In recent years, more and more people have been reaching out for mental health support, turning to therapy to help with negative feelings, pressures, and stresses of everyday life. For nearly 20 years, Alexis Powell-Howard has been helping people to understand their thoughts, enabling them to move forward in a healthy, positive way.

Alexis, who was born and raised in Grimsby, was leading a successful career in retail when she was involved in a traumatic car accident, almost losing the use of one of her legs. After extensive surgery and lengthy recovery, what followed was a diagnosis of PTSD and unfortunately, ethically poor mental health support. However, Alexis vowed to become a qualified Psychotherapist herself so she could prevent other vulnerable people from having an experience like hers.

After working in the NHS and as a University Lecturer, Alexis created Fortis Therapy and Training, her own practice which provides therapeutic and emotional wellbeing services to private clients, schools and organisations – whilst raising her three children along with the support of her husband. She is incredibly passionate that mental health, therapy and emotional wellbeing services should be available to people of all ages, genders, and circumstances, always ensuring that the client is at the centre of everything she does. In 2018, she began sharing her story to inspire others, delivering a TEDx talk in Lincoln and speaking at mental health conferences and events across the country.

“When people feel they can access support quickly, that is approachable and effective, this can help with wellness, mental fitness, being self-aware and increasing emotional intelligence. There is work to be done across the generations to promote resilience, self-esteem, relationships and confidence. The ripple effect of recovery and feeling well mentally and emotionally cannot be underestimated. It can make us feel happier, be better partners, friends, parents, carers – and the knowledge and coping strategies are passed on to others too.

“I have been on the receiving end of poor care when I was younger, following a car accident when I was badly injured and diagnosed at the time with PTSD. I know how poor care impacted on me and I also know from all the work we do how life changing (and lifesaving) good support can be. Grimsby is my hometown and providing therapy and training to local people, of all ages, and in all sectors, is a real honour.”