To place mental health awareness on the workplace agenda, encouraging employees to self-monitor, take action towards prioritising self-care, and lead a value-focused life.
Our founder, Charlie Winton, was stuck in a highly stressful job, working 50-hour weeks and enjoying moderate success—but at a cost. He found himself hiding away multiple times a day in the company bathrooms experiencing overwhelming feelings, which he understood as panic.
Others saw him as happy, enthusiastic and a competent recruiter, but he struggled through the days, distracting himself from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings by playing games on his phone. He felt unable to talk to his manager or seek help. The situation he found himself in was not the perceived norm.
This persisted for a year before he decided to move on and start OK Positive, with the intention of supporting others silently struggling in the workplace. He wanted to encourage people to be open about their feelings and able to speak out about mental health issues, beginning a change of narrative in workplace culture.
He built the OK Positive application to do just that and after reaching out found a supportive team of like-minded people.
We have an incredible team and only plan to grow further throughout 2020 and beyond. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, each of us brings unique skill sets that contribute to the OK Positive way of life. We all believe in practising what we preach here at OK Positive, and the well-being of our team is of the utmost importance. We share the common goal of supporting mental health in the workplace and beyond, and we’re having fun getting there!
Our founder, Charlie, worked in financial recruitment before moving into technology as a salesman in the world of payments. It was in recruitment that he first realised he had mental health issues surrounding anxiety and OCD. Frequent panic attacks led to the decision that he needed a change.
Charlie decided to start OK Positive to help those in a similar position as he was, so that they could receive the support they needed. He launched the company in 2019, which has since grown, and does not plan to stop! He enjoys working with like-minded people, who through OK Positive’s culture and values aim to make a positive difference in the world.
Megan is our Head of Research and Development. She is a University of Glasgow graduate, where she studied a joint-honours degree in Politics and Psychology. She completed an internship in New York, where she worked with homeless individuals who also had a mental health diagnosis. This made her realise that she wanted to pursue a career where she would be able to make a proactive difference to aid people’s mental health, which is why she decided to become a part of OK Positive.
Outside of work, Megan really enjoys travelling and has explored much of Southeast Asia. She also has a firm interest in anything creative, whether painting, sewing or photography.
Bob, our Chief Operating Officer, has over 30 years’ experience in the financial and IT sectors, working in Europe, North America and Asia. Bob has specialised in operations and IT for some of the largest financial firms in the world and consulted for many more.
Previous positions include CEO, COO, CTO and various director roles for numerous companies across finance, IT, residential childcare and charities. In 2011, Bob successfully started his own IT company before merging with SoConnect Ltd in 2019. This has provided him with valuable experience of the real-life operational requirements of a company and contributing to its success through leadership and knowledge.
Bob is passionate about social issues, in particular fostering positive outcomes for families and children. As CEO of a residential children’s home company, he gained more understanding of the impact that mental health has on children’s development and the families supporting them. He is currently chairman on the board of a children’s charity. He has also served in the British Army Royal Signals and so greatly understands the impact that mental health has on our armed forces.
Bob is really excited to be involved in OK Positive’s journey and to help develop it into the success it deserves. He looks forward to being able to provide a powerful new proposition to give more people access to mental health assistance and support.
Helen is our Clinical Director. She qualified as a registered nurse in 1992, working for 10 years in various critical care units before moving into mental health nursing. She has a bachelor’s degree from Napier University in Edinburgh and postgraduate certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2003) accredited by the BABCP.
With more than 25 years’ NHS experience including community-based addiction and HIV initiatives, Primary Care addiction and mental health services, and psychological therapy for trauma-based services, Helen has extensive experience in developing and delivering psychological approaches to various populations. She is part of a network of independent therapists in Edinburgh (CBT plus), and is the founder and director of Compass Therapy.
Helen works with a variety of patients with a wide range of psychological presentations including depression, anxiety and OCD; trauma, grief and loss; stress reactions, addictions and eating disorders; and relationships and interpersonal issues. Helen also supervises other professionals training in CBT, ACT and other psychological interventions, and offers workplace training and workshops aimed at improving staff resilience, retention and performance.
Passionate about her work and a warm, down-to-earth person, Helen firmly believes in the psychological frameworks she applies to her work with patients and believes that therapy can make a significant difference people’s lives. This is why she was so keen to collaborate with OK Positive, seeing it as a platform to raise awareness of mental health, and to teach employers and individuals to become self-aware and engaged with the stuff that gives them purpose.
Will joins us as Technical Consultant, having previously worked as an administrator in financial services and the public sector. Following on from his experiences of coming across vulnerable people while in these roles, he volunteered to tutor the elderly on using IT and the internet, seeing first-hand how parts of the population could benefit more from technology. He then decided to retrain in IT and study networking and cybersecurity.
Since returning to education, and especially in the workplace, William struggled with stress and other issues, only to later find out that he was on the autism spectrum. This went some way to explain his situation and gave him a personal reason to work with OK Positive. He believes that technology applied properly can empower people, and is excited to be part of the team and its mission to do this and more for mental health.
Kirsten is our Business Development Intern. She is currently in her last year studying Business Management at the University of Aberdeen. Living internationally from a young age, Kirsten developed a love for travel and understanding different cultures. She looks forward to helping support businesses worldwide.
Outside of education and work, Kirsten enjoys staying fit and healthy, which has helped with her own mental health. She is excited to work with OK Positive to aid people’s mental health and make a positive impact in the workplace.
Steph, our User Experience Lead, has over 20 years’ experience designing software solutions and digital products across a range of industries including finance, property and healthcare.
A University of Southampton graduate, Steph has worked in a number of large organisations in the UK and Australia. Her consulting experience has provided her with the opportunity to serve clients in the UK, France, Holland, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
In Australia, her experience includes Head of Change Management for Mobile at CommBank, Australia’s leading retail bank, plus roles in business analysis, change and implementation management, and digital adoption at several well-known names in the finance industry.
More recently, Steph has moved into user experience (UX) design and worked with large companies as well as smaller start-up and scale-up businesses. Her experience here includes user research, user interface design, prototyping and usability testing.
She has a passion for making technology simple, easy to use and accessible for all users, increasing digital adoption by delivering engaging customer experiences.
We want to create a platform that connects with the people who use it. Through using the application, managers can connect in a meaningful and reciprocal way with their employees. We want to form mental health networks that support each other in and out of the workplace.
We believe that if we have the courage to create this platform and pour ourselves into it, we can enable those struggling with their mental health to do the same. It’s OK to not feel OK. Our app encourages self-awareness, which we hope will encourage individuals to have courageous conversations.
We believe that communication around mental health needs to be brought to the surface in the workplace, and through OK Positive, we aim to do this. We are open and honest with each other about our thoughts in all that we do, and we want this to shine through.
We are committed: to alleviating suffering, changing narratives around mental health, building the most user-friendly product possible, and listening to any and all feedback. We are committed to each other as a team to deliver this with a culture encouraging learning and development.
Being OK Positive: this is our belief, our mantra.
We believe that everyone can work with the OK Positive app. We cannot feel 100% every second of every day, but we aim to help people recognise that we all have mental health, and we need to look after it as we do with our physical health.
Our employers need to understand this, too. We are humans, not machines. This means we need to check in with ourselves often and ensure we’re OK Positive. If you are heard, supported and respected in your job, you will enjoy life and be a more productive employee. It’s a win for everyone.
So, jump on board and help us make the world more OK Positive!