Mental Health Awareness Week is nearly upon us again, from 13 to 19 May 2024, with the theme "Movement: Moving more for our mental health." What better time than to dig one of our most popular OnDemand PepTalk conversations out of the archives? 

Building Your Mental Fitness

In a thought-provoking session, Dr Alex George, known for his role as the UK Government Ambassador for Mental Health, explored the differing attitudes towards mental and physical health and shared his top mental fitness tools. We can all use these to take better care of our well-being and live fuller, happier lives.

He also offered his advice on breaking down barriers and opening up the conversation around mental health in the family home and workplace and how to support those you may be worried about.

If you’re an OnDemand subscriber, you can watch it here; otherwise, read on for a recap of the episode.

Valuing Time and Mental Health

Dr Alex emphasised, "Time is one of those commodities that you spend it and you never get it back. It's the most precious commodity of all." He highlighted the importance of spending our time in a state of happiness and contentment, advocating for an investment in our mental and physical health as essential for a meaningful life.

Positive Outlook on Mental Health

Dr Alex says, "Mental health is a beautiful thing. It's an absolutely beautiful thing. And if we can nurture it, if we can help it to grow, then we can genuinely reap the rewards and benefits of looking after it." He called for a shift in how we view mental health, encouraging a perspective that treats it with the same positivity and attention as physical health.

Gut-Brain Connection

Dr Alex explained the connection, "Most of you have heard of serotonin... Well, the building blocks of serotonin are synthesised by enzymes in our gut." This underlines the link between diet, gut health, and mental well-being, suggesting that proper gut care can improve mental fitness.

Understanding and Empathy in Mental Health

Reflecting on his personal experiences, Dr Alex said, "So much of mental health and improving how we feel is practising self-compassion." He discussed the spectrum of mental health and the critical need for empathy and support for individuals, regardless of where they stand on this spectrum.

Read more from PepTalk: Get Moving For Mental Health Awareness Week

Actionable Advice and Tools

  • The Ask Twice initiative promotes asking about someone's well-being on a deeper level to foster genuine conversations about mental health. On Ask Twice, he says, "The reason it's called Ask Twice is that it tells that person. I'm not just asking it in the British sense, I'm actually asking you, how are you?" This initiative fosters deeper and more meaningful conversations about well-being.
  • The Traffic Light System is an intuitive method for expressing and identifying feelings within both family and professional settings. Dr. George says the Traffic Light System " creates a culture of openness within the workspace... You're identifying people who are struggling and, very importantly, identifying people who are really struggling." This method offers a straightforward way to communicate about mental health in various settings.
  • Mental Health First Aid training in workplaces to provide people with the tools to assist colleagues facing mental health challenges. Advocating for Mental Health First Aid, he said, "You guys are worrying about it already... Let's give you the tools about how to have these conversations and how to signpost people." This emphasises the necessity for establishing mental health support mechanisms in the workplace.


The Mind Manual: Dr Alex's book is designed to offer accessible advice on well-being. It acts as a guide to mental fitness, providing readers with tools and strategies to enhance their mental health.

Stompcast: Dr Alex's podcast, "Stompcast," serves as a platform where he discusses various aspects of mental health and well-being. Through his podcast, he aims to open up conversations around mental health, offering advice, sharing experiences, and bringing on guests to talk about their journeys and insights related to mental health.

Want to hear more from Dr Alex?

Explore the foundations for good mental fitness, and learn how to open up the conversation around mental health in the home or workplace with a motivating talk from Dr Alex George, Government Ambassador for Mental Health and Former Love Islander. Email us at or send us a message via the chat. You can also call us on +44 (0)2038352929. Remember, it’s never too early (or too late) to get a PepTalk!

Culture Calendar

Success favours the prepared. That’s why we’ve compiled a free calendar of awareness days and weeks to support your business.

From health and wellbeing to culture and DEI, adding the calendar will keep you on the pulse of what’s happening and ahead of the game. Plus, it works across all platforms.