Meet Al Mennie.
Al Mennie is a Mental Health Advocate, Big Wave Surfer, Paddleboarder, Ocean Explorer, Author and all-around adventurer. He lives life on the edge on the rugged Causeway Coast.
Al Mennie is the epitome of an athlete pushing the boundaries both physically and mentally. Al was one of the originals that began launching boats and jet-skis in Ireland in pursuit of giant waves and the first person to push the barriers of what is possible in our ocean.
In addition to being a professional and inspirational athlete, Al has significantly supported adults and children with fear, anxieties and confidence challenges through his impressive books which have been published worldwide.
Cordant, and it’s Northern Ireland brand Premiere People, recently caught up with Al Mennie to discuss all things mental health and recruitment, particularly in the current climate.
Q. What brought you to become such an advocate for mental health?
A. To be honest, it was something completely unplanned. I didn’t realise that I knew so much about it for a long time. It first became apparent to me that I knew a great deal about fear and anxiety specifically when a paramedic pointed out that through pursuing big waves, often in cold, unknown and isolated locations, I manage all sorts of anxiety and potential scenarios in preparing for the peak of the storm, as well as during the act of riding the waves generated. This made me very aware that I have indirectly developed coping mechanisms which allow me to push forward through personal barriers and overcome limiting feelings and emotions that are often considered beyond one’s control. I later realised that the knowledge I have gained through my experiences at sea has helped me in lots of walks of life. My coping mechanisms improved in such scenarios as a simple fear of the dentist, dealing with face to face confrontations and as extreme as losing my father and handling the loss and stress that brought.
Read the full Q&A by clicking HERE. Al talks all about managing mental health, advice for those suffering and how mental health has been impacted due to the pandemic.
A huge thank you to Al Mennie for taking the time to talk to us.