Summit Speaker Spotlight: Meet David Richmond
As we move into our 5th annual Resilience Summit, we thought you might enjoy a “sit down” with one of our speakers, who is traveling across the ocean from the UK to join us…bringing with him a wealth of experience and insights to benefit you working in your own communities to build resilience.
Join this conversation between our CEO, Dr. Mollie Marti, and David.
Hi David. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I spent 26 years in the Army and served on operations across the world. In 2008 I was Commanding Officer of the UK Battle Group in Musa Qaleh in Helmand Province, Afghanistan when during a firefight I was shot and seriously wounded. After 4 years of reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation I was medically discharged and joined the not for profit organization called Help for Heroes as their first Director of Recovery, where I led the work to create a holistic recovery service for wounded, injured and sick servicemen, veterans and their families. By the time I left H4H in Dec that service had supported over 17k beneficiaries, had 200 staff, 8 support services and was based at 4 major sites. I was also Team Director of the UK Team to Invictus Games for the first 3 games (2014, 2016 and 2017). I now work as a consultant on a wide range of issues. I live near Salisbury and am married to Alison. We have 2 daughters, Jenna (23) and Clara (21).
Who inspires you or has had a big impact on your life?
The servicemen who I recovered alongside at the Defence Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court and the incredible staff who inspired us all.
In your own words, what is “resilience”?
Resilience is the ability of an individual, group or community to handle the demands and pressures of life and to deal with setbacks.
Why is resilience important?
Life is tough; it is a roller-coaster. Bad things happen and we all have to be able to cope with setbacks. You might not go looking for challenge or setbacks but they may find you so the stronger and more resilient you are the more easily you will be able to work through them.
Why do you feel it is necessary to grow resilience in today’s world? Or asked in another way, when looking at our world, what breaks your heart because you know, with a different approach, the results could be different?
Modern ways of life have fragmented traditional family and community structures, while the pressures are mounting 24/7 such as unfiltered access to information, economic challenges, climate change and increasing extreme weather events. This means that personal and family resilience has become incredibly important. The polarization of societies into “have” and “have nots” makes this more extreme and we seem to be losing our compassion as a society.
Why is it more important than ever for resilience researchers to openly collaborate with each other?
Simply put, two brains are better than one! It would be more efficient and we would all learn more and do so more quickly.
Let’s have a little fun. Complete the following prompts.
When speaking, I want my audience to feel…engaged and interested in what I am saying.
Something that makes me stronger is…a challenge.
I currently am reading…The Arab Uprisings by Jeremy Bowen.
Something the audience might be surprised to know about me is…I have one leg 0.5cm longer than the other…it used to be 10cm too short.
The last time I belly laughed was…yesterday.
It’s so important to laugh…and we look forward to doing so together soon. What are you most looking forward to at the 2018 Resilience Summit?
Learning lots and meeting interesting people.
Great. Finally, what are a few things you want Summit participants to take away from your presentation?
Conversations can change attitudes. The public need to recognize that not all people suffering from a mental health condition is ‘mad, bad or sad’. And at the heart of being resilient are leadership, a sense of purpose and hope.
We hope you enjoyed this conversation with one of our 2018 Summit presenters.
Limited space is available for live attendance – and this year we are offering a Live Stream /video viewing option. As always, scholarships are available if financial assistance is needed. So there’s no reason not to learn alongside us – and invite your colleagues and friends. See you at the Summit!