Luke’s Story to Go Global

After his work during the pandemic to help his colleagues with their mental health, Luke Adebiyi has continued on his work and is now receiving international recognition.

We sat down for a chat with Luke to tell us all about why his face will be seen around the world.

He explained that about nine months ago he was nominated for the Insider Out leaderboard, which celebrates future leaders and executives that promote mental health and wellbeing. 

Luke said: ‘Off the back of that, I was contacted in January by a company called Unmind which was launching a new mental health training programme for managers and using that on a global platform.

‘So I went to London back in February to film my lived experience and my personal experiences. We did a full two days of filming and now they’re using that video in their line manager training which will be used in about 25 different countries with companies such as Virgin Media and the NHS’

As well as these big names, Luke’s experience could also be shared with other industry leaders such as easyJet and Jet2, meaning he could be watched by over three million people. 

That training video could also be available for companies on the island, with Luke saying he was keen to ensure that if local businesses do want to access it, they would be able to contact Unmind to request to use the academy.

For Luke, while the exposure is clearly nice, promoting positive employee welfare is more important. He said: ‘We spend 35 or more hours a week at work and we probably spend a lot more time there than we do in our home lives, going to the gym, or whatever else you do. So it is really important that managers are there for their colleagues, especially since Covid.

‘I think with the hybrid home/office working scenario, companies may forget about their home workers a bit more. If you live in an apartment, for example, you’re working from 9am until maybe 5.30pm at home and you log off and it can be hard to disconnect and for it to be your home space.

‘Managers need to be there to support their staff as good managers. You can’t be a bad manager, you need to be able to spot the signs of where colleagues may be struggling, especially if you’ve been managing people remotely.’

For Luke, this isn’t just about the idea of managers improving, his own personal experience of dealing with anxiety has led to him wanting to help as many other people as possible.

He said: ‘At the time, I was working for a bank that employed thousands of people so I decided to speak about what I was going through by posting on our blog page to talk about how I’d been feeling for the last 14 months. And I had so many messages back from colleagues and managers who were feeling the same and ever since then I’ve been involved in helping push that.’

That additional work has seen Luke link up with REACH Isle of Man, the IOD and many businesses to tell the story of why this matters and how people can choose to hide behind a smile. He was also more recently a winner at the Extraordinary Islanders event.