Behind the Mask

Why we created Unmasked

We at Unmasked have all learnt to adjust and live with various mental health issues. Unmasked Mental Health was created with a desire to help others living with mental health issues, those who may be experiencing the same issues and coping with them alone. Our goal is simple, to provide a safe, stable regulated platform, for users to communicate with each other, create bonds and friendships, that they may have potentially missed out on.

With an estimated 1 in 4 people experiencing some form of mental illness, it's probable that you, or one of your loved ones, could be living with a mental health issue in silence. The chance to talk to a someone like-minded, who maybe experiencing the same issues as you are, can be a real boost to one's confidence and self-esteem.

Who We Are

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Logan Bonham Smith

Founder

I’m 26 years old from Sowerby Bridge, Mental Health has been a relatively new thing to me. My anxiety all started on 14.09.17 when my daughter Orla was born. I think the birth of my daughter and being newly married really added an extra pressure to life and caused me to have anxiety attacks.

At first I really didn’t know how to cope with my illness, I just bottled it up and put on a brave face. I was scared! What if I couldn’t provide for my family? What if I couldn’t be a good dad? What if we can’t afford rent? All these thoughts would race through my mind everyday and I didn’t know what to do.

One of the biggest steps I took was finally opening up to my wife and telling her how I felt. It took a lot courage to open up but I felt a massive release once I had done it.

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Doug Dennison

Founder

I have lived with depression for over 9 years following the loss of 3 children. It has only been in the last 3 years that I have made progress and began talking about my experiences and feelings, I was eventually diagnosed as having PTSD and depression, I was on medication for just over 2 years but have been without this for the last 6 months as I no longer feel I need to be medicated thanks to the talking therapies and support group I attended.

There is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health, whilst everyone is aware it’s happening and getting worse, no one really likes to acknowledge it. Talking about your personal experiences can be difficult for people, no one likes to feel judged, especially when they are already feeling vulnerable.

We just wanted to do something to help people so they don’t feel as isolated as we all once have, we want people to know that someone is always listening and that it’s good to talk, and the great thing about this app is that people don’t even need to leave the house to seek out support, meaning that hopefully we’ll be able to reach even more people.

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Robin Cunningham

Founder

I am a 57 year old, Hebden Bridge born and bred construction foreman, I always considered myself “bullet proof”, against anxiety and depression.

That was until the breakdown of a long term relationship, ill health and the untimely deaths of 3 close family members. I didn’t realise I was depressed, I coped during the working day, and shot home at night, drew the curtains, and carried on!!

I used to be a social animal but then I started looking for any excuse not to go out! I was aware help was available but didn’t want people, especially at work to think there was “something wrong" with me.

Where we’ve come from

Logan, the youngest of the bunch previously worked for Calderdale council for a number of years. He first started at the age of 18 working as a lifeguard on a casual basis and had a real passion for sport. After being taken on full time he started to work his way up through the job roles within Calderdale’s leisure centres. In 2017 he got married and had a child. From this, his wife started with post-natal depression and anxiety. This is when Logan had the idea of trying to help guide his partner through these difficult times.

Logan and Doug have been close friends for the past 10 years. Within these 10 years, Doug has lived with his own mental health battle and brings his own real-life experience to the team. Doug has worked in sales for a similar amount of time [10 years] and has worked for the likes of Ford, Peugeot and more recently NESL. During this time Doug started to attend a local peer support group and met the third founder of Unmasked Mental Health, Robin. Robin has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years and is still an active General Foreman of a local site here in Calderdale. Robin has played a vital role in getting Unmasked Mental Health up off the ground. Without Robin, we simply wouldn’t exist.

Robin has also been on his own journey of mental health and similar to Doug, he brings his real-life experience to the team and to everyone looking for support and guidance with their own journey.