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Learn how to develop a good mental health strategy


Petra Velzeboer

travels from UK

CEO and mental health consultant helping individuals and organisations developing mental health strategies

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5 out of 5 stars

"Inspirational! The talk was targeted at the right level and staff really felt they got a lot out of it."

Alison Jacob - Edgware Primary School See all references
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About Petra

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Inspirational speaker Petra Velzeboer is the perfect example of how to reinvent your life after a series of hardship. Growing up in a cult and ending up as an alcoholic with zero education, she faced the choice of either dying or learning to live life happily. By successfully turning her life around, she is a prominent speaker and a happy mother now. As a mental health expert, Petra helps individuals and organisations developing solid mental health strategies.

As a troubled young adult, speaker Petra Velzeboer experienced a wonderful transition in her life by discovering the power of hope. From being a depressed raging alcoholic, she transformed herself to a become successful mental health expert. She educated herself in human development, psychotherapy and coaching to become the CEO of a prosperous mental health consultancy.

Petra Velzeboer is an authentic speaker showing the importance of empathy and human connection in an ever changing tech obsessed world. To teach teams and individuals how to enhance happiness, fulfillment and productivity, Petra delivers inspirational and motivational speeches to any audience. Her solid professional background as a psychotherapist with an MSc degree is accompanied with a humorous and interactive speaking style. As an experienced speaker, she delivers informative and dynamic keynotes, ready to work with any organisation. She is able to run a workshop, to act as a clinical expert, be on a panel or to do effective keynotes.

To create a sustainable mental health strategy, speaker Petra Velzeboer will share the organisation the most important practical tools. For instance, she will teach the audience how to apply government recommendations released in the reports Thriving at Work and Business in the Communities (BITC) Seizing the Momentum Report. Furthermore, as a speaker, Petra is dedicated to raising mental health awareness: her Spotify podcast called Killing It features tech leaders talking about their mental health struggles. As the host of the programme, she got invited to speak at the BBC event Introducing LIVE 18’.

See keynotes with Petra Velzeboer

    Keynote by speaker Petra Velzeboer

    Mental Health for Leaders

    • To create a mentally healthy workplace, starting from the top is the key priority. Petra Velzeboer will show how to lead by example in normalising the status of mental health in interpersonal communication. Moreover, she will teach leaders how to be authentic and vulnerable while still maintaining the boundaries contributing to workplace productivity.

    Keynote by speaker Petra Velzeboer

    How to build a Mental Health Strategy at Work

    • This keynote has been designed to help businesses creating sustainable changes within the organisational culture. Speaker Petra Velzeboer will present the audience the current recommendations from report findings to develop a strong mental health strategy at the workplace.

    Keynote by speaker Petra Velzeboer

    How Empathy Improves Leaders

    • Increasing emotional intelligence and empathy are essential for a thriving business. To develop a successful team, one must communicate with empathy and listen actively – Petra is the perfect speaker to teach how to adapt one’s management style for a dynamic workforce.

    Keynote by speaker Petra Velzeboer

    How to Create Connection in a World of Disconnection

    • As a result of living in a fast-paced world, more and more people may find themselves disconnected, lonely and distracted.  Speaker Petra Velzeboer is ready to teach anyone how to connect truly through exercises, teaching and sharing her inspiring personal stories.

    Keynote by speaker Petra Velzeboer

    Stress and Resilience  Building Grit in a Noisy World

    • Petra created this keynote to help the audience understanding one’s physical response to the current world of noise and change. To build one’s grit and courage in this new world, she will share her valuable personal stories and teach how to take proactive steps to improve.

Petra Velzeboer - video

A-Speakers // Petra Velzeboer Show Reel 2018

Watch speaker Petra Velzeboer in action

See keynotes with Petra Velzeboer


Inspirational! The talk was targeted at the right level and staff really felt they got a lot out of it.

Alison Jacob

Edgware Primary School

Interview with Petra Velzeboer

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

I love that “aha” moment when people in the audience really get something that relates to their personal life and allows them to grow as human beings. Talking about empathy and mental health, there’s a point where I’ve been totally vulnerable myself in order to give people permission to be real about their stories, and I have to wait and see if it pays off. Every group is different but I get a real sense of purpose out of my own story when people are inspired or utilise it as a springboard to have real and authentic conversations.

Who or what inspires you most?

Of course, there’s the big names like Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk, but I derive great inspiration from the average person who has succeeded despite great challenges. When I interview people on my Adversity to Advantage podcast I am moved by the guy who is studying, has healthy relationships and a job after 20 years of drug addiction, the reformed prisoner who is building an honest life for himself, the successful entrepreneur who’s drive has come from running from her past. These stories of resilience and triumph inspire me to continue pushing to create my own impact in the world.

What are your biggest goals in your life or career currently?

My biggest goals include sustaining good mental health for myself, supporting my teenage children to have resilience and great character as adults and to spread my message of hope to millions of people in the world.

I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t invest in myself then I’m no use to anyone. I do this by trying to have a meditation practice but also engage in fun, joy and connect with great people.

I ask myself in life and in business: Do I love doing this, does it bring me joy, can I have fun while I’m doing it? These questions direct me to things that give me a balanced and joyful life. Finally, I believe firmly that if I’d had a message of connection, authenticity and hope when I was suicidal 12 years ago, then I wouldn’t have suffered as long as I did. I want to be that voice for people suffering now.

Describe yourself in 3 words

  • Ambitious
  • Authentic
  • Dynamic

Why do you think mental health at work has become such a popular keynote topic?

Reports such as Thriving at Work highlight that the cost of poor mental health at work comes to £33 to £42 billion annually; this includes absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover. Employers are waking up to the case for prevention and are looking for ways to promote good mental health. Health and Safety has brought down physical incidents tremendously over the past decade, however with suicide statistics on the rise, they’re realising they’ve got to focus on the Health aspect as well as Safety in order to have the impact they’re after.

Children and Young people are experiencing 70% more symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues than the previous generation, leading parents and schools to try to understand what they can do to support this epidemic. The World Health Organisation calls depression ‘a global public health concern’ and concludes that ‘depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide in terms of total years lost due to disability’.

The keynotes I run on this topic inspire awareness as well as practical change within ourselves and our workplace cultures. Not only are companies looking for greater productivity, but people are looking for authentic connection in a digitally fractured world. All of these issues can be tackled in a mental health keynote.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

There’s just so many! The first time I was vulnerable enough to tell my own story had a profound impact on me. Not only was I intensely nervous but I also realised the power of our story, as the risk of putting myself out there more than paid off in the room, as participants connected on an authentic level and left with real value.

Another favourite is speaking to a group of young offenders and challenging them to create change. 2 of them came to me after the group telling me about the impact I’d had on how they’re thinking about things and that was extremely fulfilling.

I’ve also really enjoyed the challenge of speaking at a Senior Leadership conference within the construction industry. There were mostly men in the sea of faces and I thought, this is gonna be a tough crowd to crack! After telling my story and asking them to tell each other what impact mental health had on their lives, I asked them to stand up if mental health had impacted them in some way: 90% of the room stood up. From that point on it was just like any other group eager to learn, be vulnerable and create change within their work culture.

See keynotes with Petra Velzeboer
Non-binding request for Petra Velzeboer

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

5 out of 5 stars

"Inspirational! The talk was targeted at the right level and staff really felt they got a lot out of it."

Alison Jacob - Edgware Primary School See all references

Keynote topics with Petra Velzeboer