I’m John, founder of Questae Collective. My mental health journey started many years ago, but I always managed to paper over the cracks. After serving in the Army, I built a career in the world of office design and furnishings, working with many of the field’s most forward-thinking, respected creative visionaries along the way.
After the very difficult breakdown of my first marriage left me with no contact with my three children, my mental health suffered, and I left my home city of Manchester. I relocated to Margate, remarried, and after seven rounds of IVF, was blessed with twins. I also started to rebuild my
relationships with my older children.
There were more challenges in store, however and in autumn 2014 I became ill, and after numerous tests was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, the treatment was successful, and I was given the all
clear in June 2015, but my mental health suffered, and I was diagnosed with complex PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
After the unexpected breakdown of my second marriage, I entered a very dark headspace. I threw myself into work, and immersed myself in my kids, but the weekends I was alone were awful, and I coped by drinking. One weekend, I found myself sitting on the edge of the cliff at the end of my
road. I don’t think I was contemplating jumping, but I suddenly had a shock of adrenalin, and told myself this was it, things had to change. It was in this compelling moment that I became interested in life – real life. I was determined to create a stronger version of myself.
With this determination I opened up and looked for help and I discovered resources, support, help, guidance, and compassion all around, the problem was, first you needed to open up, and then you had to look really hard. But what about those who still felt unable to open up, or those who didn’t know where to look? And it was during a conversation with a friend that the question was asked – “What can we do to spread the message, to open up and continue the conversation, to share the resources, to guide
organisations to create their own wellness strategies, empowering themselves and their people to nourish, thrive and expand?”
Questae Collective was founded on these values – wellness, wellbeing, and mental health in the workplace.