DAVID Leckie is a great believer that a problem shared is a problem halved - a philosophy that has led to him building a national corporate counselling service.

York-based Mind Matters provides services to the employees of some of Britain’s biggest brands, along with public service providers such as HM Prison Service and the NHS.

He founded Mind Matters 23 years ago with his business partner Julie Hughes, and the business now has a 600-strong team of counsellors providing a nationwide service.

Mr Leckie is a highly qualified counsellor and family mediator who devotes one day a week to helping couples resolve problems through the York Family Mediation Service in Acomb.

“It is very satisfying to help so many people through our corporate service but the most rewarding aspect of my work is helping couples and individuals ,” he said.

Mr Leckie has a degree in economics and a masters in social work, and worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital before managing child protection services for Wakefield Council. But his career could have taken a completely different path when he was given an opportunity to work in radio, only to see the station closed down before he had a chance to sit at the microphone.

Radio broadcasting continues to be a passion for him and he co-presented Problemline with Julia Booth at BBC Radio York for several years.

“It’s part of the British psyche to have a stiff upper lip and keep true feelings bottled up, but so often that results in depression and potentially a significant breakdown,” he said.

“The consequences are serious for the individuals and for their employers, with disruption through absences costing British businesses billions of pounds a year. My advice to anyone suffering from stress and anxiety is to seek help from a professional counsellor before depression takes hold.”

What job would you like to have other than your own and why?

Breakfast show DJ - I used to love the late Sir Terry Wogan – I really enjoyed having the opportunity to present a weekly radio programme on the BBC. I think radio is a very intimate medium, listeners develop strong attachments to favourite presenters and those who do that job well can really help to lift the spirits of listeners.

Greatest achievement?

Being the father to two sons, both now in their 30s and helping them to pursue their dreams and to have broad horizons. My elder is now working in Los Angeles in the music industry, my younger is the curator of Gasworks, an art gallery in London. When we are able to get together (either face to face or via Skype) it’s just great listening to their stories,

What makes you most angry?

People making judgements about others, without even bothering to try to understand them

Biggest mistake?

Mistakes happen to everyone but the important thing is how you deal with them. Be honest and transparent and learn from the experience.

What do you need to make life complete?

Becoming a grandad - I remember my lovely grandad and the way he spun all sorts of yarns with me (that banana tree never did grow despite burying several skins in the garden) and I can’t wait to have my turn too.

Why do you make a difference?

Its estimated that one in three people are suffering mental health issues in the work place. It is a serious problem but one that isn’t widely recognised by employers. I like to think our service is making a big difference to the quality of life of thousands of people who may otherwise continue to suffer from issues such as stress, anxiety or depression.


He listened and he cared – with a smile on his face.