Jillian Stansfield is an advocate for normalising the conversation around mental health. With her background in education, she was inspired to move into the counselling sector where she raises awareness of the importance of mental health care. She launched Running Minds to provide a safe and non-judgemental space for people of all identities to explore any issues that may be important to them, and to guide them through finding their own solutions to life’s challenges. Here, she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about her passion for maintaining good mind health, overcoming the challenges of starting a business, and her plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’m a big advocate for normalising the conversation around mental health. Seeing a mental health therapist such as a counsellor is a great way to work through issues and challenges, and to maintain good mind health.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I opened my private practice from the spare room at the front of my house. It was on a limited budget after changing careers from teaching, and while raising two boys as a single parent – Kmart was my friend. I moved into an office but found that more of my clients were seeking therapy online and that’s when I focused solely on virtual counselling. I had a business plan and monthly goals, which gave me direction and motivation as my business progressed.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Investing in the right marketing and backing yourself is so important. My business grew rapidly after the first six months. The stress and anxiety from teaching faded away when I began in the counselling sector and then I knew I had found the right career path. Teaching gave me a good foundation working with parents, children, other teachers and the multitude of family dynamics and social issues. I enjoy building rapport with my clients and seeing their growth as they navigate their life.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Work and family are a juggle for any parent but I find routine, lists and self-care is key. A flexible routine ensures that I keep my life organised and in check with the help of lists and the calendar on my phone. I practise self-care daily in a variety of ways because when I look after myself well, I am able to care for others better (clients and my own family) and achieve more.