Meet Hannah Chamberlain

25 September 2018

A year on from winning the Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award 2017 we catch up with Hannah Chamberlain on whats been a whirlwind 12 months.

Hannah Chamberlain accepting her award

It's amazing to think that it's been a year since we won the Stelios award with Leonard Cheshire and it's been an incredible ride. So it kicked off our year in a great fashion.

We won the award in November and that meant that we could put plans into place to have a launch in January before the launch of course off the back of the Stelios award.

We'd had a load of press so I got to be on the BBC which was fantastic in a live studio environment.

MentalSnapp was mentioned in the Houses of Parliament which was amazing and then because of the links that we've made with the DWP through the Stelios award and Leonard Cheshire we were able to invite the Deputy Minister for disabled people from the DWP to our launch to kick us off which was great. 

Any particular highlights for you in terms of success stories — people who have used the app? 

When we did the focus group for the next version, we had some great feedback and the one that really stuck with me was this amazing woman who said that having used MentalSnapp for, you know, even for just a week.

She felt like she was making a new friend and that friend was herself and I really think that that gets to the heart of why MentalSnapp works because what it does is it helps people to reconnect with themselves.

I think when you have a mental health diagnosis there's a sort of massive divorce that happens in your identity and its really important to reconnect with yourself to back your own version of events to trust your own judgment and to learn to do that again and becoming your own best friend is key to that. 

MentalSnapp's very much a part of a new movement of people coming to terms with mental health. Public perceptions towards mental health is changing. Do you feel there's been a societal shift in the right direction? 

Oh yes definitely. I think in the last couple of years its really skyrocketed. And what's great is the opening up of the debate. I think that poses opportunities, huge opportunities.

It also, there's an element of caveat to it and I'm writing a book at the moment to go alongside MentalSnapp called ‘Mad Before It Was Cool’ which is sort of a flippant title but I do think there's an element where mental health has actually become quite cool in that it's a very hot topic or maybe it's not that mental health is cool but actually what has happened that's really concrete is it's now uncool to discriminate against people with mental health issues.

And I think thats an amazing step forward that we've made. 

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