The rich-list’s REHAB SQUAD who are (on call for £150,000 a week!)
The rich-list’s REHAB SQUAD: When billionaires have breakdowns they don’t go to any old clinic — they dial up the elite team who are on call for £150,000 a week!
- Addcounsel was founded by Paul Flynn, Michael Ishmail and Jonathan Edgeley
- The service is Britain’s first bespoke mental health provider for ultra rich people
- Wealthy users are given access to a team of elite on call health professionals
- Dr Amarjit Raindi shared issues filthy rich people often face including isolation
- Paul revealed how Addcounsel maintains the confidentiality of its patients
- Addcounsel charges between £45,000 and £150,000 a week for its services
Just for a moment, let’s pretend you are fabulously, grotesquely rich — an ultra-high net worth individual — one of the 0.03 per cent with a personal fortune of £25 million and over.
You have dozens of staff and phalanxes of security guards and hangers on (if not so many actual friends). You have your hair blow-dried every day, a manicure and massage every other day.
You have never boiled an egg, ironed a shirt or been on public transport. Instead you have your own chauffeur, limousine and private jet to zip between your slew of luxury homes.
But, sadly, money can’t buy everything. So, along with a quarter of the UK population, you also suffer from mental health issues — anxiety, depression, eating disorders and addiction problems with alcohol, drugs, sex, or perhaps shopping — all exacerbated by your vast, isolating fortune.
Addcounsel has been providing on call health services to the world’s richest individuals for the past two years. Staff pictured left to right: Sobriety guru, medical expert, clinical director, mental health mentor, nurse-in-chief and mindful coach
For an impressively long time you hide your problems. But one day your housekeeper finds you curled up in a ball on the floor in one of your marble and gold-plated bathrooms and there’s no escaping the fact that you need help urgently. So do you check into the Priory or the Nightingale Clinic in London for 28 days? Or The Meadows in Arizona? Or perhaps a cleansing month at the The Kusnacht Practice, on the shores of Lake Zurich?
Don’t be daft — you’re one of the world’s super rich! You’re not used to even mixing with normal people, let alone doing group therapy with them. You can’t be seen hanging out in a treatment centre with hoi polloi such as Ant McPartlin and Katie Price, popping out for a photo shoot every so often to prove to your fans you’re sharpening up your act.
You need utter discretion because your brand, company or (possibly royal) family name could all be at stake.
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So you call Addcounsel — the A-Team for the superlatively rich with mental health problems. They will ensure that, by the end of the day, you’re safely ensconced in your very own multi-million pound ‘home from home’, tucked down a discreet road in London’s Belgravia, decked out with crystal chandeliers, £80 candles, flat screens in the bathrooms and carpets so deep your feet actually disappear into them.
Addcounsel is Britain’s first bespoke mental health provider for ultra-rich people. Its Premium Bespoke package includes, well, pretty much everything you could think of — private islands, live-in carers, Michelin-star level food.
For starters, you’ll have a top-to-toe health check — CT scan, blood tests, ultrasounds, liver check, along with functional medical tests which assess nutrition, deficiencies and gut health. All treatment is overseen by your private GP who liaises with psychiatrists, psychologists and the best alcohol, drug and sex addiction counsellors in the world.
Billionaires pay between £45,000 and £150,000 a week to use Addcounsel. The health providers offer a range of services from private specialists including therapists, nutrionists and live-in nurses (file image)
Some of the staff actually live with you, 24 hours a day. So two nurses on a five-day rotating shift will be with you every waking moment, supervising your detox. A recovery manager — companion, confidante, opera buddy, tennis partner, Monopoly opponent, whatever you fancy — is also there to keep you on the straight and narrow.
And not just during your month (or six-month) stay. Afterwards, they’ll move home with you. Stay for Christmas, if necessary. Come on holiday. Fly round the world to business meetings if you’re feeling wobbly.
Even better, there’s a private chef, nutritionist, mindfulness coach, yoga guru and a holistic therapist specialising in massage, beauty and aromatherapy. Oh yes, and a weekly bill of between £45,000 and £150,000. A full treatment programme can easily top £1 million, particularly if you choose to continue your recovery (with medical team in tow) in the company’s castle or island.
‘We have a vast “menu of services” and nothing is off limits — so long as it’s good for you,’ says CEO Paul Flynn, 45.
It all came about because, as Paul puts it: ‘The super rich weren’t getting the service they wanted or desperately needed — bespoke wrap-around care that focuses as much on the long-term recovery as the treatment.’
