Gareth Parry: ‘I knew a lot about mental health but I didn’t recognise it’
Gareth Parry has spent almost three decades supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues find work, but a recent mental health crisis of his own has given him a personal insight into the remit of the organisation he leads.
Parry has only ever worked for Remploy, starting as a trainee administrator and becoming chief executive a year ago. Problems in his personal life two years ago triggered depression. At the time, he was overseeing a government contract for workplace mental health support. “I knew a lot [professionally] about mental ill health, but I didn’t recognise it,” he says. “Suddenly I was on the other side. It reinforced the importance of organisations like Remploy; work gave me routine, structure, focus, when everything else in my life was in chaos.”