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Ollie Ollerton talks addiction on the Mental Health podcast with Toolstation

clock 3 months ago

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the Mental Health Under Construction podcast episode about addiction with keynote speaker Ollie Ollerton.

Content information: This article includes discussions about addiction.

Mental Health Under Construction is an On The Tools podcast, in partnership with Toolstation. The podcast provides an opportunity to take a “Trade’s-eye-view” of a number of conditions and disorders, from anxiety to trauma, question what’s being done, and discuss how we can make a difference; it all starts with talking.

In this episode, podcast host Ryan Ridgeway from mental health organisation, ‘We Are Hummingbird’ talks about the topic of addiction with his guests: Ollie Ollerton, former UK Special Forces Soldier, author and one of the ‘directing staff’ from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, alongside bricklayer Ben.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the Mental Health Under Construction podcast episode about addiction with keynote speaker Ollie Ollerton.

It’s okay to not be okay

There seems to be a long-standing controversy between the concept of masculinity and mental health. Some believe that opening up about your feelings isn’t ‘manly’ or ‘strong’.

This can cause a lot of distress to those who feel as though they have to conceal any issues with their mental wellbeing for fear of being deemed ‘effeminate’ or ‘weak’. Ollie Ollerton describes feeling conflicted with his mental health when he was working with the armed forces:

“I’ve had a fair bit of experience in war zones, and stuff like that. I was trying to justify to myself, ‘why should I have mental health issues?’… As if I was being a fake. But there is no criteria for mental ill-health.”

Ollie goes on to explain that once he accepted that his thoughts were symptomatic of mental ill-health, he was able to begin the recovery process.

Getting to the root of the problem

Issues with mental health and wellbeing – like addiction – are not things that should be ignored; they hardly ever get better by being left alone.

For many, the first step to recovery from mental ill-health is by figuring out the root of the problem. For Ollie, the root of his mental health issues was childhood trauma:

“I’ve looked into trauma a fair bit, and I truly believe that we have this in-built self-preservation system, that – when you go through a traumatic event – gives you the ability to lock it away and push it to one side.

I believe this is there to help us in the short term. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t go back to that and deal with it, it’s going to come out at some point.”

Recovery is an active process

Mental health issues cannot usually be conquered overnight; becoming the best version of yourself is an ongoing practice that is achieved over time, by making small, successful changes.

Ollie Ollerton describes his journey to be the best version of himself as a “battle”. Podcast host, Ryan Ridgway continues:

“I’d encourage anyone to read and learn. You can pick up so much information and find your own way. Reading is one of the methods I use to stay the best version of me, as Ollie says. Because, if I stop doing that stuff, I’ll revert back… You need to put effort and time into the routine.”

Listen to the full episode here to hear more from Ollie Ollerton, Ryan Ridgway, and bricklayer Ben about addiction in the construction industry.
Do you have any stories or advice about addiction you’d like to share? Get in touch.


Ollie Ollerton is represented by Champions Speakers as a UK leading Motivational Speaker

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