JCI Manchester’s breakfast briefing of February 2016 was both a happy and a poignant occasion.
Our speaker was Vikas Shah, who was able to collect his award as a UK winner of 2015’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons competition. Vikas has incredible stories from his multiple business ventures and VIP interviews, but he took this opportunity to speak about his challenges with depression.
Fifty attendees had first ploughed through a quality breakfast, provided by our hosts JMW Solicitors, and passed around the business cards. Our business director Raana Afsarpour then welcomed the guests and introduced Vikas.
Vikas’s current venture is Swiscot Group, a global textiles and trading business. He also provides business consultancy services, sits on multiple boards focused on technology and entrepreneurship, and has a side-line in interviewing high profile names from Branson to Buzz Aldrin.
His story is one of big names and globe-trotting success, peppered with the corporate failures that we now expect to fill every entrepreneur’s closet. But behind that glamour and game face was an anxiety that led to depression and a number of suicide attempts.
Vikas moved the audience with his surprising hidden story, and shocked them with an evocation of how a person somewhere succeeds in a suicide attempt every 40 seconds.
Local president Paul Widger thanked Vikas deeply for his continuing support of JCI Manchester, and vowed that the chamber would continue this work in raising awareness of mental health issues.
JCI Manchester’s LinkedIn group is accepting anonymous stories of anxiety and depression, should anyone want to share them (log in to LinkedIn with email@example.com / jcianon, and search for the JCI Manchester group). We are also undertaking the national ‘3 Peaks Challenge’ in support of Anxiety UK, a Manchester-headquartered charity supporting all those struggling with any aspect of mental health.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Paul Widger