Welsh Enterprise Awards 2023

SME News Welsh Enterprise Awards 2023/ 14 Best Mental Health Advocacy 2023 Looking after our mental health is incredibly important, and so is knowing where we can turn to as a business to help support ourselves and our employees. Founder of My Discombobulated Brain, who have won a title in the Welsh Enterprise Awards 2023, Laura Jane Dernie shares how they can help. Growing up, Stone Cold Steve Austin was my favourite wrestler and "discombobulated" is his favourite word. He says that his brain is discombobulated from being beaten around the head with too many steel chairs. My brain is discombobulated from a chemical imbalance which has caused a mental illness…and that is how we got our name, My Discombobulated Brain. I started My Discombobulated Brain, or MDB as we call it for short, after my personal mental illness struggles following the birth of both my children. However, this was not my first experience of it. My best friend Jonathan took his own life when we were just eighteen years old. With 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental health condition, we all have a story we can share, whether we suffer directly or know someone who does. This is why we will only ever use real people’s stories told from their point of view, in order to help others see that they are not alone. “Knowing that people get what it's like makes me feel more comfortable about what I experienced and still experience today; knowing that people also need help, just like I did at my lowest point, keeps me pushing forward. I love MDB because it helps me to be me - quirks and all - but also helps me have the confidence to help other people too.” – Alex We believe in educating people about the difference between mental health, which everyone has, and mental illness, which not everyone has. Mental illness is usually something that needs treatment through a medical or trained professional, however, mental health is something that we all have and need to look after like we would any other part of our bodies. Our free geolocation app is the first of its kind to provide users with the nearest location that will provide a safe space, mental health first aid, youth mental health first aid or medical support as they need it. The initial launch in Cardiff has been very well received and we are looking for partners and businesses to help us expand it to other areas. We have signed up partners such as Lush, Brewdog Cardiff, Waterstones, Museum of Cardiff, St David’s Hall and more. We want to expand further into the UK and then worldwide. We run several projects, from our innovative support app, work with schools and business mental health auditing, support, and mental health first aid training. We are also working on our pioneering mental health support at festivals and other public events. We run purely on donations, grants, and sponsorship, so any support is gratefully received. To continue our work, we want to partner with businesses across the UK, as well as assist them with their own mental health strategies, policies, and support for their employees. It is through partnerships with businesses, like yours, that allows us to do the work that we do. We have so many ways that you can support us to not only continue our work but to grow and help more and more people. For more information on how you can help us, or we can help you, please, contact me directly at Laura@mydiscombobulatedbrian.com Contact: Laura Jane Dernie Company: My Discombobulated Brain Web Address: https://mydiscombobulatedbrain.com/