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Sanctus: Same mission, new chapter

I opened up about my mental health struggles in 2016.

Enough people saw themselves in my story that it brought a community together.

We created a brand. 


Our mission was big, noble, and simple. Change society’s perception of mental health.

The vision we had for the world was just as bold. We wanted to put the world’s first mental health gym on the high street. 

That has been an incredibly evocative vision for so many. Thousands of people have been drawn to it. 

For the last 5 years, Sanctus has been inextricably linked to mental health. We were one of the first brands to normalise the conversation in the UK as part of a wider cultural movement. And I believe we’ve played a real part in changing the perception of mental health, both in the workplace and outside it too.

We’ve supported hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals in bringing mental health out of the darkness and into the light, taking care of themselves and others to the best of their ability, and looking at growth, development, and wellbeing long term – not just during moments of crisis.

Sanctus Coaching is a healing space. And it is growth, development, and fulfilment. And ultimately, connecting with your true self. Becoming more of who you are.

We have strong foundations in mental health. Our coaches are required to stay in supervision and undertake annual risk training. This expands the depth and range with which they are able to meet people in an ethical and responsible way. All coaches we welcome to our team are accredited practitioners, dedicated to their profession.

Which in my opinion is what gives our brand credibility. It’s what makes Sanctus Coaches some of the safest coaches to work with in the industry. With a depth and range that places us as one of the highest quality coaching providers in the country.

The last two years have been challenging. 

We’ve pivoted from physical to virtual, at the same time transitioning away from being a solely founder-led, bootstrapped business. Like many others, we’ve worked hard to simply stay afloat, both financially and emotionally. 

We’ve kept the ship sailing and continued to be there for our partners and their employees. We can do a lot more. I wholeheartedly believe there’s more we can give, more impact we can have, and a lot more human potential to be released.

The next chapter in our history has begun. 

This has been in the making for over two years now. Some of the immediate fruits of our evolutionary labour are:

  • Our new Connected Leadership coaching track for managers and leaders. We know being a manager is uniquely challenging – whether it’s your first leadership role or you’ve been doing it for years – and can bring up a lot of thoughts, feelings, and doubts that need working through. We also know that for many organisations, managers play a crucial role in supporting company culture, and often have the most impact in organisational change. Connected Leadership is a multi-session coaching track for managers to spend quality time 1-2-1 with a Sanctus Coach, working on things you don’t usually see in traditional leadership training: qualities like empathy, self awareness, giving feedback with care, and spotting signs of stress and struggle in the self and others. More on Connected Leadership here.
  • Increased flexibility. We’re increasingly conscious of our need to make Sanctus Coaching sessions available for people whenever and wherever they are. We traditionally operated on a day-based model and are now expanding that to make more frequent time slots available to employees. 
  • One-to-Many Sanctus Experience. 1-2-1 coaching isn’t for everyone and we know our partners have a desire to reach more than one person at once. Sanctus Connect & Reflect Workshops are incredibly powerful. Like coaching on steroids. They’re sessions for up to 60 people facilitated by a Sanctus Coach where the group is encouraged to contribute their feelings and share them anonymously, creating a really well connected, intimate space for teams to come together. Alongside leadership and manager coaching, this is a powerful way to engage and align teams.

Our purpose has always been to provide a coaching space for people to grow and develop as human beings. To focus on opportunities as much as challenges. To welcome all of who you are, your life story, journey, and moments into our space. And to support and guide you through those ups and downs.

Through coaching, we can learn to express who we are in the world, to achieve things we never thought possible, feel good when we thought we couldn’t, and live a life we deeply want. 

What about that mental health gym on the high street?

The gym has always represented a number of things for us:

  • A representation of normalising working on your mental health as we do our physical health
  • A place where people can go to work on themselves
  • A space where people can come together in community to connect and belong

The analogy of the gym has worked well for us. It helped connect mental and physical health in a way that just makes sense. For many people, it’s all health.

However when we think of a gym, it’s often not the most welcoming, friendly, or inclusive environment, and doesn’t always promote community in the same way we might hope to.

And so we see the evolution of the gym as a sanctuary, a home, a space for people to express who they are and to feel like they belong.

Always be you.

James x