After serving in the US Army Infantry, Richard Todd has seen firsthand the impact military service can have on mental health. Now, as a licensed registered nurse he is looking to lead a compelling, collaborative, and scaled approach to answer his nations calling once more.
Driven by the desire to remove the stigma of mental illness and help those in his community rediscover happiness, Richard created the start-up, Ghost Consult, where he now provides evidence-based mental health coaching for veterans, companies, and working professionals.
We were lucky to receive the opportunity to interview Richard and learn more about his noble mission.
Richard, what’s the story behind your business name ‘Ghost Consult’?
Answer: When I was a soldier we were often taught to suffer in silence, and to not be an individual. This false bravado unfortunately was a mainstay staple to be encouraged and adopted by the young minds of the military. This exhorted faux-stoical suffering led to (what I had seen to be) decreased morale, undiagnosed mental illness, and a toxic culture. Ghost Consult comes from a place many service men and woman can identify with. My goal is to pull these veterans from the haunted catacombs of the mind and lift them to a place where they finally see a sense of purpose.
What is your career background and what inspired you to work in this field?
Answer: I am a Daisy™ award winning evidenced-based licensed healthcare professional. I am a Registered Nurse (RN) with an active and unrestricted Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) license under good standing with the Florida Board of Nursing. I hold professional experience in psychiatric services, trauma intensive care, and acute rehabilitation. I am soon releasing a Registered Nurse Mental Health Coach (RNMHC©) Professional Certification Program to reward RNs with a professional credential that serves as a standardized reminder to deliver a model of care that emulates the professionalism and compassion Ghost Consult represents. All RNs can be a coach to those in need. As a veteran with a service-connected disability rating I am drawn to give back to veterans and serve those in and out of my community.
How does coaching work, exactly? What is the process and how long does it take to see results?
Answer: According to medical-dictionary.com, a coach is one who educates, encourages, and motivates another to achieve improved wellness. I like to go one step further in stating that Ghost Consult implements effective mental health coaching methods to instil self-understanding and encourage adoption of new attitudes towards life. It is important to remember that coaching is not a quick fix. Coaching is a process that requires willingness and investment from both parties. Every small change to self-defeating behaviour and learning to better cope with feelings of pain, sadness and fear can provide life-changing results. I consult the client to adopt changes facilitated by a joint decision made between myself and the client.
What are the benefits that coaching has on your clients?
Answer: I employ effective, and compassionate personalized care to help the client further regain control over their personalized needs. Coaching provides a safe place to be yourself, be vulnerable, and still be treated with dignity. Personal coaching has allowed my clients to shift sights on pertinent issues, improve relationships, establish positive habits, hold their actions accountable, and create change. I am a licensed healthcare provider and veteran. With that, comes a certain professionalism and credibility that cannot be emulated by an online coaching certificate.
What are some common misconceptions people have regarding coaching?
Answer: A lot of people seem to share a common misconception that I’m going to drive to them in a dilapidated rust wagon, bust out the sound healing bowels with man-bun intact, and push private yoga classes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. My consulting company employs contemporary coaching techniques, as well as evidenced-based therapeutic communication taught at the level of a professional Registered Nurse. I consult the client on actions to take and encourage executive guided self-discovery.
Which techniques do you use in your coaching practice?
Answer: I deploy evidenced-based therapeutic communication techniques which are designed as a face-to-face process of interaction that focuses on advancing the physical and emotional well-being of a client. I also utilize methodology to include but not limited to: therapeutic response, psychodynamic modelling, psychoanalytical theory (Freud, Erikson, Adler, Jung), free association, and consulting interpretation. I also partner with a wonderful physician collaborator to ensure a healthy synergy between professional nursing and medicine.
How can communities better encourage good mental health?
Answer: I often see mental health concerns being swept under a broken bureaucratic system appointed by elected officials with no working knowledge of how many people are affected. Mental health holds no prejudice and is an equal opportunistic offender. We need to have resources (such as Ghost Consult) embedded nationally. We currently have a shortage of mental health providers, and this problem is only going to increase. We need to collectively destigmatize seeking help and incorporate wellness plans into the workplace. I offer cost-effective plans and strategies to provide this service.
What is your favourite piece of advice for people struggling with their mental health?
Answer: You are not alone, you are valued, and you are loved. I provide tailored personal mental health care that involves you in the healing process. You should not be made to wait months to be seen by a broken system that systematizes and removes humility. You may not be able to control what happens in life, but you can control how you respond. You are not alone.
Ghost Consult provides evidence-based mental health support and compassionate, personalized care. Richard’s company can help individuals regain control of their lives, maximize their wellbeing and rediscover joy. We love finding stories that reflect humility, outreach, and inspire change. We see great things happening for Richard, and are eager to follow this inspiring story.