Mental Health Training

Adrian Thomas

Adrian spent most of his early career in the hospitality sector in senior management and operations roles looking after prestigious contracts across the city of London such as Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young and several of the top 20 global law firms where the clientele expected 5 star service.

While doing this work Adrian regularly witnessed how the intense demands on individuals negatively impacted their mental health and the service levels they in turn delivered. This alongside having his own lived experiences of poor mental health, led to him setting up the charity Different Minds in 2017, with the aim of supporting organisations, particularly those in the charity sector, as well as individuals, to develop their skills around mental health and to reduce stigma and discrimination in the workplace.

In 2018 Adrian moved to delivering the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training full time and is approved to deliver all Adult courses and Youth MHFA 2-day & 1 Day courses. He is passionate about the topic has trained over a 1000 people over 100 courses across all MHFA Adult and Youth programmes. Working with organisations from Education, Public Sector, Manufacturing, Business and Industry, Hospitality, Aviation, Hotels, Media, Charity sector and Construction.

Alongside supporting the learning around MHFA and delivering Stress Awareness training, Adrian delivers ‘Lived Experience’ talks for organisations on his own journey with mental ill health, discussing openly his journey with early life poor mental health, lifelong depression, anxiety and the highs and lows he has been through.

Adrian advocates that both self-care and a strong understanding of the risk factors for poor mental health are key to thriving in all areas of life and work. This in tandem with education around mental health is essential to reducing stigma and discrimination, and this ethos carries into his personal life where he manages his own mental wellness through running, and has now completed 75 marathons/ ultra-marathons including the challenge of running 52 of them in 52 weeks.

How have you taken care of your own mental health and wellbeing since the start of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic?

I have found this a very interesting time in terms after my mental health. As someone that has a social anxiety disorder, I regularly joked that I’m ideally suited to a lockdown period, but of course none of us could estimate the individual impact it would have.

Like many people I found adjusting to the situation difficult, however, I dug deep into all those things I know that work to support myself and others. I stopped watching unhelpful (for me) news reports, I distanced myself from sources of negativity such as social media and if I did come across information or articles that effected my mental health negatively I made sure I looked at all sides and kept in perspective.

As we progressed through the pandemic I made sure I was keeping busy, while my ‘normal’ work had changed I embraced different ways of working and looking at new opportunities that I may not have previously done. Above all I kept a routine, something that is a key pillar of my own wellbeing.

The most beneficial thing I did for my own and my families wellbeing was to make the 5 ways to wellbeing a central part of out daily lives. We stayed connected with others virtually, we remained active daily made sure we did activities as a family to take notice, even taking up photography (badly), I gave back to my community being involved on a local community support group and we all kept learning, especially as the de facto teacher for my son I had to refresh a lot of knowledge.

I’ve had my wobbles, I had bad days but holding strong to the things I know work saw me through the worst.

How do you want to change the world?

That’s a pretty big question. My passion is raising awareness of mental ill health, changing how those that do struggle are treated, and treat themselves, and helping people understand how to be proactive in managing their wellbeing.

My favourite proverbs is.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

For me this is the way I think about training people around mental health, by learning to be proactive and supporting mental health, we can change our own and each other’s journeys, I may never change the whole world but with the work I do I can change one person’s world one day at a time.


Approved to deliver.

MHFA England Adult

Mental Health First Aid – Classroom and Online

Mental Health First Aid Champion – Classroom

Mental Health Aware – Classroom and Online

Mental Health First Aid Refresher – Classroom and Online

MHFA England Youth

Mental Health First Aid – Classroom and Virtual from Mid-September (announced 24-08-20)

Mental Health First Aid Champion – Classroom.

Lived Experience Talks

Living with poor mental health covering, depression, social anxiety, suicide ideation.



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