England cricketing legend Monty Panesar addressed an audience of more than 100 staff at the Manufacturing Technology Centre on the subject of mental well-being.
The international left-arm spin bowler entertained the audience with cricket anecdotes, but speaking from personal experience he also emphasised the importance of mental health awareness and self-belief.
The event was the latest in a series of talks to MTC engineers and staff on a range of topical subjects. Speakers have included Baroness Karen Brady, life coach Holly Matthews, lawyer and academic Katie Broomfield and Alice White of the Wellcome Collection.
Monty Panesar made his test debut for England in 2006 against India, and has been a member of two Ashes-winning England squads in 2009 and 2010-11. He has played 50 test matches for England and taken five wickets in an innings a dozen times. His last international test match was against Australia in 2013.
In 2016 he opened up about the mental illness he had been suffering and spoke about his need to seek medication for feelings of paranoia and anxiety which came after a loss of confidence.
He told the audience that regardless of the task being performed, they were 90 per cent mental and just 10 per cent physical. He also stressed the importance of community and support from friends, stressing that pockets of community can connect sufferers to reality and that isolation and loneliness can be the breeding ground for mental health issues.
MTC HR director Vicki Sanderson said,
“Mental health well-being and mental health awareness have been the poor relations of health care for many years, but are now becoming recognised as every bit as important as physical health. Monty was able to draw on his own experiences, and gave a talk which was both amusing, sensitive and thought-provoking.”
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.
Pictured: Monty Panesar with MTC internal communications co-ordinator Helen Garratt and MTC emerging markets associate director Steve Statham.