My name is Chris Seipel and I have been a school teacher for sixteen years. In that time I have taught mostly boys aged twelve to eighteen years of age. My degree is a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies/Education and I taught mostly Mathematics and Science. I also taught Psychology for two years in Oxford England to boys and girls aged eighteen and nineteen.
I am embarking on a new chapter in my life. I ceased working as a teacher in July 2019 and took six months to think about what I wanted to do, and it continually came back to me wanting to help people. Whether they are struggling with mental illness, feel confused about what direction to take or just need someone to talk to who they know will give them 100% attention with no judgement.
Over the past six years I have faced the biggest battle of my life with debilitating anxiety and throughout that time I have had many many people contact me to ask advice or simply talk to me about what they are going through. Now I want to do more than just send a message or have a quick phone call.
The daily anxiety that I have faced has crippled me. I have spent my life savings trying to find a way out. Medication, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, expensive retreats, hospital stays. Everyday has been a battle of survival and it has nearly cost me my life with suicide always there as a close companion. Only those who have experienced prolonged deep pain can truly understand others facing similar battles. That empathy can't be learnt in a textbook.
I have seen many professionals and all of them have made me a promise that they will "make me well again". My approach to helping people is different. I can never promise anyone that. No one can say that they will heal someone in six sessions or in a radical transformation over two hours. Each person is an individual and has their own battles and I am different because I am living those battles everyday. The people who I have found that have helped me the most aren't psychologists or psychiatrists, they are normal people who have shared their stories with me. Listening to these people has equipped me with tools to deal with my own battles. Psychology and psychiatry definitely has it's place but there are other avenues.
I have been a teacher for sixteen years and in that time I have taught many boys not only the curriculum but also the importance of resilience and awareness of their emotions. I am trained in First Aid Mental Health and am able to identify through questioning how someone is emotionally. I created a Mental Health walk and talk in 2016 where we had over 250 boys and teachers attend on their school holidays. Many guest speakers shared their lived experience and since that time I have been inundated with messages from boys on social media needing guidance. I would also speak at the year twelve retreat to boys about my own battles and how to be resilient in tough times. Many boys following these talks would approach me at school and ask to talk to me as they felt they had no one else who would listen.
I understand teenage boys and men and simply want to be someone that they can turn to in a time of need or change in their lives. I will act as a Mentor and guide them through their fears and struggles.
Lastly as I said earlier. I am not here to promise anything. No one can do that. I am simply a man who has and does struggle and I have a burning desire to help as many people as I can.