There is nothing more important than our mental health, it’s integral to our physical health and our ability to the best medics we can be. And so, we were delighted to have Andy Elwood, Men’s Mental Health Specialist joining us as a guest speaker at our 2020 World Extreme Medicine ‘Inspiration Beyond the Ordinary’ Conference.
Risking his own life to save others, both as a Paramedic on Search and Rescue Helicopters (a career that has seen him serve 20-years in the emergency services) and as a paramedic on the battlefields of Afghanistan during military service, Andy now saves lives delivering Mental Health First Aid using an internationally recognised education and training programme first introduced to England in 2007 by the Department of Health. By campaigning and delivering this exceptional training, Andy believes he will save more lives than he would by dangling under a SAR helicopter as a paramedic.
Hugely inspiring, his approach is different, refreshing and unique, as well as serving a massive purpose to those that meet him. The conversations Andy is having are enabling culture change regarding mental health and wellbeing for both individuals and organisations, which in turn allows for more openness to occur and often difficult conversations to take place.
Believing mental health deserves parity with physical health, Andy’s initiative has seen him visit emergency services on a tour around the UK using his classic 1973 Land Rover. The project named ‘Andy’s Landie’ encourages others to speak out regarding mental health issues. By taking those that want to out on a drive, enabling them to chat and break down barriers, Andy hopes it will start them on a journey of help.
Andy started the conversation around mental health on Day 2 of our World Extreme Medicine Conference. He talked candidly about mental health, its importance in today’s culture and how he believes the bravest thing he has ever done is admitting to his own vulnerability, in order to find a way through three very different challenges during his lifetime.
During his session in the biosphere entitled ’Exploring the limits of your reason why’, Andy gave us a unique ‘behind the scenes’ insight into life and death situations and to the potential downward spirals due to 21st Century pressures, as well as the potential harm that current pressures present. Andy shared how talking about a traumatic incident, a flashback and burnout have helped him find hope and a different ‘why’.
Feeling inspired? #WEM21 A New World Awaits…
Join us this year (13th – 15th Nov) for our 10 year anniversary, where for the first time in WEM history, you can either attend in person at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh or online via our brand new Virtual WEM Environment – we guarantee you an experience like no other! Book your place today!