DOD’s blog: The inspiration of Finding Mike

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to the film premiere of Finding Mike by one of its sponsors, Legal and General. This documentary tracks how Jonny tried to find the stranger who stopped him jumping off Westminster Bridge eight years previously.

Debi O'Donovan 2013

While the film was compelling viewing, it was the insights I gained afterwards that took my understanding of mental illness several steps forward (but I have a long way to go). 

As I listened to Jonny, who is schizophrenic, explain his view of the world, and as I met a counsellor who is bi-polar and a campaigner who copes with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of childhood abuse, it became clear to me that many people in our workplaces are dealing with mental illnesses every day that go way beyond stress.

I feel I know so little, but I also know that the vast majority of workplaces are still back in the dark ages when it comes to mental illness. All the people I met were highly talented, but all needed to have tools to cope with their respective condition.  

Given that we all tend to spend the biggest proportion of our waking hours in work, those with mental illness should ideally be able to tell HR and line managers (stigma-free) what to look for in order to spot when things are starting to go wrong and an episode might be starting.

We all have a long way to go on that, but the journey needs to start.


Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan