Dr Tomi Mitchell’s Unique Experience Delivers Holistic Wellness & Performance Coaching

Dr Tomi Mitchell’s Unique Experience Delivers Holistic Wellness & Performance Coaching
Holistic Wellness Strategist

In her more than a decade as a board-certified family physician, Dr Tomi Mitchell has been the first point of contact for many individuals who are struggling mentally, despite not recognizing it as such. Some called it being tired or burned out, but, regardless of their name for it, they showed signs of deteriorating mental fitness, and it was caused by a host of underlying factors.  

 “Today, people are more aware about mental health, and that’s great. But, unfortunately, there’s still a huge stigma associated with it, and people would often deny that they have conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. But the concept of mental fitness extends beyond that – you can have no mental illness, as in diagnosed by a mental health professional, but you could have challenges with your mental fitness. It’s the same thing with physical fitness, where you could have no medical diagnosis but you’re still not physically fit,” she says. 

Mitchell says she wants to challenge the way society views mental health and fitness by taking a holistic approach, which means taking the whole person into account – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, environmentally, and more. 

More than 20 years ago, Mitchell worked hard to become a doctor out of a genuine desire to help people. She was born to a Nigerian immigrant family and has lived in the UK, US and the Caribbean and is currently living in Canada. Over the years, she helped thousands of people with their health problems, even founding a medical center at the age of 26, with the aim of making it a one-stop-shop for people in need.  

However, she made the mistake of not leaving anything for herself, and it reached a point where she hit rock bottom after a medical crisis soon after she gave birth to her second child. 

“I gave my best while working in the medical system for a long time, but, when the time came for me to get help, I was treated less than a human. They did not listen to me that I was bleeding out and that my four-day-old daughter was not breathing and that she was seizing. They told me that it was just a reflux and that it was normal. Both my baby and I almost died, and I wrote my will in the hospital.” 

This happened just a few months before COVID-19 broke out globally, and the murder of Geroge Floyd brought the already-tense racial tensions in North America to the fore. As a health worker, Mitchell also saw how they were taken for granted during the pandemic. These events further reinforced in her mind how social inequality has a huge negative impact on people, especially marginalized communities. 

“I had a breakdown and I was feeling so burnt out, so I took a year-long healing journey. After being ignored, not being listened to, and not being valued, I thought to myself: there has to be some purpose for this pain,” she says. 

In March 2021, Mitchell founded Holistic Wellness Strategies, her wellness and performance practice that takes a whole-person approach in helping people reduce burnout and overwhelm so that they can increase productivity in the workplace and in their personal life. A certified health, life and transformational coach, she works with a wide variety of clients, including high-achieving individuals, such as executives, leaders, physicians, lawyers, and other professionals. 

She brings together the skills she has gained from her education and career, as well as the lessons learned from her personal experiences, in coaching people in how to become more resilient and mindful of their mental wellness.  

“The beautiful thing about being a coach is that I’m not restricted by country or province license, and, thanks to technology, I can help people wherever they are, whether they’re in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, or in Australia.” 

Mitchell’s holistic approach takes into account three layers – the individual, their immediate surroundings, and the system or society they live in. To achieve wellness, all three layers must be in harmony. While coaching can often address the first two layers, Mitchell argues that there must also be genuine system-wide change starting at the top. This is why she works to get in touch with decision-makers, whose actions can influence a large number of people, and help them realize their impact and hopefully inspire them to drive change in the community.  

“At the end of the day, I want influential people and organizations to take action. I want to help business owners, who perhaps have had different experiences far removed from the suffering of ordinary people, realize their impact. I hope to help them understand their employees better, including the need for mental wellness, or else productivity will suffer. I’ve dealt with hundreds, if not thousands, of cases with patients showing depression-like symptoms because they’re really burnt out. There’s no avoiding it, and business leaders need to address it, because it is affecting their bottom line,” Mitchell says.  

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