Whether you buy into Blue Monday or not, there’s no getting around the fact that suicide and divorce rates are higher in January and February. Following on from the events of 2020 that have seen suicide rates and numbers of those experiencing mental health issues soar, the multi-award-winning team at Fortis Therapy & Training is proud to be launching The Self-Care Sessions.

A series of weekly talks, The Self-Care Sessions is a series of Live talks which will be held by Fortis Therapy & Training and hosted by its managing director, award-winning TEDx Speaker, Alexis Powell-Howard. The Self-Care Sessions will see guest speakers join Alexis for a ‘chat shot style’ talk, over on the main Fortis Facebook Page.

With more than 2000 members on this particular platform, these talks – and the speakers Fortis Therapy & Training has invited to them – have been deliberately designed to be more conversational, more familiar. The speakers have been asked to join Alexis to tell their stories and resulting methods of self-care to determine why it is so important and pass on helpful advice and tips.

The idea behind the talks, came from the success of Fortis Therapy & Training’s men’s mental health initiative, The Westerly Club, which launched in October 2020 and hosts guest speakers every week. The talks currently hosted in The Westerly Club – given the nature of the group – are very focussed on mental health, experiences of it and how to deal with specific issues.

With The Self-Care Sessions the Fortis Therapy & Training team wanted to put together a series that it’s wider audience could benefit from, as Alexis explains: “We wanted to be able to talk about a variety of aspects which feed into the wider sense of mental health. From what people do to take care of themselves and why they feel it is important, to any mental health issues they have faced, how they’ve recovered from them and why self-care has become an important part of their lives today.”

The Self-Care Sessions is the first new series of talks that Fortis Therapy & Training will be hosting in 2021. Once The Self-Care Sessions come to an end on March 25th, the initiative will be reviewed with the hope to continue the talks to suit audience demand, but shift the focus to address another aspect of mindfulness and wellbeing.

Speakers are now fully-booked for the three-month duration, and will take place every Thursday night from 7.30pm here. We’re kicking off with on January 7th with an Amazon best-selling author – Aimee Horton. A writer from Lincoln, Aimee works in communications for a charity, and juggles her role with writing her own novels. Outside of work, Aimee enjoys drinking gin and spending time with her family (she won’t tell you which of those she prefers doing).

Having made it through a tricky few years Aimee has learned the hard way how important self-care is. She’s taught herself some useful techniques along the way, and will be bringing her insight into how making small changes that can transform your life in a big way to the Sessions.

Following Aimee we have;

  • Katie Buffey, owner of eco-jewellery brand Salt + Silver in Cleethorpes and a photographer, Katie has Aspergers, ADHD and Tourette’s which often lead to anxiety and can make life tricky. Katie is well-practised in self-care and knowing how and when she needs that time.
  • Amy Conyard, Co-Founder of Pin Gin / Bottomley Distillers; currently UK Distillery Operations Director for Next Frontier Brands. Having founded Bottomley Distillers when her mental health was stretched, Amy has long been an advocate mental health and self-care awareness.
  • Rob and Syreeta Mackenzie, the founders of Moments of Sense & Style, or MOSS. Rob suffered a catastrophic and near fatal brain haemorrhage and stroke in 2014. This pair know the benefits of slowing right down, stripping life back. The last six years have been one hell of a ride, one of beauty, courage and strength, one they will share with our audience (please note, this talk will be pre-recorded to suit Rob and Syreeta’s schedule).
  • Dominic Franks, a cook, food writer and event producer, originally from London but now living in the wilds of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The UK’s No1. Male Food Blogger over on belleaukitchen.com. Dom ran an international event production company for the past 21 years and started photographing and writing about food, his real passion, as a way to vent the stress. In 2018 the stress really took its toll and Dom was diagnosed with Vasculitis, an auto-immune disease. Since then, he has seriously changed his lifestyle.
  • Jane Means, THE gift-wrapping guru and Queen of luxury gift wrapping, with clients such as Dior, Harrods and a whole host of celebs. Jane shaved her head for charity, following a friend’s cancer diagnosis a few years ago, raising more than £20k for charity. Within the next few years, she had herself been diagnosed with stomach cancer – she’s a fighter and one of the most upbeat people on the planet, running a super successful business based in Bracebridge Heath, hosting gift-wrapping courses and working with some of the world’s most highly regarded brands.
  • Toni Buckle-Weavers, co-founder Ebb + Flo Living in Cleethorpes, is launching a new self-care campaign with two other powerhouse women – she’ll be revealing all about this and talking about her sustainable approach to living and environmental campaigning and why they are vital to our mental state.

Looking further ahead, other speakers include Emma Maher, a PT and highly qualified women’s wellness coach; Jonathan Wilkinson-White, owner of The Elm Tree B&B in Hundleby, former teacher and advanced therapeutic counsellor; and Rachel Green, TV personality, chef and all-round wonder woman.

Fortis Therapy & Training hopes The Self-Care Sessions will provide a source of hope, inspiration and real-life experience that people can really utilise and take-away from. Alexis added: “Since we launched The Westerly Club back in October, the number of women asking to join the group has kept on increasing. While that space is entirely dedicated to men and their mental health – a safe space for men to talk to men, to offer advice and support and find it too – we wanted to take the essence of what we’re doing in there and bring it to our wider audience on the Fortis Therapy & Training Facebook page.

“The speakers we have lined up all have something different to offer. From their own personal experiences and struggles, to how they make time for themselves and why. I can’t wait to chat to this phenomenal line up to see what is working for them and I hope that those who tune in to the Facebook Live sessions will find vital inspiration to take away with them.”

The Fortis social media platforms will all be covering news of which speaker will be talking when, so please follow along on those so you don’t miss out. You’ll find events being listed on the Facebook page also, by clicking here.

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If you have any questions at all about mental health, please do get in touch with the team by calling 01472 241794 or emailing [email protected]

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