Professional Bio - Dr Andy Walmsley
The Passion and Drive
I’m passionate about reducing suicide within the work environment. This passion is driven from losing several friends to suicide. After attending these funerals, I often walk away feeling sad and frustrated, but also determined to continue my work on suicide prevention.
Suicide Prevention Research
I earned my doctorate in clinical psychology exploring suicide prevention among men within the construction industry. The findings from the study led to further research exploring risk factors for suicide among men within the construction industry. Findings from my research have influenced workplace suicide prevention programs, which are currently being used within a number of different industries.
Suicide Prevention in the Workplace
From several years of clinical and research experience on suicide prevention, I believe the workplace is a platform where we can reduce suicide. It provides a platform where we can identify, support, and connect workers who are struggling with mental distress. My current work involves delivering Tools to Talk workshops to improve help-seeking within the workplace. The workshops are targeted at apprentices, employees, and leaders from a variety of different industries.
I have lived experience of depression. When I was 21-years old I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and spent several years doing chemotherapy. During this period, I lost my hair, my life, and felt hopeless about my situation. It was during this period that I connected with a psychologist and learnt the Tools I needed to ‘combat’ the depression. I began to see the cancer as not a burden on my life, but rather an opportunity to share my experience with others to improve help-seeking. After recovering from cancer, I then began to train as a clinical psychologist.
Outside of Work
I’m currently based in New Plymouth, living with my wife and two-furry children. In my spare time I love exploring different surfing areas, and just sitting in the ocean doing nothing! I also enjoy spending time in the garden growing a variety of different peppers and making pepper sauce that makes me cry!