Meet the Founder
Laura is an Australian born specialist Wellbeing Consultant with an academic background in Neuroscience (second major in Anatomy & Human Biology) and PostGraduate Psychology. She draws on a wealth of international experience in workplace health to bring the science of wellbeing to life with humour, honesty and practical lived experience.
Laura worked with a wide range of industries before moving into learning and development and wellbeing consultancy. Currently, Laura works with various clients from small start-ups to FTSE 100 companies providing Mental Health First Aid training, wellbeing workshops and consultancy to help their people and their businesses thrive.
The Creation of It's a Playground
(a note from Laura)
From a young age, I was exposed to mental illness (although I didn't really understand what it was until much later). Throughout school, I learned about how to look after my physical wellbeing, but there was little-to-nothing discussed about mental health and how important it is.
When I was a teenager, I had my first depressive episode and for about a decade, I struggled with my mental health and lived with extremely dark thoughts and overwhelming anxiety. In times where I had energy, I became more and more passionate about helping others, but never thought there was help for me. During that time, I survived, barely, although very few people could see past my fake smile and vague sickness absence excuses. I was working within pscyhological injury management and training, where I promoted effective treatment and educated teams on psychological interventions. Concurrently, I was infused with the, rather self-absorbed, notion that I was more broken than anyone else and had every excuse not to seek treatment.
My mind was so unwell that I couldn't see a future for myself, or that I could ever be deserving of love. I became convinced that life was "just" a playground; that it had no meaning for me and no hope for me existed.
After I was open to receiving honest and loving support and encouragement (about a decade after my mental health was first in a critical state) I started my recovery journey. In my experience, it was quite difficult to find the right therapy, therapist and then medication, but when things started to come together, I was able to see hope again.
I realised that life wasn't JUST a playground, it wasn't JUST anything. It was A PLAYGROUND! A place for me to grow, learn and adventure, explore and create. I started to believe that I wasn't lost, but free to live my life the way I chose.
To be able to maintain this "It's a Playground" mindset, I learned that I needed to look after my physical, social and mental wellbeing in a proactive, rather than reactive manner.
Prevention is very similar to recovery (in many ways), however, recovery seems to be much harder.
We don't wait until we're seriously unwell to look after our physical body, we are taught to strive to do that daily and learn how to do so from a very early age.
We need to treat our mental and emotional health in the same way as we do our physical health. They are all important. There is no health, without mental health.
It's a Playground is a wellbeing company that aspires to make a change.
By inspiring humans and organisations to look after their health, and that of their companies, we hope to empower people to live their best lives and for the world to be a better place.