Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival

Discover how to nurture your mental health and wellbeing at our first ever virtual festival.

Building on the success of last year’s multi-award winning festival, we are bringing you an unmissable virtual event of positive mental health talks, activities and discussions. The talks will be available to view online 19 January – 6 February 2021. Further events will be co-ordinated by the House leadership team.

On this page you can scroll down to enter the festival and view the different talks available to pupils, parents, staff and all. Parents and staff are welcome to watch the pupil talks if they are of interest. We really hope you enjoy the event and look forward to sharing feedback.

Festival Line-up:


Delyth Lynch, Deputy Head (Safeguarding) and Mental Health Lead – Welcome to the Festival.

Talks for pupils include:

Lottie and Honor were both students in the Combermere, graduating in July 2020. Lottie is currently studying at Newcastle University and Honor at Durham. Honor was Head of House and College Prefect and she speaks candidly in this interview about her experience of being the youngest sibling in a family where her two older sisters struggled with mental health issues. Lottie has spoken openly about her mental health during her time at Wellington, and her support of others and her wish to breakdown the stigma surrounding mental health in young people culminated in her being awarded a prestigious Diana Award in June 2020. In her final year at Wellington she organised a 24-hour danceathon, raising £3,000 for the mental health charity Mind.

Will studied at Wellington from 2010-2015. He was in the Stanley, captained the 1st XV and was Deputy Head of College. In this candid and moving talk he speaks about his journey through Wellington, Oxford University and what happened when his successful rugby career was blighted by injury.

Charlie studied at Wellington College and in this very honest talk he speaks about the bullying he experienced at Wellington and the effect it has had on him. Charlie is now a culture and wellbeing consultant who provides wellbeing and leadership workshops to CEOs, Founders and their employees. He is the author of the best selling book “Man Down” which was published in March 2020. The book offers advice on how to reach out and navigate mental health issues, and through his own experiences and insights Charlie offers tools and techniques to enable the reader to manage it better and help live a happier and healthier life. Charlie is also a volunteer for Mind and in 2014 he cycled 10,000 miles from Malaysia to the UK for the mental health charity SANE.

Kenny is a personal development consultant and is also known as “the man whisperer”. Founder of MenSpeak men’s groups,  he aims to provide a safe, effective and fun place for men to feel that they are heard and to share their feelings. In this thought-provoking interview with Bertie, they look at the importance of men speaking out and how the men’s support groups have benefited Bernie on his own mental health journey. www.themanwhisperer.co.uk / youngmenspeak.com

Harry is currently studying at university having previously been a pupil at Sherborne School. His journey with his own mental health issues and the support that he received has led to him founding the Lost Bond Project, a platform which is trying to start a narrative on the topic of mental health through conversation and artistic expression such as film. Their debut short film can be seen HERE. Do read more about this vitally important project which really does show how the arts can be powerful for providing a coping mechanism for mental health struggles. By channelling emotions into creating something beautiful we all have the capacity to reduce negative feelings and encourage positive outcomes. Click HERE to visit the Lost Pond Project on Instagram.

Ming is an Old Wellingtonian who left the College in 2011, having been a student in the Apsley. She has been a successful singer-songwriter (www.mingbridges.com) and is also the founder of Rentadella, a disruptive fashion rental experience in Singapore. Stepping out of the spotlight of professional music because of the impact it was having on her own mental health, she has spoken openly about her battle with anxiety and anorexia and her very honest TEDx talks on body image are helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Ming is going to work with Wellington College on the topic of body image, offering workshops, help and advice.


Talks for parents and staff include:

James and Chantal Crawford are parents to three daughters, the youngest of whom left Wellington College last year. James works in property and Chantal is at home running their family property business and also chairs the Parental Mental Health Committee at Wellington. All three of their daughters have suffered, to a greater or lesser degree, from mental ill health including severe clinical depression, eating disorders and anxiety. They are all now thriving young adults, living their lives well. In this moving interview James and Chantal speak candidly about their experience and learnings derived from parenting children and young adults with mental ill health.

Andy and Catherine are the co-founders of ‘Elemental Wellbeing’ (elementalwellbeing.co.uk) where they aim to help businesses to understand and identify the elements that will create a formula for wellbeing at work. In this talk they look at anxiety and allostatic overload during the CV19 pandemic and speak about strategies which will benefit us all within our own work and in the support of others.

Author of five best selling books, American psychologist, Dr Aric Sigman is an expert in the field of teenage mental health. His talk on mental health and screen time is a must for all – students, parents and staff – and we are very privileged that he has given his time to prepare this presentation for the College. Read more about Aric’s work and research HERE.

In this incredibly helpful talk Emma looks at what adults can do to support their children as they navigate their teenage years, with particular emphasis on their relationships with their peers. She draws on her expertise and wisdom in this field to highlight the pitfalls and also offer practical advice in terms of supporting them as they become adults. Emma has a long-standing reputation for delivering transformative training in the areas of psychological wellbeing, emotional intelligence and healthy relationships. A frequent contributor to parenting podcasts, radio and newspaper articles, we are delighted that she has taken the time to prepare this talk for us. www.emmagleadhill.com

Lucinda Powell works with many schools and parents helping to support students by drawing on and applying the latest psychological research. Previously a teacher, she now leads workshops on exam anxiety, positive psychology in the classroom and co-authored and delivered the Wellington College ‘Mental Health Ambassador’ training programme with Delyth Lynch. She is the founder of ‘Changing States of Mind’ and has a particular interest in neurodiverse young people, having completed her Masters degree in Special and Inclusive Education. In this fascinating talk, she looks at how a neurodiverse young person thinks and processes the world around them and how it can affect their mental health. She also looks at a range of strategies which parents and teachers can use to help them. www.changingstatesofmind.com


Talks for all include:

Ali is a mindfulness, meditation and yoga teacher specialising in stress management. She works with businesses, groups and individuals and has given her time to preparing a talk and practical mindfulness meditation session especially for our festival. Give yourself permission to take some time out and relax in order to re-ground yourself and connect with the world around you so that you feel better able to manage your stress and be proactive about your wellbeing. www.mindfulnessandyogamatters.co.uk

Dominique is a yoga teacher and parent of two teenagers and two dogs! She is also studying for a qualification in Exercise Referral which will enable her to take GP referrals to help individuals to help people handle chronic conditions and recover from surgery and injuries. Dominique and her family have just moved back to the UK after 10 years in China and Hong Kong where she spent her time tutoring and interview training, working with the education charity ‘United World Schools’, and studying for a Masters degree in Psychology. She is also a qualified coach. Dominique is passionate about bringing yoga and all of its physical and mental benefits to as many young people as possible.


Fireside Talks

Throughout this year’s festival, our much-loved Fireside Talks will be themed around mental health and wellbeing. We are delighted to welcome former England rugby captain, Will Carling and former professional British tennis player turned radio and television presenter, Annabel Croft, to talk about their experiences with mental health.

Mon 25 Jan 5pm

Mon 1 Feb 5pm:


Further Support

Please be aware of your own self-care when you watch these talks. Depending on your own life journey and current circumstances, you might find some content in the presentations difficult to watch. Be mindful of this and ensure that you have support around you if you think you might need it, and also use the support booklets and resources to get help following the talk if you need to.