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MIMHC + Pepper Money: Keeping the conversation going

A key member of Pepper Money’s management team has shared his highly personal experiences of overcoming alcohol abuse following the breakdown of his marriage for the latest Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter (MIMHC) interview series.

Paul Adams, sales director at Pepper Money, said he hopes his full and frank disclosure of this traumatic episode in his life will inspire others working in the mortgage sector to seek appropriate help “without hesitation” if this becomes necessary.

Adams talked to Jason Berry, MIMHC co-founder and group sales director at Crystal Specialist Finance, as part of the not-for-profit organisation’s latest ‘Keeping the Mental Health Conversation Going’ video.

The forum was created to provide a platform for industry leaders to share insights and strategies for promoting best practice mental wellbeing in the workplace.

The turning point for Adams, he said, came after he spent a month at a hospital operated by The Priory, which provides specialist mental health care, focusing specifically on his cognitive behaviour with therapists, his diet with nutritionists, and the importance of exercise.

“As far as most people are concerned, I’ve always held my life together successfully,” he explained.

“But, for me, the key moment arose five years ago when I made a big life decision and decided to leave my wife and family and moved out of the family home.

“There was enormous change – and guilt and feelings of real loneliness came with that.

“This started me on the path of drinking more than I’d ever done previously to numb the pain.”

As a direct result of excessive drinking, Adams’ work suffered, and he also found himself increasingly leaning on colleagues to complete his workload.

He had the courage to discuss what was unravelling in his life with Pepper Money’s senior management team and subsequently decided to enter The Priory for four weeks, where he embarked on group therapy and one-on-one counselling.

In MIMHC’s new video, Paul cites cognitive therapy – when participants openly discuss the link between how they’re feeling and subsequent behaviours – as well as the importance of nutrition and exercise as being “transformative.”

After successfully turning his life around, he now proactively supports both colleagues from Pepper Money and others from across the mortgage industry by sharing his experiences and key personal takeaways.

MIMHC’s “Keep the Mental Health Conversation Going” series was established specifically to inspire positive change and create supportive work environments where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and support.

MIMHC was established to create a culture of openness and compassion within the mortgage industry by spreading a message of support and understanding while initiating meaningful discussions.

Berry added: “Paul’s story is nothing short of inspirational – he is now a stronger version of himself after emerging from some exceptionally dark times.

“What’s more, he is also actively seeking to pass on some of his key learnings to help others emerge from their own mental health setbacks and continue flourishing with their career.

“This ethos rests at the heart of MIMHC – and it’s essential that our industry continues providing compassion and support to our colleagues on those occasions when this is necessary.”