Mental Health Awareness Week - Louise Chunn from
Man Up / Man DownMay 18, 2023x
43:5240.18 MB

Mental Health Awareness Week - Louise Chunn from

This week’s episode was a special one for a number of reasons. Mainly because we welcomed Louise Chunn, the founder of our sponsor Welldoing

Secondly, we wanted to mark the fact that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. And obviously we talk about mental health on here A LOT! 

Thirdly, David was in Portugal for a stag do, so was living the digital native dream. Recording from Home 2, the nicest co-working space David has ever used. He even had a soundproof booth to record from. Although this only helped amplify the squeaky plastic stool he was perched on, which Volker helpfully pointed out, when he heard it. 

Fourthly, this was the first episode that David had recorded since his Dad had died. David didn’t want to go into details, but it had been a very traumatic experience (that he may share in the future). However, he wanted to thank everyone who had shown support, and reached out during this period. It’s been an emotional time. 

However, while it was impossible to avoid the subject, David didn’t want this to overshadow Louise’s story, who was an incredible guest. And we’re not just saying that because her organisation sponsors the show. Louise Chunn is a prize-winning journalist and former editor of a number of magazines, including Psychologies, Good Housekeeping and InStyle. She has also written for publications ranging from The Guardian to Vogue. As a former journalist himself David wanted to hear how Louise had made the leap from journalist to digital and wellness entrepreneur. Particularlyas this had happened relatively late in her career.

After her third redundancy, as the internet overtook the traditional publishing industry, Louise realised she had to make a change. She also realised that any new career had to be digital, despite not being an early adopter of the internet. Like many great ideas, the concept for came during a late-night discussion with Louise’s husband. Following Louise’s struggle to find the right therapist, when she needed one, he planted the idea of a platform that matches therapists with patients. Essentially a dating app for therapists and clients.

Louise spoke about the challenge of working with start-up boot camps. Saying that she got the opportunity to go to Silicon Valley at the age of 59 but felt like she was 109! Despite her reservations, the concept was obviously a popular one. She said the major shift in discussing mental health came when Prince William and Harry Became more open about their challenges and experiences.Louise then spoke about how middle-age throws up a number of challenges where you are facing redundancies and the deaths of friends, relatives and parents. Whilst she doesn’t believe that everyone needs to see a therapist, she said there will be times when life does get overwhelming or there may be something that has held you back from your past that you want to address but have never been able to discuss.

She said that the benefits of seeing a therapist are that it's someone you can trust, it won't go any further and you know you won’t be judged. While you have to pay for therapy, this is an important part of the process-it’s evidence that you are investing in something that’s incredibly important to you. 

David then had a rant about the reaction to Prince Harry’s book, stating that what he’d experienced even before his mother died would cause anyone trauma. Louise then said that in the last 12 months, there had been an increase in the volume of men using the site, particularly the paid-for matching service. Louise said that while the pandemic has been a factor, there were a number of reasons for people to use the service. She mentioned many of the issues that we have discussed on the podcast and the conversation turned to the pressures of social media and technology, which has its benefits but also has a very dark side. She said that it’s not only highly addictive but fosters constant comparison with others. Volker finally got the opportunity to speak. He touched on some points that Louise had mentioned, particularly how divorce can result in loneliness more for men. This is because friendship groups often revolve more around the female’s friends, so the man suddenly finds himself without a social life and male support. Volker also spoke about how suicide rates had increased in line with smartphone adoption. He also talked about how social media was everyone sharing all the positive things in their life. So the perspective is that you’re the only person whose life isn’t perfect. Louise spoke about how she became increasingly self-conscious and obsessed with social media metrics after opening a TikTok account to boost her profile. 

However, David and Louise also spoke about the benefits of Facebook which enables you to connect with people you'd lost touch with or live a great distance away. Louise said that she felt the smartphone was particularly bad as you never get a break from work. As the discussion turned to technology Volker and Louise spoke about how AI could be used to provide additional support. However, we then spoke about how everyone’s case is unique and that it’s the individuality of a human therapist that can’t be replicated.

Louise then spoke about the different ways you could use a therapist, with different approaches. She also clarified that she wasn’t a therapist herself. Louise then spoke about the different types of therapy and the theory behind them. 

If you are facing a challenging time and feel it would help to talk to a therapist (It will!) then take a look at

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