Petra brings a human experience to everything she does. Dynamic, funny and practical, audiences leave her talks changed and ready to take action. Challenging both personal and organisational responsibility for mental health at work, her personal experience of growing up globally creates impact on virtual platforms and in places like Washington, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and South Africa. She seamlessly dances between clinical advice and expertise for HR and Leaders to sharing her moving story of being raised in a cult and building her own resilience from rock bottom.
Invest in your employees with a dynamic and uplifting keynote on Mental Health at Work:
- Petra highlights the business case for mental health at work with Senior Leadership, highlighting practical skills for making authentic culture change.
- She helps Human Resources understand that mental health can longer be a tick box but must be strategic and embedded in everything we do in order to help retain talent, reduce absenteeism and increase innovation in a new world of work.
- All employees are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their mental health and supported to be the change they want to see in the world.
- Petra has a well rounded approach to mental health and always connects the dots between a leader’s mental health and wellbeing to the employees mental health and wellbeing. These two go hand in hand.
Petra is known for her ability to bring humour and lightness to a traditionally heavy topic. She believes that mental health is about everyone and, influenced by positive psychology, is about creating cultures where we talk about what thriving looks like not just what to do when people have poor mental health.
Petra is a psychotherapist, executive coach and holds an MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development. She is the founder of Mental Health Consultancy PVL and started her business out of acute frustration having worked in the wellbeing industry and realised people were talking a good game but were often toxic on the inside. Her mission was set to see if she could create a business that fully lived its values and proved that a mentally healthy culture was possible at every level of the business.
With Petra’s clear expertise you would think this was always her plan. This couldn’t be further from the truth. She was actually born and raised in the notorious religious cult, The Children of God, growing up in communes across the globe believing the world was going to end. She didn’t go to school and as a teenager felt confused and lost, descending into alcohol addiction and depression.
At 23 she was a young mother, had moved to London and had no future mapped out – ostracised from any community she knew. This experience of isolation, loneliness and avoiding taking responsibility for her state of mind is akin to how many of us have been feeling throughout the pandemic. The rules we had for life no longer applied and we’ve had to evolve our wellbeing tools and community as well as question friends and even our own thinking as we learn to thrive in unprecedented times.
Desperate and suicidal, she reached a catalyst moment deciding she could no longer be a victim of her past and began the slow journey to health, resilience, education and eventually an illustrious career.
She viscerally describes the moment she wanted to end everything and the secondary thought that came into her mind – the thought that she could postpone taking her life for just one year. She now had a way out and it opened up a small window of possibility. In this year she was determined to experiment with all the ways she could improve her mental health and overall life. She describes how this year came and went and life wasn’t perfect but she had learned a few things – including how we can teach ourselves to be happy. We can learn how to improve our mental health and over time we can radically alter the trajectory of our lives.
Her message is one of hope in darkness and practical advice and support through any challenge. Her audience will laugh, they will cry and ultimately they will leave with ideas for change for both them and people around them.
Her experience of a toxic cult influences her ability to assess toxic workplaces and her education and global experience allows her to quickly see the challenge and advise on practical solutions for real world change.
She is the CEO of a thriving mental health consultancy and training company that teaches individuals and teams how practising courage and vulnerability enhances productivity, fulfilment and happiness. Her keynotes are motivational, inspirational and filled with practical tools for tackling the mental illness epidemic that is rampant through our schools, workplaces and families.
All keynotes can be adapted to an audience of HR, Wellbeing Leaders and all Employees.
- Wellbeing in times of change
- Building a Strategic Approach to Mental Health Awareness
- Building Grit in a noisy world
- Managing Remote Teams
- Leadership, Performance, and Mental Health
Posts featuring Petra Velzeboer
Petra Velzeboer: From Trauma to Triumphe
"This was probably the most moving, honest and powerful session that I have ever attended."
Herbert Smith Freehills
"PVL is a true partner, bringing awareness and sustainability of employee wellbeing into organisations."
At Kruger Cowne, we make it happen.Book Petra Velzeboer
Or alternatively call us to book Petra Velzeboer on 020 3124 1860