5+ years and over £10 million spent in revolutionizing impact for mental health recovery and support on a global scale
Revolutionizing the way we talk about, recover from and treat those with mental health issues
Author, Innovator, Impact Investor – The Mental Health PioneerI believe everybody has a story to tell. This is the reason why I wrote the book, then got into the publishing business, and then turned it into the world’s largest independent publisher in the mental health space. I believe everybody has a story to tell. A story that, if shared, can give coping tools and power to someone else to make a positive influence on his or her life.
This is exactly why I pioneered modern bibliotherapy, the go-to pillar of mental healthcare and recovery through books and lived experiences, and started TriggerHub, the world’s first on-demand mental health platform harnessing the power of bibliotherapy. I set up Shawmind charity, which has successfully lobbied to legalise compulsory children’s mental health education at schools in the UK and founded Cherish, the self-publishing platform service enabling mental health sufferers to turn their lived experiences into books.
Across all my businesses, we work with experts, psychologists, doctors, and coaches, but our biggest asset and differentiator is our real people sharing their stories and understanding and creating hope and compassion. I am extremely proud to represent brave authors who put the “human” face on mental health issues and continue to make tangible impact on others’ lives. If you read or wrote a mental health story in the last 5 years, very likely my incredible team and I proudly had a hand in that process.
Only one word matters: IMPACT
I am not here to advocate for the importance and awareness of mental health and well-being. We have done the talking, now it is time we do the walking. I have suffered from severe OCD syndrome for years and am highly knowledgeable in all areas of mental health: from the first-hand challenges sufferers face to mental healthcare politics and economics. I take pride in representing and championing the everyday person who struggles with mental health issues. Someone who feels trapped in a “petri dish” of their own concentrated fears, frustrations, and pathologies, and seeks the best way to recover.
Do not get me wrong – raising awareness on mental health is incredibly important, and we have many great people pushing the agenda. However, I want to make sure that as we do so, we also create a platform for sufferers to open themselves and access tools enabling them to feel and get better. All my organizations are socially responsible and funnel our proceeds back into mental health causes and campaigns to create the maximum amount of change possible.
Shawmind - Founder & Chairman
At Shawmind – a passionate and proactive charity – we serve a clear purpose: to promote mental well-being among children and young people by providing them with a platform and tools to take care of their own mental health.
In 2017, we collected 103,000 signatures directed at opening the British parliamentary debate on children’s mental health. Three years later, our continued efforts led to legalising mandatory education on this topic at schools in the UK, positively affecting almost 11 million children each year. To build on the momentum, we are upskilling 250,000 mental health first aiders through our teacher training program by 2025.
Recognizing the need for empathy and connection, we launched Breathe Cafés – a series of 7 coffee shops and pop-ups across local schools, communities, and businesses in the UK. They serve as a safe space for people to relax, read, connect with others, and learn about mental healthcare. We continue to grow our network expecting to reach 10,000 visitors the end of 2022.
Amidst the pandemic, we launched an online forum, which, to this date, helps to expand the accessibility of our program. We also introduced Breathe Uni, a student-led spin-off of Breath Cafés across university campuses, which acts as mental wellbeing hotspots supporting hundreds of students on a weekly basis.
As many cultures associate strength and “masculinity” with not talking about their emotions, it is rather unsurprising that 75% of suicides are committed by men. At Shawmind, we want to break the stigma around men and mental health, thereby setting a new precedent for younger generations and families. ManCave gatherings are dedicated to men to get together and open about their mental well-being in a space that feels comfortable and safe. We currently gather 100-150 weekly guests and continue to grow at pace.
TriggerHub - Founder
TriggerHub is the world’s first on-demand platform providing instant mental health recovery and support to millions of users globally through the power of bibliotherapy. We have recently established ourselves as the number one go-to therapy method for mental health recovery. We do not stop there: our objective is to expand our reach to 10 million sufferers each year, providing them with an immediate and affordable trajectory to recovery, support, and balance.
Bibliotherapy: Not Recovering in Silence
In the realm of mental healthcare, bibliotherapy is an up-and-coming game-changer. At TriggerHub, we manifested our own bibliotherapy – an ancient technique combined with modern-day science harnessing the power of recovering through reading lived experiences. It is one of the most effective, affordable, and convenient mental health solutions.
