The Holistic Healthcare Group is a specialist mental healthcare company.
We provide strategic, preventative mental health education and support plans for businesses and schools and one-to-one support online with our virtual clinic.
We believe that the people in the UK (young and old) need better information, education and support with their mental health. They need to know how to understand their feelings and emotions, learn about all of the therapy options and be able to decide for themselves what works best for their mental and emotional healthcare.
My name is Sophie Kirk, and I am the founder and director of The Holistic Healthcare Group.
I started studying over 12yrs ago, firstly in Chinese medicine. I completed an integrative approach BSc (hons) degree which means we studied both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and The Five Element Theory. Through learning this integrative approach we looked very closely into the body, emotions, and systems and how they interact. This caused me to take a keen interest in mental health and I wrote my research dissertation on Bi-polar disorder and then went into private practise specialising in treating mental ill health. I recognised the need for further skills to compliment and integrate with the knowledge I already had so went on to study Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), The Science of Wellbeing and become an Anxiety UK Approved practitioner.
On the other side of the coin, I like many people have a number of close friends and family members who have struggled with mental health issues. These challenges are very common now and touch all of our lives in some way.
My passion comes from understanding, assessing, treating and genuinely improving the lives of people suffering from mental health conditions. I also enjoy working with a group of amazing, hugely knowledgeable therapists who can do exactly the same thing. And although I loved working in private practise and helping on a one-to-one basis, I felt the need to help more people and to push good mental health practises out further and simplify the process so people can easily access and understand how to help themselves in this area. This is when I created The Holistic Healthcare Group with a view to start working with businesses and schools to help them successfully navigate this growing challenge. I also realised that far more understanding and preventative measures were the key but a strong understanding of how to approach this to make it a viable option was needed.
I spent time looking into and talking with businesses and working with them to help them try to understand what is needed, this was not an easy message to push! Historically businesses have been keen to ‘box tick’ without looking into the why’s, how’s and what it is they are trying to improve. Thankfully this has started to change, and we have had the opportunity to really start making mental health strategies and implementing them. The results are fantastic, we are making a real difference. Most recently we have quadrupled engagement in mental health initiatives in one business we are working with in just 3 months.
The plans and strategies are ones I have developed through my deep understanding on not only mental health and people but also how to strategize, implement, track and run a business. The need for good check points and how to make sure you hit targets and also the willingness to make changes when needed, re-analysing, assessing and planning.
Finally, there is our mental health support app, Melp. I spent last year developing this app as another arm of the business which makes mental health support and education easy and accessible. Melp, like everything we do is very person based and is designed to provide easy to follow and implement, no nonsense, human tools and techniques from real therapists. I teamed together over 150yrs of mental health experience into the app and the therapist’s team we work with on this continues to grow. This app gives people the opportunity to learn about different modalities and therapy types and also use some tools and techniques helping them to decide for themselves what they feel will works for them. This helps people structure good mental health practises into their lives easily, providing strong preventative measures while also connecting to our online therapy options should they need one-to-one therapy.
That point is really where The Holistic Healthcare Group began. I wanted to change the way people look at their mental health. To give people all of the options and not just the very limited ones historically offered. To help people understand that there is help out there and they can find what works for them. Providing a way to easily access the help they need, rather than suffering in silence with therapies or medications that may not actually help them at all.
I, along with my team of counsellors, coaches, nutritional therapists and more, are all medically trained. We are trained to look at the systems in the body and mind, to match symptom patterns into syndromes, create a diagnosis and treat the ailment using our specific type of medicine. In the western style, this is with medication and operations. For me, it’s acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle advice. For counsellors, it’s talking therapies and techniques to treat the brain and for nutritional therapists it is using diet, food and supplementation. The only difference with these practitioners is the ‘tools’ they use to help. Each approach is looking to achieve the same outcome – you getting better. But the approach they use is different. Different approaches work for different people which is why it is essential to work in a holistic way.
My dream for The Holistic Healthcare Group is to not only have the great teams of professionals we have, but to make that resource accessible to everyone. To provide a comprehensive education around the issues of mental health to all children, so that THEY know how to manage their own mental health, and what options are available to them if they need extra help. With that education, we could create a generation of children growing and knowing how to help themselves without the first options being pills or surgery, prescribed after a 5-minute appointment by people who don’t really know them, or their problems.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there. We need to work hard with adults in companies and through local authorities to give them the education and support in this area that they have missed, teaching them now to help them untangle the mess that has been created by ‘the one size fits all’ approach we have been taking so far. Giving them back the power over their own mental health and teaching them to trust that, with education, they do have the ability to understand what they need to do to help themselves.
At The Holistic Healthcare Group, we are well on our way with this mission, and truly believe this can be a reality soon.
the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
an improvement in the patient’s well-being