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CII hosts webinar on mental health featuring TV personality and former broker, Andrew Jenkins

 Former commercial insurance broker and reality television star, Andrew Jenkins, has led a CII Underwriting Community webinar entitled, ‘Beyond the cloak; from tragedy to triumph, living authentically as a TV celebrity’.

Andrew, a recent contestant in season two of The Traitors on the BBC, joined the CII’s Programme Development & Partnership Manager, Tim Groves, to raise awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing.

Andrew spoke about his own life experiences, explaining how he had nearly died in an accident at the age of 21. Doctors advised him that he may never walk again. Fortunately, through determination and belief, Andrew relearned how to walk within just a few weeks. However, his lifelong dream of becoming a professional rugby player was ended, and although he endured serious physical injuries from the accident, the hardest battle he faced was with his mental health.

Andrew told listeners: “I bottled my feelings and emotions up for nearly 24 years and only recently have I spoken to my family about my mental health journey. I have done a lot of reflecting, studying and self-analysis over the past few years, and I am proud to say I am in a good place in life.”

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the doctor who saved my life. They told me the importance of sharing my experience to help motivate and inspire others”.

Andrew spoke about the importance of being able to talk about mental health, and emphasised that even after suffering adversity, there is opportunity to achieve success. 

“I genuinely believe that every single person has the strength in them to achieve great things in life. Just keep believing in yourself. Life is so important; it can change in an instant. Make it a life you want and chase your dreams”.

After his accident, Andrew initially chose not to speak about what had happened, but this led to him suppressing his feelings and suffering in silence. “Communication and grieving are the two significant things that affected me the most following my accident”. Andrew went on to explain how he took it upon himself to read self-help books, exercise regularly, eat healthy and surrounded himself with people that only offered a positive impact on his wellbeing.

Tim Groves commented: “I was so inspired by Andrew’s story that I even felt confident to share my own experiences. There were so many great tips discussed throughout the webinar that can help people on their mental health journey”.

CII members can watch the full webinar on demand here.