualified financial adviser and has just completed 4 years in psychotherapy, qualifying him as a psychotherapist. A former Accrington Stanley football player who was put through rehabilitation by the football association. Upon his return, after never wanting anyone else to have similar struggles, he created the mental health charity PH7 LIFE.

His 7 words reveal his journey through rehab, coming out the other side:

Isolation, desperation, anger, shame, hope, courage, and happiness.


Dom McGregor – Social Chain

Dom Co-founded Social Chain in Manchester in November 2014, their pages reach a platform of 386 million people, meaning they can make a hashtag viral within minutes. They employ over 150 staff around the world and have contracts with SkyBet, BooHoo, Warner Music and Superdry.

Dom overhauled his life in X when he and his business partner decided they had to take themselves out of the business culture. Finding it impossible to tell people how to do their job properly at the same time as being their best friend and in the club with them. The lifestyle didn’t make sense, not drinking improved his mental health, gave him more time, energy and money. Just like his fellow men,  Paul and Mark in this campaign, Dom also gave up alcohol.

The last few years, a lot of work has been done to raise the awareness of mental illnesses – but still people do not know if they are going through it. Social Chain broke the mould in business when they employed a ‘Director of Happiness’, deciding that employee happiness is the key to business growth.

Dom’s 7 Words:

‘I never knew that I needed help’.


Kiko Rodriguez

Social media is negative in so many ways. But one advantage for me is how the issue of mental health has become a talking point. For me, this is massive. So many of us struggling in the past were reluctant to talk, instead keeping any issues we had bottled up. Often the first step is having the confidence to talk, to say ‘Excuse me, I am struggling a little, can you help me?’ I have no doubt the answer is almost always ‘Of course I can, how can I help?’

Personally, I see tweets and messages from people on a mental health journey that many of us have travelled. Whichever point you are at, you aren’t alone, you aren’t the only one battling with the issues that you face, and there is always hope. The stigma attached to mental health is slowly being scrapped and rightly so. Whether you are a youngster or an OAP, rich or poor, famous or average Joe, you aren’t immune from sometimes needing some help. I remember doing a talk with Alistair Campbell, we are from different walks of life, different backgrounds, but we shared not only a love of Burnley FC but some of the same mental health issues. Observers in the crowd also confirmed that they had struggled also. It was an eye opener. You aren’t and will never be alone.

I am also aware of how hard it is for the families, friends and associates of those that are suffering. Sometimes they don’t know what to say or do, and of course there is no right or wrong answer. Personally, my family were brilliant and I love them very much. Sometimes, those who have mental health issues might not always say how much they appreciate you, but they do and I would like to say thanks on their behalf. 

Kiko’s 7 Words:

Vulnerable, paranoid, family, friends, shared, scared, aware.


John Coleman – Accrington Stanley

John has spent a collective 20 years managing League One football club, Accrington Stanley. John supported PH7 LIFE from their inception after struggling with his own mental health over the years.

‘Having experienced depression first-hand, I can’t emphasise enough how important the opportunity to talk through your feelings with empathetic people is, in order to manage and hopefully combat this debilitating illness. All forms of wellbeing, both mental and physical, are addressed at PH7.

The charity should take a lot of credit for tackling these highly sensitive issues and changing the face of mental health. I am proud to be involved with PH7.

John’s 7 words:

Control your thoughts, they don’t control you’


Matt Carr – Carrs Pasties

Seven years ago, I was making too many bad decisions.  I was taking advantage of my family – I got quite adept at holding them at arm’s length so that I could avoid confronting the consequences of my actions.  An expert in distraction, I often found myself working late rather than going home.  Other times, I would look for excuses to stay at home rather than face work.  I would never want to turn down an invite to the pub for anything though and would get pretty stroppy if work or family got in the way.

We lost Dad two years ago.  He was unassuming, wise and a complete gentleman.  We were close, his death was tough to deal with.  I unravelled.  I eventually managed to admit that I my mental health had been in poor condition for years before my dad had died, and that I needed help. An important event.  I told my GP who recommended counselling.  After working hard with my lovely counsellor Carol, I have found life easier to cope with. Today, I try to relish each challenge and my amazing family has become once again the base that I can rely upon.  I am far from “healed”, but I am much more at ease with myself, my weaknesses, and my strengths.

Matt’s 7 Words:

Weak, stumbled, crashed, supported, effort, stable, optimistic


Sam Jones – Tunafish Media

Sam Jones created Tunafish media in 2011 and with over 40 awards for their creative work, the down to earth businessman has found his niche in the market.

Sam encourages everyone to ‘tell their story’ and ‘be authentic’, and to Sam that is never more important than discussing mental health. ‘It is vital more than ever for business leaders and entrepreneurs to speak out about their experiences and encourage workers to follow suit.’ His anxiety started at a young age and he has always considered himself to be an ‘anxious person’.

It took a panic attack in the office for Sam to finally open up to his team about his history. The more Sam opened up to those close to him, and in the media, the more people came forward to discuss their personal struggles.

‘There is still a bit of stigma, but if people talk about it this stigma will go away’

Sam’s 7 words:

                ‘Life gets better, when you seek support.’


Mark Hague – Farley’s Solicitors

Mark is an associate partner at Farley’s Solicitors and in 2018 was ‘recommended’ in the Legal 500.

Mark’s mental health suffered from the age of 16, when he simply never felt good enough after leaving a potential career in football. The legal profession lent itself to heavy drinking, free bars and networking meant Mark leaned on alcohol to cope with his mentally demanding career in law.

‘I had fantastic support around me, but many don’t and I can’t encourage anyone strongly enough to reach out! If you have no one to speak to, speak to me, I will talk to anyone and it could literally be a lifesaver.’

‘I have learnt to cope with various techniques; ASMR at night times, exercise and sleep. Above all else, I ditched the drink.’

My 7 words have great importance to me.

Overwhelming – emotion and anxiety have taken over my life, at times. Now I am overwhelmed by how good life is on the other side when you come through it!

Lonely – I have wonderful people, and a wonderful girlfriend by my side. However, you often feel a burden. One of the biggest lessons I learnt is that suffering in silence never works and not the right approach.

Confusing – I would constantly question myself, but ultimately, I wasn’t well, that wasn’t my fault and I have learnt to accept myself for who I am.

Circular – Alcohol cured my anxiety, it was killing me and curing me. I just repeated the cycle though. Giving up alcohol didn’t mean my anxiety went away, but it did get considerably better.

Triggering – My mentality triggers everything, in positive and negative ways. I have to use the positive ones to move forward with life, it’s a learning process.

Long – The road is long to the place I now am. It has only been in the last 12 months since ending my relationship with alcohol that I’ve made significant headway.

Rewarding – I would not change my bad times. They have made me stronger and I am grateful for them.

Mark’s 7 words:

Overwhelming, lonely, confusing, circular, triggering, long, rewarding.

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01282 479 929


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