Speaker spotlight: Paul Knight


Paul Knight

Perth-based Speaker Paul Knight has been in the Speaker Program for around four years, sharing his story at over 15 events.

Paul tries to live a balanced life where he continues to pursue meaning and purpose. He does this by engaging in activities that he enjoys and that enhance his wellbeing such as trail running, yoga and meditation when he can, spending time with friends and watching rugby union. He is also very passionate about flying aeroplanes, in particular Cessna 172s and doing aerobatics in C152s. In the future he hopes to get his night flying rating so that he can fly at night and achieve his dream of seeing Perth under night light.

Doing his part…

Paul was driven to become a speaker so he could do his part in reducing the societal stigma around mental health and provide help to others that may find value in hearing his story. “I’m incredibly grateful to Beyond Blue for providing the opportunity for me to share my mental health story!”

For at least 10 years Paul has lived with social anxiety, which he feels has completely devastated his life and meant he hasn’t been able to enjoy activities he would have typically enjoyed. His anxiety and depression co-exist side by side, and suicidal ideation has also been a common feature for him. It is an ongoing process to work through everything and learn how to lead a peaceful life.

Paul reflects: “My first step in seeking help began with opening up to a councillor about my struggles after having suffered silently for two years. I will never forget the weight that fell off my shoulders after walking out from that appointment!”

Sharing is caring…

When he shares his story in the community, Paul uses his experiences as an example to show how powerful it can be to share your personal struggles with someone.

When preparing for a speaking engagement, Paul always gives himself some time to understand the context and event requirements and makes sure he has a good night’s sleep! Paul’s advice to new speakers is: “Sharing your story will be naturally nervy and scary, but this is all normal and a part of the process and most people would feel exactly the same in that position. Know and believe, because it is the truth, that your personal story is powerful and has so much value to this world, and that you are the best person to tell it.”

If you'd like to share your story in a future Speaker Spotlight, please contact speaker@beyondblue.org.au

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