Paul Young -CS&TD TAD -Guidance Team
Paul initially volunteered to lead on well-being initiatives within the HMRC Guidance team. He wanted to help colleagues who’d experienced feeling excluded. Paul recognised, following his own severe brain injury, how support from work is crucial. He has experienced the devastating effects when support isn’t received but, more recently, has experienced things start to change, which he wanted to build on by sharing his story.
Paul knows first had the impacts of mental health and talks openly and bravely about his own experiences which led to two suicide attempts. Paul hid how low he was feeling out of shame and is now determined through the work he does that no one should ever experience what he did and should know the excellent support routes available, which can be literally life-saving.
As Paul spoke with more and more colleagues across HMRC and the impact he was having spurred him on. The impact Paul has on those who hear him speak of his experiences is profound, he has become a widely recognised mental health campaigner not only within HMRC but across other Government departments too. All of this work is done outside of Paul’s day job.
When Paul joined the Guidance Team he took on the attendance and wellbeing portfolio but his unique and inspirational personal story, approachability and his strength in sharing to help others has meant his impact has transcended the standard approach to such a role and delivered inspirational results.
It is testament to Paul’s character that he has been able to help so many other people as he has suffered so many setbacks and negative reactions from others, inside and outside work, to his brain injury which are truly hard to imagine. Paul used these horrendous experiences once again to educate and change mind-sets.