Simon Whitehouse: Fashion CEO & Mental Health Advocate

simons rocky road

How much do you really know about mental health? In his relentless aim of raising awareness, and money for MIND – The Mental Health Charity, Simon Whitehouse has been pounding pavements, braving blizzards and storms for the charity since 2013. The former CEO of J.W. Anderson has been raising money for mental health through his ultra-marathon running, and he decided to step down from his post at the fashion house at the end of last year to dedicate more time to his campaign.

  Simon with his brother Stephen circa 1979

Simon with his brother Stephen circa 1979

The trigger for his extraordinary efforts was his brother Stephen’s 40th birthday. Twenty years previously, Stephen suffered a mental breakdown from which he has yet to recover, and the effects of the illness have not only profoundly affected his life, but had a huge impact on Simon’s too. As boys they used to dream of being Rocky, running up the legendary Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, so to fulfil a childhood ambition, and realize their dream, Simon committed to run 100 miles non-stop from New York to The Rocky Steps in Philadelphia as a birthday present for his brother, and to raise awareness for mental health.

simons rocky road

Charting his three month journey from training to the finishing line on a dedicated blog, ‘Simon’s Rocky Road’, which also gave an insight into living with mental health, he picked up considerable support for his cause, and has since committed to keep running to the Rocky Steps each year until he has raised $1m for his chosen charity, the largest dedicated to mental health in the UK.

simons rocky road

His story hit close to home for Carmen, whose mother’s mental health is deteriorating due to Alzheimer’s, and indeed statistics sadly confirm that one in four of us will suffer a mental illness at some point in our lives.

Simon has raised over $30,000 towards his target so far. If you would like to contribute to his campaign you can donate to MIND here, and you can read more about ‘Simon’s Rocky Road’ on his blog here.