Geoff McDonald is the former Global Vice President of Unilever where he worked across Africa, the Middle-East, Australasia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Today, Geoff consults organisations, helping them define and embed purpose as a driver of growth and profitability. Geoff is a very active campaigner for breaking the stigma associated with mental health in the corporate world. Geoff previously convened a meeting with CEOs from FTSE 100 Companies to address their role and agree actions to break stigmas in the workplace and has provided support to the Royal Foundation (Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge) in their mental health campaigns. Geoff is also a Trustee of ‘Family Links’, a Charity promoting and educating parents and teachers to develop emotionally-healthy children and young adults.
Geoff is originally South African and now resides in the UK. Geoff used to describe himself as a typical ‘macho male’ until one day he was diagnosed with depression. Geoff shares his personal story of the events which led to that moment and how he improved his mental health and continues to work on it every day. Geoff notes “every story we tell is like sending out a lifeboat and those suffering in silence cling on and realise they are not alone. I want people in organisations to feel they have the choice to put their hand up if they are suffering from anxiety or depression, just as they would if they were suffering from a physical illness”.