Addcounsel is co-owned and was co-founded by Paul (a former recruitment executive, who sold his company for ‘a lot’) and Michael Ishmail, 47, clinical director. The third wheel, Jonathan Edgeley, 42, is the relationship director, who deals with the money.
All three are sharply dressed and sport very white teeth and ostentatious watches. ‘You have to look the part,’ explains Jonathan. All have enjoyed the cushion of wealth and experienced the desperation of addiction.
Paul has been clean for 12 years, but, previously drank and snorted ‘a lot’ of the £30,000 he earned a week on three-day benders. ‘I regularly got through 10 grams of cocaine on my own in a weekend,’ he says.
CEO Paul Flynn, 45, (pictured) revealed AddCounsel came about because the super-rich weren’t getting the service they desperately wanted and needed
Michael, who grew up in the family pubs and wine bar business, had no ‘off switch’ — a couple of drinks and he’d ‘get the flavour — for anything!’ Jonathan is also in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
They based their operations, or ‘urban recovery’ as they call it, in London because it’s the third richest wealth pool in the world. According to a report published this month, Britain is now home to more than 2.4 million dollar millionaires, more than any other European country.
‘Treatment shouldn’t feel like a punishment,’ says Michael. ‘These people are used to nice things. They’re used to butlers and beauticians and deep luxury, so that’s what we give them, along with the world’s best medical practitioners.’ But only after the money is safely in the bank.
‘Nothing starts without the money,’ says Paul. ‘And we won’t deal with insurers, because they only cover the first 28 days. This is for very rich people only.’
We’re all familiar with the sad stories of troubled banking heir Matthew Mellon, who died of a heart attack earlier this year after taking hallucinogenic drugs; the desperate plight of Tetrapak billionaire Hans Rausing and his late wife Eva; even sordid tales of billionaire shopping addicts splurging millions in Harrods on tasteless bling in an afternoon.
But it’s still hard to comprehend what the rarefied 1 per cent could possibly have to worry about.
According to Addcounsel GP Dr Amarjit Raindi, being filthy rich can be just as bad for your mental health as living in poverty, but for different reasons.
Addcounsel’s wealthy patients include CEOs, self-made billionaires and entrepreneurs. Staff pictured from Left to right: Natasha Presley / Clinical Operations Manager (seated) John Felgate / Recovery Manager , Jonathan Edgeley, relationship director, Blessings Kaseke / Registered Mental Health Nurse, Dr Dannhauser/ psychiatrist, Michael Ishmail / Co Founder & Clinical Director , Nadeem Leigh- music therapist, and Anna Mertz / holistic therapist
The super wealthy tend to have few friends and those they do have are often more like paid staff — there for the trappings. Many live in a bubble, terrified of kidnap, neurotic about cyber attacks and everyone constantly trying to rip them off, and unable to form strong relationships or trust others.
Some inherit or marry into wealth, which can cause issues with lack of purpose and self-worth and a feeling of inadequacy.
Others are CEOs with incredibly powerful, often isolating, jobs. Others are entrepreneurs, self-made billionaires.
All are used to everyone obeying them, but having few people to spend normal time with and often — particularly in the case of entrepreneurs — once the money’s been made, the sense of purpose disappears.
Dr Thomas Dannhauser, a ‘neuro feedback practitioner’ who helps to train patients’ brains to say ‘no’, tells of one recent patient who was an entrepreneur in his early 50s.
For years he worked like a madman until, in 2012, he made it big and is now unimaginably rich.
So today, instead of money worries, he has 100 security staff and has to split his time between London, Ibiza and the U.S. for tax reasons. ‘He became depressed and anxious and turned to drink,’ adds Michael. ‘All that money didn’t stop him having five-day blackouts.’
Too often, the family is the problem, particularly with inherited wealth. ‘The loneliness often stems from childhood,’ says Natasha Presley, the clinical operations manager. ‘Many are brought up by nannies and sent to boarding school and feel abandoned.’
While Paul and Michael are the initial point of contact for the patient, Jonathan deals with the person, institution, or often family member who is paying Addcounsel’s enormous bill. ‘The family has two roles — to love and pay,’ says Paul. ‘They’re not always able to do the love bit, but they can usually pay.’
The minute the money’s been transferred, the team is assembled from an army of 57 professionals and treatment can begin, usually the same day.
Paul (pictured) says to maintain confidentiality each patient is given a number to correspond with instead of using their name
The first week, a detox, is the worst. The shock of being hauled out of your glossy life, suddenly not being able to order people around, not being in control, doesn’t always bring the best out in patients.
