How it all began
Mental Health & Life was set up after our founder Richie Perera visited the doctor with sleep problems. After a series of appointments he was diagnosed with mixed depression and anxiety disorder. The realisation that he may have lived with mental illness, fluctuating from mild to severe since his teens and without any help or support shocked him. In Richie’s own words, his perception of mental illness was “for weak people”, and he considered himself a “strong person”, he always felt exempt from having such a thing as a mental illness.
As with Richie and most people in their 40s, he grew up in a generation where “sort yourself out’ “pull yourself together” “have you lost the plot” and “man up” were the terms generally used when addressing mental health. It was not spoken of much at school, college, socially or in places of work. Richie spent his life oblivious to his condition and after looking into Mental Health in more detail, Richie took his first mental health first aider course with MHFA England. He then qualified as a NUCO and MHFA England Mental Health instructor and founded Mental Health & Life!
This work is dedicated to the loving memory of Derek Nater and Daisy Morgan x