Mental Health Champions: Why & How Sofia Souiri Is Helping To Champion Mental Wellness

An Interview With Michelle Tennant Nicholson

Michelle Tennant Nicholson
Authority Magazine
6 min readDec 8, 2022


Postive self-talk as it helps improve the outlook in life. Research suggests that people with positive self-talk may have mental skills that allow them to solve problems, think differently, and be more efficient at coping with hardships or challenges. This can reduce the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.

As a part of our series about Mental Health Champions helping to promote mental wellness, I had the pleasure to interview Sofia Souiri.

Sofia Souiri is a resilience coach and integrative psychotherapist. She spent 6 years working in Finance before she discovered that her true passion and skills are to guide people on how to enhance their self-motivation and self-regulation by assisting them to leverage strengths and navigate the journey of change. She is an influencer and a digital creator who promotes mental health awareness.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I grew up in a loving and caring family. I struggled with health issues from a very young age which lead my parents to be overly protective. Children with parental over protectiveness usually don’t learn to trust outside the family leading to an insecure adult fearful to venture far. I believe this has impacted both my mental health and self-esteem somehow.

You are currently leading an initiative that is helping to promote mental wellness. Can you tell us a bit more specifically about what you are trying to address?

The figures have skyrocketed the last couple of years and yet a huge mental health stigma remains. This is both shocking and contradictory. People suffering from mental health problems are often reluctant to seek support for this reason. They are afraid to be judged and rightly so. It is quite common for people to avoid people suffering from mental health problems. Besides, pressure can be put on people who suffer from mental health problems by family, friends as well as co-workers. Around 60% of adults with mental health issues do not receive care for this reason (30 Disheartening Statistics on Mental Health Stigma — Etactics).

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

I started my quest to find my Ikigai (life purpose) after 6 years in finance. Initially, I did not know where to start, but one thing was certain: I wanted to make an impact and find something fulfilling. I had been told I was really good at listening and supporting people, and this is how I embarked into my journey of coaching and therapy. More recently I have become an influencer with the aim to educate my audience about mental health as well as remove the stigma.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest them. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

Since a very young age I have been supportive and a great listener but imposter syndrome was very much something I struggled with for years. I believe that the “Aha Moment” was very much when I came to the realization that whenever I really put myself into something I actually succeeded. That was the final push.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I would say becoming an influencer without really wanting it. Writing it actually makes me smile. This is something I would have never imagined would have happened for two reasons: the fact that I am a really private person and the fact that as an integrative psychotherapist my emphasis is more psychodynamic where there is very little room for self-disclosure. I find social media to be a great means to educate people about the matter and an excellent way to remove stigma.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

When I initially started working in the field of mental health, I struggled finding a niche as well as having an up and running business. I was actually really lucky to have people cheering for me and reminding me how good as well as passionate I am about my job. It took me while until I started cheering for myself and somehow became my own cheerleader!

According to Mental Health America’s report, over 44 million Americans have a mental health condition. Yet there’s still a stigma about mental illness. Can you share a few reasons you think this is so?

People often use the terms “mental health” and “mental illness” interchangeably. This can be a reason why stigma remains. Another reason could be that media misrepresent people who suffer from mental health problems as dangerous to others which is not necessarily the case.

In your experience, what should a) individuals b) society, and c) the government do to better support people suffering from mental illness?

I believe that acknowledging that the struggle is real rather than actually putting more pressure on people suffering from mental health issues would be ideal. Having a support system is key and recognizing that sometimes people are unable to work. The government can help people with mental health illness by creating programs which allow disability to be reinstated quickly if people regress.

What are your 5 strategies you use to promote your own well-being and mental wellness? Can you please give a story or example for each?

“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” Mahatma Ghandi. Health and mental health are extremely important and lifestyle is what contributes to it. A healthy lifestyle promotes well-being. I combine it with self-regulation strategies.

1.Mindfulness. I completed mindfulness meditation course a few years ago and I am now challenging myself to meditate at least 20 minutes a day.

2.Exercise. I try to make sure I do so at least three times a week.

3.Quantum biofeedback. Quantum Biofeedback is considered a mind-body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology to improve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

4.Nutrition. I have a balanced diet making sure I do not have any deficiencies as this does impact mental health.

5.Postive self-talk as it helps improve the outlook in life. Research suggests that people with positive self-talk may have mental skills that allow them to solve problems, think differently, and be more efficient at coping with hardships or challenges. This can reduce the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a mental health champion?

Staring at the Sun by Irvin Yalom and the podcast Cracking the code to Happiness by Arthur Brooks.

If you could tell other people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

One thing I would tell other people is to live a purposeful life. The latter has an important role in impacting the society positively. It helps channel the energy to make the right impact on society. Living a purposeful life enables one to focus on what really matters. It also helps nurture ideas so great things begin to happen. It helps people know who they are, what they do and how they should do it.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram handle sofia_souiri

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

About the Interviewer: Inspired by the father of PR, Edward Bernays (who was also Sigmund Freud’s nephew), Michelle Tennant Nicholson researches marketing, mental injury, and what it takes for optimal human development. An award-winning writer and publicist, she’s seen PR transition from typewriters to Twitter. Michelle co-founded



Michelle Tennant Nicholson
Authority Magazine

A “Givefluencer,” Chief Creative Officer of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., Creator of