Today is ‘Blue Monday’, which has been characterized as the most depressing day of the year in the Northern hemisphere due to the number of dark and wet days… we aim to re- frame this time as an opportunity for new beginnings. It was through ‘going within’ our own dark times that Sean and I were able to find our own light; our life purpose and what we now offer in the world…
I am ‘beyond thrilled!’ to introduce you to our Kinda Proud Ambassador Sean; together we will be offering YOU the opportunity to write your own autobiographies through #Emerging Proud Press. Here’s Sean to explain…
From Break-Down to Break-Through
New publishing partnership forms to create a ‘KindaProud Pocket Books of Transformation’ series, aiming to bring a new perspective to mental health, acceptance and recovery.
An exciting new publishing partnership between a human rights activist and an independent publisher will see the launch of a new ‘KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope’ series this year, designed to illustrate how ‘re-thinking mental distress can act as a potential catalyst for positive change.’
Blue Monday (January 21st) is widely cited as the most depressing day of the year, yet Katie Mottram and Sean Patrick are keen for people to see such days as an opportunity to re-frame their negative thinking and turn it into an opportunity for transformation. “Depression is an indicator that something in our life needs to change. It gives us the opportunity to ‘emerge’ as our true selves, someone we are proud to be,” explains Katie.
Katie, an author and human rights activist, and Sean, owner of publishing company That Guy’s House, have joined forces to launch the KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope series, a collection of inspiring personal stories designed to decrease stigma, improve wellbeing and influence the saving of lives through providing a more compassionate and positive conceptual framework for emotional distress.
The series publications launch on the 12th May 2019, starting with the release of #Emerging Proud through NOTES (Non- Ordinary Transcendent Experiences). Further books will be published throughout the year including, #Emerging Proud through disordered eating, body image and low-self-esteem, #Emerging Proud through Suicide and #Emerging Proud through trauma and abuse.
Each Pocket Book of Transformation has its own KindaProud Rep leading the campaign; a Peer who has personal experience of the theme of that specific book in which they tell their own story and encourage others to join them in doing the same.
“KindaProud empowers passionate Peers to tell their stories and be validated in doing so by a growing community that values authenticity, vulnerability and reduces stigma and shame. This helps build confidence and connection. Our project is empowering Peers to bravely speak out, proudly owning their story, and letting their voices be heard, in many cases for the first time.” explains Katie.
Katie and Sean’s long-term goal is to use all proceeds from book sales to provide free books to hospital wards and mental health facilities throughout the UK and Internationally, in order to inject much needed hope for people during their most difficult times. And although having never met in person, with Katie living in Norfolk and Sean in Liverpool, they regularly meet to discuss the project online. “The online world can be a cold and lonely place, with lots of negativity and hate, but it is important to acknowledge that social media can help people make valuable connections and can support recovery. It’s all about perspective and how we choose to use it,” explains Sean.
The underlying motivation for the new book series comes from the personal experience of both Sean and Katie, who have battled with mental health issues and recovery in the past.
Katie’s younger years were troubled, with her mother making two serious suicide attempts, including just after her birth and again when she was 17 years old. Katie lacked confidence and found herself battling with a heavy sense of ‘searching for more’. She embarked on a career in mental health in part to try and understand her mother’s experience, but this process purely acted as a mask for her own emotional baggage. After relocating to Spain to ‘start again’, Katie spiralled into depression and also attempted suicide in 2008. She returned to the UK the following year and took up yoga, meditation and self-development work, keen to avoid being medicated. Several years later, she experienced a spontaneous spiritual awakening during a meditation, at which point her life changed and she felt a revived sense of purpose and life mission.
As part of her recovery process, Katie went on to publish her memoir; Mend the Gap in 2014 and in 2016 set up the international human rights campaign; #Emerging Proud, allowing people all over the world to tell their transformation stories of having ‘emerged proud’ through a crisis. She also started to interview people about their ‘breakdown to breakthrough’ journeys, leading her to make and release a film on the subject in 2017, across 14 countries. Furthermore, the 12th May is now International #Emerging Proud Day around the world, helping to celebrate this perspective and to raise awareness.
Unlike Katie, Sean Patrick was a typical Millennial/ Gen Y, living life on the ‘ordinary’ path; going from High School to College to University to first job in the city. However, feelings of anxiety and depression became present in his 20s, with social anxiety leading on to more serious depression. “Like many people I didn’t know where I fitted into the world and despite having the things I was ‘supposed to’ I felt unhappy, anxious and unfulfilled. I felt like I was on a treadmill and scared by the world,” explains Sean.
Sean’s ‘crisis point’ hit when he started to experience severe panic attacks at 22 years old. He had no option to but admit he had ‘mental health’ issues and begin to focus on fixing it. He started by reading books, gaining better understanding of his own mind and ultimately to a more spiritual outlook on life through daily meditation and adopting spiritual beliefs. After accepting an expat job in Hong Kong and spending half a year away from his ‘ordinary life’, he had the chance to recalibrate, explore meditation and mindfulness and let go of damaging old patterns and beliefs.
On returning home, Sean set up a blog called That Guy Who Loves The Universe and began to share ideas about spirituality and positive mental health with his following which grew to over 15K. He began to speak at conferences and wellness events all over the world and released an Amazon bestseller in July 2016. In 2017, Sean developed his own wellness company, That Guy’s House, with a main focus on wellness books and mental health projects.
After being introduced to Katie and finding out more about her #Emerging Proud campaign, Sean knew that bringing their skills together to launch the KindaProud series of books would be the perfect collaboration.
“The KindaProud Pocket Book of Transformation series is our way of helping to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and to reframe mental illness as a portal into self- actualisation – it is only labelled as an illness due to what we have been conditioned to believe in Western culture. By sharing personal stories from a truly inspirational group of people, we hope many others will feel more able to speak out about how they are feeling and to start making positive steps towards fulfilment, acceptance and where needed, recovery,” explains Katie.
For further information, or to speak with Katie or Sean, please contact Jenna Owen on
01603 743 363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Will you be #Emerging Proud and shining your light with us?