My name is Emma and I’m the Co-Founder of Optomynd. I have spent all of my adult life in and out of NHS services for Social Anxiety, Depression and OCD. In that time, I’ve tried all kinds of treatments, ranging from medication to CBT & talking therapies. Much of my early twenties was spent in isolation, because I was paralysed by daily panic attacks.
When I turned 30 I was supported into self-employment by The Prince’s Trust where I was able to share my story to help other young people. Although my mental health was always a fine balance, I was always able to overcome any challenge in front of me to live the life I wanted. However, a couple of years ago I became very ill and was diagnosed with a condition called Endometriosis. I’ve had three surgeries in that time and live with daily chronic pain. The frustration, isolation and fear of being left to my own thoughts and emotions left me feeling lost and isolated. It was then that I reached out to Lizzy to start our Optomynd journey.
You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
When you find yourself waking up in a Mental Hospital one morning, you don’t exactly feel as though you’ll be successful in life. Success at that point means trying to life a “normal” life. It’s certainly not the type of success I’m trying to achieve now; but regardless, this is the position I found myself in at one point.
And my story is not an anomaly. Without being too forward, I feel that my story is reflective of so many of us that struggle to find passion in life, an ambition to move forward or where they fit in the world.
If you are trying to navigate any kind of mental health issue, it becomes such a focus in your life. From seeking counselling, attending groups or just trying to get out of bed, you don’t really have much energy left for anything else. And, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the time to over come depression or any other problem relating to mental health (and I strongly advise you do this), when you finally do come out the other side and are finally ready to move forward with other parts of your life – time has passed. Opportunities have gone. The world has kept spinning.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered entrepreneurship and start up. Being a part of entrepreneurship and the start-up space has made me seek out challenges and goals that I would have never set for myself. It made me confront the future head on but most of all, it made me realise that I had a future in the first place. Every day I found myself inspired by another founder or start-up, their tenacity, their ideas, growth and positivity. And one day it dawned on me that others felt the same towards me.
In the past two years, I have made a successful food business, winning awards for taste and innovation. In 2017, I was crowned Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the North East and have also found myself shortlisted for this award again. I went from self-harming to radio interviews on the BBC, pitching in front of the investors in Dragon’s Den and creating quite a platform for myself in public speaking.
Emma approached me at the end of summer in 2018 with an idea to empower those struggling with mental health. It was a vision I could not refuse to be apart of.
You can email me email@example.com