Petra Velzeboer has a MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development, is Clinical Director of an EAP and runs her own Mental Health Consultancy. Additionally she works with young offenders and supports mental health charities including Young Minds.
Her passion for helping those struggling with mental health issues comes from Petra’s own lived experience. Petra was born into the infamous ‘Children of God’ cult in Brazil and has siblings from all over the world. where free love outdoor experiences were the foundations of their cultural beliefs above any form of education but ruled under a severe regime whose believed the world would end soon and they were the chosen ones. “Free to love” outdoor experiences were the foundations of their cultural beliefs and took precedence over all forms of education.
At 22, having worked her way up to a senior rank within the cult, Petra committed the cardinal sin of getting pregnant by someone from outside of the community which resulted in incredibly harsh punishment. After successfully escaping to the UK at 25 with two children, she started to develop destructive behaviours as a result of her past. Petra developed depression which resulted in alcohol dependence, suicidal thoughts and chronic isolation. A near tragic event changed Petra’s life and forced her to face her demons. She realised she had a choice and set herself the goal of one year to turn her life around. This resulted in the resilient, inspirational woman that you see today. .
Petra will inspire employees to not let their pasts define them and to take the steps to effectively manage their own mental health. Petra’s knowledge & passion will help your organisation to shape a caring and productive environment. “Mental health at work is more than just a tick-box. How can you be a resource for others without being given the resources in the first place?” said Petra.
– Toxic to healthy work culture
– Mental health innovation
– Turning adversity into advantage
– Stress and resilience
“Petra was mentally agile and adaptable to the Panel flow, built on the other panelist responses and always clear in her messaging which was powerful.” - Novartis
“We invited a speaker from TLC Lions to a panel discussion around psychological safety. The preparation and execution was perfect - the audience really liked the authenticity of the speaker. Emotionally engaging and at the same time delivering practical recommendations in a very relatable way. Thanks.” - Delivery Hero