With bibliotherapy, we reject the idea of recovering in silence. Instead, we pass on our authors’ wisdom to help others. That is a life-changing part of the recovery process, which provides hope, and eliminates the torture of feeling and being alone. It helps the sufferer identify with others who have gone through similar struggles and show them there is not just one path to recovery but many roads to take.
Bibliotherapy can - and undoubtedly will - change millions of lives. Someone else’s success story narrates actionable steps towards recovery and sends subconscious signals to the reader’s brain that they too started to recover. This makes bibliotherapy a vital resource, either as a standalone method of therapy or as a complementary tool to other interventions, such as talking therapy and medication.
The entire masterfully created collection on TriggerHub is all published and produced in-house, with 50-100 new titles added each year. We continue to invest over £5 million in further mental health innovation and user-friendly formats for bibliotherapy. TriggerHub’s ethos celebrates courageous everyday authors sharing their lived experiences to inspire sufferers and help them identify a path towards recovery.
TriggerHub users can design a bespoke personalised library for their bibliotherapy process that can be accessed from any device anywhere. They can search content by their condition (e.g., bipolar disorder, PTSD, stress, suicidal thoughts) and genre of interest (e.g., dating, meditation, parenting, grief, and loss). TriggerHub also offers different subscription packages to organisations and individuals with personalised expert tips, exercises, and tailored guidance.
Wellbeck-Trigger Publishing - Founder
Welbeck-Trigger is the largest independent mental health publisher in the world. With over 500 books published and nearly 1 million copies sold, we continue making our mark in the publishing space. Initially, Trigger Publishing was founded in 2017 and later teamed up with Welbeck-Balance, one of the biggest independent publishers in the UK, to form Welbeck-Trigger.
Although our library ranges from self-help guides and books authored by highly qualified experts, psychologists, clinicians, celebrities, TV personalities and professional athletes, our real assets are everyday courageous authors sharing their lived experiences. Every tale we tell helps people dealing with mental health issues of their own or their close ones.
Upside Down Books
A children-focused imprint of Trigger Publishing, Upside Down Books, publishes a range of fun, illustrated titles created to assist adults with starting a conversation with children about mental health and wellbeing. Our books promote positivity, openness, and emotional intelligence in families. We are proud to act as a platform for many great experts who launch their careers as writers on children’s mental well-being.
We need a BIG conversation on men’s mental health. It is time we reframe openness and reflection among men as a sign of strength and manliness rather than a vulnerability. ManTalk is an inaugural event presented by Trigger Publishing and myself, which brings together a panel of men of all ages, professions, and backgrounds to discuss mental health. I hope we can turn ManTalk into a regular event hosted across the country.
Cherish Editions - Founder
Cherish Editions is a bespoke self-publishing platform and service provider funded by TriggerHub’s authors. Our purpose is to give voice and tools to mental health sufferers and survivors to share lived experiences with others. So far, our team has published stories from those who have suffered from bipolar disorder, Munchausen syndrome, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, OCD and more.
OCD Books - AuthorTogether with the incredible Dr Lauren Callaghan - clinical psychologist and accredited cognitive behavioural therapist, I wrote and published two mental health books: “OCD, Anxiety and Related Depression” (2017) & “How to Help Your Child with Anxiety, OCD and Panic Attacks” (2017). We combined my own story and personal experience battling severe OCD with Lauren’s expertise in mental health. You can find both books on TriggerHub, where we are the best-seller in the OCD category with over 50,000 copies sold. We donate all our proceeds to Shawmind charity.
Angel InvestorAside from my businesses, I am also an Angel Investor in socially responsible mental health start-ups and organizations. One great example of my investments is EveryMind, a platform for workplace mental well-being delivered to employees across various organisations throughout the UK via modern-day technology, interactive sessions, and training.
How It All Started
As a working-class young man, I established a successful and lucrative career in financial legal services. By the age of 36, I had successfully sold and exited the companies I’d built from the ground up.
My professional pursuits could have ended there. Instead, I chose to dedicate my life to helping others with mental health issues. That is because, despite my illustrious career, I struggled behind the scenes with severe mental health issues myself. I felt tortured by extreme OCD, which pushed me to attempt suicide twice.
My recovery spurred me to pursue a newfound passion for mental health. I joined forces with my private therapist Dr Lauren Callaghan, funnelling our time, professional expertise and wealth into the causes that mean the most to us.
I do not charge for media appearances or public speaking engagements. However, due to an exceptional workload and because I split my time between the US and UK, I must be selective on the offers I can accept. I apologise for any inconvenience if I can’t attend an event.