Not least because, for many, it’s the first time anyone has said no to them for a very, very long time.
‘We have people so used to running everything — CEOs, entrepreneurs — so we have to be very clear from the start: we are in charge. Some of our patients can be quite dramatic and entitled,’ adds Michael. ‘Sometimes I have to remind people that I’m not the hired help. I can’t be bought. None of our staff can be bought.’
All staff are meticulously recruited to the highest standards. ‘Confidentiality is everything,’ says Paul. ‘Each patient is given a number and we never use their name in any correspondence.’
They must also be flexible, compassionate and unfazed by extreme wealth. And just to make sure, they take precautions. ‘We had a client with a ridiculous collection of classic cars, hundreds of them. So we put a recovery manager in with no interest in cars at all,’ he adds.
‘They have to have the right personality,’ says Natasha Presley. ‘Confident, resourceful, with a sense of humour and absolutely not the matronly sort’.
They also need stamina. Five days with no break is a long time to spend with anyone, let alone a high-maintenance recovering addict. At least there are plenty of distractions, not least endless therapists turning up.
David Behrens (pictured) helps patients discover their sense of self by visiting them twice a week to teach how to manage their minds
David Behrens, a mindfulness coach who spent 27 years living as a monk in India, comes twice a week to teach the patients how to better manage their minds for a successful recovery. ‘In addiction we lose a sense of who we are,’ he says. ‘So we need to navigate the new discovery of self.’
One member of staff is a golf pro who will help you hone your swing while you recover. Wilderness experts can take you on nature walks round Hyde Park, equine therapists will teach you calm using retired racehorses.
Nadeem Leigh does music therapy — so if you’re a frustrated pop star, he’ll come round with his guitar to jam with you. He’ll even help you write your own songs.
‘If someone says they’ve always wanted to be a DJ, we’ll get someone round in 24 hours to set up the decks,’ says Paul.
But even with all that on tap, after a month or two in London, most patients start get itchy feet. So the Premium Bespoke service provides an option to relocate — along with your entire medical team — somewhere else.
Currently on offer are a stately home in the north of England where you can go for bracing walks in the hills. Or perhaps head to Tagomago, Europe’s second largest private island, just off the coast of Ibiza, ideal if you fancy a bit of spirituality and tranquillity.
For the more historically and culturally minded, there’s a castle. ‘It’s big, but we contain it responsibly,’ says Paul. ‘We don’t want you to throw yourself off the turrets! And the recovery manager will always be there.’
Specific clients bring their own problems. Some need to be ‘vanished’ from the public eye to what staff call a ‘breakout space’, possibly the castle or private island from day one, because they are just too recognisable, too famous, to risk being seen.
Others present such security risks that they bring vast security teams who then have to work with Addcounsel’s own security force (all former police officers).
Former addict John Felgate (pictured) revealed working for Addcounsel can be very full on, last Christmas he spent the season with one of his patients at their stately home
In the two years since they launched, Addcounsel have treated 12 patients, most presenting with mental health issues with a history of substance abuse. Which doesn’t seem like many, but given the astronomical cost, is plenty.
They claim to have a 90 per cent success rate (thanks largely to the aftercare) and generally have three or four patients — mostly men, mostly over 35 years old on their books at any one time.
If the nursing job sounds tough, think of the poor recovery managers, who move in for at least a fortnight at a time.
John Felgate, formerly a City broker and drug and alcohol addict and 20 years sober, spent last Christmas with one of his rich charges at their stately home in the north of England.
‘It can be very full-on. We do everything together. Talk, weep, play,’ he says.
But he insists no one has ever been violent and he finds something to love in everyone. ‘I’ve never struggled to like any of them — you can’t have anything but sympathy for these people.’
Wherever his patient goes, John goes too. His job is to protect the patient from: themselves, their security staff (often part of the problem) and, most of all, their family, who are necessarily involved in the treatment plan.
When the patient finally goes home, the recovery manager goes ahead to sweep the house for drugs, booze, anything that might cause a problem.
Some keep drugs everywhere — in drawers, shirt pockets, trousers, cupboards. ‘In one house there were drugs everywhere. It took two or three weeks to clear it all out,’ says Michael.
Eventually — it might take six months, it might be a year — the recovery manager’s involvement will taper off and the patient will be discharged and left to resume their life, hopefully happier, healthier and nicer.
And, of course, a good £1 million or so lighter of pocket. But then who cares if you’re a billionaire?
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