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Steve Gilbert OBE

With over a decade of experience leading work to tackle racism, and improve outcomes for people living with mental illnesses, Steve Gilbert OBE is the go-to speaker, consultant and coach for organisations serious about delivering meaningful change. Steve was awarded an OBE in 2019 Queens’ Birthday Honours List for services to Mental Health. Additionally, he has made it his life’s work to tackle racism and support organisations and leaders to become Anti Racist organisations. 


About Steve Gilbert OBE

Having battled with mental illness since his late teens, experiencing the painful depths of Depression, destructive highs of Bipolar Disorder, and heart-breaking episodes of Suicidal Ideation and attempts, Steve has repeatedly had to fight for his life. Against the backdrop of psychological abuse from his parents and siblings, Steve has continued to display grit and determination as he overcomes the obstacles and pitfalls that accompany life with a serious mental illness.

As a Dual-Ethnicity child, with a Black father and a white mother, growing up in a largely white neighbourhood, Steve grew up not ‘fitting in’. As he grew older Steve became aware of the role racial discrimination had in the high rates of serious mental illness on his father’s side of the family. It is his personal and familial experiences which drive Steve’s work.

To book Steve, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email

Speech Topics

Steve’s talks include, but are not limited to:

  • Courageous Conversations: How to talk about Anti Racism at work
  • Breaking Barriers: The tools required to dismantle systemic racism in the workplace
  • The Deliberate Ally: Why your Allyship matters for Anti Racism and how to become
  • Finding my way back to life (and the lessons I learned along the way)
  • Mastering the Balancing Act: What life with Bipolar Disorder taught me about leading
    in a turbulent world
  • Leading With Purpose: Why Personal Development is essential for your Anti Racism
Booking Information



"Steve is a respected leader and thinker in the mental health and anti-racism space. I've had the privilege to sit alongside him on Mind's Race Equity Committee and really appreciate his thoughtful contributions, personal reflections and the healthy challenge he brings to the group. Steve is very passionate about promoting rights and justice within mental health and this really shines through all his work. He is a collaborator and despite the challenges faced within the sector, he always adopts a hopeful and solution-focussed approach. In particular, I really value Steve's advocacy around lived experience in decision-making and lived experience leadership - especially amongst groups facing the greatest inequalities. I have learnt so much from working with him and would consider any individual or organisation who get to work with Steve as extremely lucky."

Director of Policy at Centre for Mental Health

"I worked with Steve as founder of Xenzone - now Kooth Plc- and was impressed not just by his grasp of the issues but his ability to listen to people across the organisation. Steve is warm, intelligent open and funny. He understands peoples pain and yet able to navigate a way through the mess and disruption that inevitably follows when a company is facing its mistakes and trying build an anti racist future."

Kooth PLC

"I had the immense pleasure of working with Steve has he chaired the panel discussion for the TEDxNHS Unlocked episode 'Somebody Must Go First' which discussed the experience of mental health/mental ill health and accessing mental health services in black and brown communities Steve brought with him a wealth of experience both personally and professionally and shared this generously. He approached the task with maturity and care to support the contributors and to challenge the audience. Steve was an absolute joy to work with. I cannot recommend him enough. His experience is not unique however his approach and his courage are remarkable. He has a skilful way of holding a mirror up to injustice in a compassionate way which encourages action as well whilst broadening awareness. Steve will be asset to any team or project."


Steve Gilbret News

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