Talking Anxiety

HOME Park Stadium invites you to an evening with inspirational speaker Nick Elston, as a part of his ‘Talking Anxiety’ stadium tour, on Thursday, January 9.

Nick has always been acutely aware of his mental health, having been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at a young age, which led to an additional diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) a little while later. GAD caused Nick to fret about everyday life, resulting in an extreme work ethic that saw him rise quickly through the corporate ranks.

“What it does do, is make you highly driven and successful,” said Nick. “I was head prefect at school, with top grades, I became a top salesman and landed great corporate roles.

“What happens with people with GAD is that we don’t schedule recovery, and so in high-pressure environments, like law, business, or even professional football, we burn out.”

Nick, whose success in public speaking has seen it become his full-time job, turned his back on a highly impressive corporate career, which included Head of Partnerships at a leading software company, to pursue a public speaking career, having suffered from a break-down six years ago.

“Around six years ago I had a break-down moment, where I sort of froze,” he said. “I was frazzled, I was kind of wearing the mask. I was trying to be what people perceived me to be, what they demanded of me, and I wasn’t showing myself. That sort of spurred me on to share my lived experience – as at the time, nobody else was talking about it.”

Mental health is an issue that is very important to Plymouth Argyle, and inviting Nick to become one of the very first speakers at Home Park Stadium is an exciting opportunity, very much in line with our Vision and Values. Nick is aware of the club’s commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of the local community, having visited the club on such an occasion a few years ago.

“I came down with the brain injury charity Headway, on a charity walk. We began our walk at Home Park, and went all the way to The Memorial Stadium,” said Nick. “We were invited on the pitch, and the hospitality was wonderful. It will be an honour to come back and speak at the brand-new stadium development.

“I also think it’s important to deliver these sessions outside of corporate environments – and by speaking in football grounds, a place where many people feel more comfortable, allows us to discuss anxiety with people who may not otherwise get the opportunity.”

Talking Anxiety has been reviewed as “engaging, powerful, moving and insightful”, as well as “brutally honest.” Many attendees have referred to it as a cathartic experience, hearing a speaker speak so eloquently on a subject so close to home.

Tickets for Nick’s inspiring talk are available now through Eventbrite, and the super early-bird discounted rate of £10 is available until December 1. Book early to avoid disappointment.