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Introducing Tillo's Mental Health Champions Group for World Mental Health Day

Posted on 10 October 2023
Read time 4 mins
Author Mat

With today being World Mental Health Day, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing with you our Mental Health Champions. 🙌

Tillo's Mental Health Champions

Launched in 2021 by our very own Hannah Saunders, our Mental Health Champions, or MHCs for short, formed to build upon Tillo’s foundations of supporting one another. Our champions meet regularly to discuss ideas, topics, and events that we believe play a vital role in breaking down the stigma surrounding Mental Health and helping Tillo's team.

Who we are and what we do

We’re a group of 11 people and are spread across the business in different departments. We have varying seniority levels and diverse backgrounds, helping each of us bring a unique voice and perspective to the crucial conversation around Mental Health.

Mental Health Champions

As part of our efforts to break down the stigma around Mental Health, each one of us has written a blog about our own personal experience, including how mental health has affected us and how we’ve dealt with it. These blogs are then published in our monthly internal newsletter and read by Tillians across the business.

With there being just 11 members in the MHC group, we always knew that we'd run out of people to write these blogs eventually, but it turns out that day has never come, and instead, our experiences have sparked other members of the Tillo team to share their own, and we now have more than 16 mental health blogs and counting!

We hope that these profoundly personal blogs, shared by our brave Tillian’s, provide a space for others to know that they’re not alone and that their experiences are valid. The power of empathy and understanding lies at the heart of our mission, and together, we can create a world where mental health is discussed openly, without judgment, and with boundless compassion.

Something to takeaway 

To celebrate World Mental Health Day some of our Mental Health Champions are sharing a top tip that has helped them in their own mental wellbeing journey. Check them out below. 

Briony Robertson, VP of People

When I'm overwhelmed at work and anxiety builds I tend to start rushing through things and descend into a panic response.

I now recognise this and now push the laptop away. I then write a list so I can see what actually needs to be done, add other days to the list so I can see where things can be moved to reduce the immediate workload and then things naturally prioritise. This helps me to just stop and assess.

I find that taking a break actually helps me be more effective and calmer.


John Tasker, Junior Product Manager

I find that when I'm stressed, taking literally one minute to be present is really helpful (I call them mindful minutes).

It's easy to think 'I've got too much to do' but I think almost everyone can spare one minute now and then.

When taking a minute you're not allowed to think about stressful things; it's just about being present and in the moment - focusing on breathing, what you can feel, hear etc. It's not easy to drop everything that's on your mind but it gets easier with practice and it works as a nice reset.


Jayden Vicary, Software Developer

If you're giving it your all and you're still overwhelmed, maybe the investment is bad, and you need a new egg basket - i.e. maybe your self-care routine needs to grow along with you.

Instead of trying to give more than 100% to make the problem away, experiment with redirecting some of that energy to a different activity. Maybe your kindness to yourself today is to wrestle with the duvet and get to sleep an hour earlier or to take a walk in the morning even if you feel awful and sleepy.

Knowing yourself and what you have to go up against every day, what can you try changing to help yourself out?


Maria Khoury, Head of Operations

Try to open up and share what's on your mind whenever you feel safe to do so, and whoever you feel safe to do it with. Whether it's a friend, a colleague, a MH champion, or even writing about it. 

It can take just a single person to open up and show that it's OK to talk about mental health, and it not only helps you get the support you need but creates a ripple effect for other people who will do the same.

This is what we found with our Mental Health Champions blog that's now empowered so many voices to share their experiences and keep the conversation going


Danni Whittaker, UX/UI Designer

Never feel guilty for putting your mental health and wellbeing first.

Take that quiet time if you need it and don't feel bad for politely declining invitations to look after YOU.

Also, dance with abandon! Even if it's just in your kitchen whilst cooking, It helps, I promise!


Hannah Saunders, People Business Partner

My biggest tip is to remember that everyone is muddling their way through life.

Nobody has it all together, however, it appears on the exterior.

So this is a reminder to not put pressure on yourself to compete against unrealistic expectations that everyone else has life nailed, or be kinder to those around you, as we never know the full extent of what people are going through.


Oskar Holm, Senior Data Scientist

Many people will tell you to trust your gut, and maybe that's good advice - if you are well.

If you are unwell, your gut may need help keeping a healthy perspective.

That's why you need to stay in touch with people. Observe and hear what they are going through. Share what you are going through. That's not to say that they are right and whatever they say is more correct than your unhappy thoughts. But if you connect with a number of people, a certain wisdom-of-crowd correcting nudge can be had, and that's likely to help your perspective.


Mathew Garrett, Marketing Campaign Manager

My go-to tip would have to be the “physiological sigh”, a breathing technique to reduce stress and/or anxiety.

You may be thinking “how on earth is a bit of weird breathing going to help me reduce stress? Stick to what you know, Mat”, but honestly I swear by it.

All you need to do is inhale through your nose, but right before you get to the top of that breathe, take another sharp inhale to fully inflate the lungs. Then, expel all of that air with an exhale out of the mouth.

It’s as simple as that and it’s always my first point of call if I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, but it’s worth noting this isn’t some magic cure-all technique, but it’s a good place to start!


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