Mental Health Discussion and Q&A with Anna Williamson

Mental Health Discussion and Q&A with Anna Williamson

DATE: Thursday 04 March 2021

TIME: 10:30am - 11:30am


We are very excited to welcome  TV and radio broadcaster, No1 best selling author, counsellor, life coach and Master NLP practitioner Anna Williamson who will be joining us for a very special session on University Mental Health Day. 

If you would like to ask Anna a questions to be answered live on the day please email - activitiesadmin@shu.ac.uk

Anna uses her diverse skillset as the dating expert and presenter on Celebs Go Dating (E4) and Save Well, Spend Better (C4). She is also the mental health expert on FYI: For Your Info (Sky news and Sky Kids) and reporter on hard hitting films for Inside Out (BBC One). Anna also co-hosts the extremely successful LuAnna: The Podcast alongside Luisa Zissman, a light hearted podcast where both debate and talk openly about topical issues and voted Top 20 Listeners Choice two years running.

Anna first found fame with big hitting children’s television shows on CITV, Nickelodeon, Channel 5 and the Disney Channel. However, away from her successful TV career and behind closed doors, she suffered from an almost crippling battle with generalised anxiety disorder. On speaking out about her experiences, she realised there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues. To help fight and remove these stigmas, Anna joined mental health charity Mind as an official ambassador. Anna felt it was important to help others battle anxiety and depression, and since 2009 studied and qualified as a certified and accredited counsellor, life coach and Master NLP practitioner. She now runs her own private coaching practice offering those in need 1 to 1 coaching sessions.

Anna’s personal experience, expertise and caring nature have led to her own agony aunt columns for teen magazine Girl Talk, fitness magazines Women Fitness and Top Sante, and parenting mecca Mother and Baby. She can also be seen speaking on mental health, and giving general motivational and resilience advice, in schools, businesses and at corporate events, whilst also fronting online videos for the likes of AOL and Youtube to great success.

In 2014 Anna took part in ITV’s prime time celebrity diving show Splash! alongside Olympian Tom Daley, where she swan dived her way through to the semi-finals, and became the last female standing in the competition. Following this Anna went on to front several weekly strands called ‘Ask Anna’, on multi award winning ITV daytime show This Morning. Due to the features great success, Anna enjoyed a regular stint as part of the This Morning team, covering issues spanning mental health, family relationships, parenting and teens issues, and has hosted phone ins on cases such as the Rotherham sex scandal and bullying.

2015 saw Anna explore her wild and glamorous side hosting the Gumball 3000, a huge international motorsports rally. Alongside her co-driver footballing legend Robbie Fowler, she spent a week fronting this tremendous sports race all the way from Stockholm through to Las Vegas, interviewing, and co-driving with the likes of Dolph Lundgren and Lewis Hamilton, and covering all things cars, fashion and entertainment!

As a highly credible source in the showbiz industry, with her own successful column in Digital Spy, Anna thoroughly enjoys hosting (and attending) the red carpet premiers for the big blockbuster movies. Combined with her reputable media profile as a ‘mind, body and soul’ campaigner, Anna hosted her own radio show on talkRADIO every Saturday night; Later With Anna Williamson, a heady mix of showbiz, sex and relationships. She has since graduated to the weekday presenting team and can be heard every weekday alongside Matthew Wright, Eamonn Holmes MBE and Saira Khan. Anna’s love of radio also sees her hosting and ‘driving’ her own show for BBC 3 Counties radio.

Throughout 2016 and 2017 Anna was invited back to join Rylan Clarke on for her 8th series of Channel 5’s Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, as their agony aunt and ‘psych’ expert.  Along with joining the National Lottery team to host the Wednesday Lotto Draw and as a reporter on a hard hitting BBC Inside Out film about fertility and social egg freezing.

E4 show Celebs Go Dating returns early next year for its sixth series and as the new dating agent Anna will take on seven, brand new, unlucky-in-love celebrities. She will join Oprah Winfrey’s personal dating expert Paul Carrick Brunson and Junior Client Co-Ordinator Tom Read-Wilson in the UK’s most glamorous dating agency. With a passion for tackling dilemmas across family, relationships, parenting and teen issues, psychology expert Anna is tasked with helping the dating agency’s new celebrity clients as they face up to the real reasons behind their failed and non-existent relationships, in a bid to help them to find love in 2019.

An acclaimed writer,  Anna’s first book with Bloomsbury Publishing, Breaking Mad: The Insiders Guide to Conquering Anxiety went straight into #1 on Amazon, pushing Mary Berry’s smash hit ‘Bake Off’ book into second place.  Sharing her own experiences of being diagnosed with anxiety, it challenged the myths around anxiety and was an easy to read, accessible guide to helping readers through anxiety issues. Written in collaboration with friend and clinical psychologist, Dr Reetta Newell, it was a national bestseller, and got some incredible press, including ITV’s Lorraine, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Anna’s follow up book ‘Breaking Mum and Dad’, aims at parents coping with all that a new baby can bring.  In her empathetic and searingly honest tone, the focus is on post natal mental health and anxiety and offers practical advice to all parents needing a helping hand with ‘the mental baby stuff’, it has recently enjoyed similar success, and across the board 5 star reviews, alongside an accompanying podcast series, Breaking Mum and Dad: The Podcast, which is consistently in the iTunes chart #1 spot.

In addition, the NHS commissioned Anna to write a short story aimed at 7-11 year olds to help raise awareness in young children about mental health. ‘Flo & The Funny Feelings’ focuses on a 9-year-old girl who is experiencing worry, stress and anxiety for the very first time. The book is part of the I Am Whole Campaign and is available for free, digital download through schools – https://www.whole.org.uk/primaryschools/

Anna is very proud of her celebrity ambassador and national spokesperson roles for Mind, The Princes Trust and Childline, the latter of which she is a trained volunteer counsellor. 2018 saw her join Ant and Dec for the 6th year running, to host the Princess Trust Celebrate Success Awards alongside HRH The Prince of Wales.