Mind HK Ambassador

Ben’s Story

Ben, Mind HK Ambassador

Mental Health thriver, Marketer, Runner, Reader and Music Fan


Where/what has been important to you in your mental health journey? Why? 

There are three things that help to maintain my mental health — running, music and reading books. I know if I stop doing any of these things then I’m looking a bit shaky and need to adjust. When I first started struggling with my mental health, and when I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I found myself focusing on getting through the day so that I could go home and hide again. As things progressed, and pressure at work mounted, I ended up working longer and longer hours. Once I got home, I would check my phone for emails or messages constantly out of the fear that I was falling behind. This vicious cycle became worse and led to a state of complete burnout, to the point where I couldn’t even get out of bed. I’ve since learnt that I need to take breaks by distancing myself from work and the information overload of modern society, in order to keep myself healthy. 


How has mental health affected your day to day life?

In many ways it has been a positive experience. I wouldn’t wish a mental health crisis on anyone, but because of my experience, I am now so much more aware of my triggers than I was before. I also make a conscious effort to practice positive mental health habits.


How has the stigma around mental health affected your life? 

Some people and organisations are openly hostile, making stigma easier to spot. The trickier form of stigma, which is more difficult to identify, is amongst people and organisations that present themselves as allies, but actually have an underlying prejudice in their day-to-day operations. This leads to the trivialising of mental health and undermines the great effort made by those who are trying to safeguard their mental health. 


How would you describe yourself? What are your labels?

I’m an extroverted introvert, and I’m happy to bridge these two personality types. I love spending time with other people, but I’m also careful to make sure I have enough ‘me time’ to focus on myself. 

I am a husband, uncle, friend, runner, muso, reader, mental health thriver and advocate.


What has your mental health experience taught you?

I’ve realised that life is all about balance and I try very hard to ensure that I take time to exercise and relax each day rather than working from morning till night. I’m also much better at understanding my triggers, which allows me to keep a better handle on my health going forward.


What are you most proud of?

Understanding myself better and being able to say I’ve not only survived a mental health crisis but I’ve thrived from it.