This Mental Health Awareness Week, we interviewed some of our team asking them to share their thoughts on taking care of their mental health, what more employers can do to support their employee's mental health and some ways in which they can encourage staff to walk more and sit less.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week this year is nature. Research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health.
We asked #TeamEames: Why do you think mental health has taken such a spotlight in the last 12/18 months?
"We’ve all had to deal with the same challenges that lockdown brought so in a way it has brought the subject into sharp focus." Sanjeev Vegad,Partner & Director, UK
"The combination of the threat of the pandemic either impacting your personal health or that of your close friends and family along with the restrictions on socialising, exercising and generally on stuff that people used to balance their life is a recipe for problems." Richard Williams,Director of Finance & Operations
"Lack of human interactions due to the worldwide pandemic and people having to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with working from home and limited social life which are things that have impacted the chances of relieving stress and pressure." Jojo Yeung,Operations Manager, Hong Kong
"I believe Covid-19 has had a huge role to play in this as many people around the world have been suffering from being in lockdown and not being able to see their family and friends, job insecurity and financial instability." Nigel Ma,Senior Consultant, Singapore
"Our whole way of life has changed significantly over the last 12/18 months in ways that we couldn’t imagine. We have been separated from family and friends, had our movements restricted and at times lived in fear, all of which has impacted mental health. Now more than ever we need to ensure we are supporting each other as well as prioritising our own mental health."Lauren Seal, Partner & Head of HR & Operations
"Being in lockdown for such a period of time has definitely taken an effect on people’s mental health whether it be a big or small impact. Being isolated from friends and family, not being able to go out and do everyday things was very hard, especially for those who were on their own."Jessica Hartley,Senior Contracts & Compliance Officer, UK
"I think the reason mental health has taken such a spotlight in the last 12/18 months is because of Covid19. The circuit breaker has made everyone take a pause on the things we do to take care of mental health. Especially in this difficult time, we are forced to change our lifestyle and look internally hence while mental health has always been important, it was especially highlighted in this pandemic." Jasper Ang, Associate Consultant, Singapore
"It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and has been exacerbated by the pandemic."Matthew Eames,Founder & CEO
"I think the pandemic has impacted a lot of people’s mental health in one way or another and I feel a lot of people who had maybe never experienced a period where their mental health was impacted before were now having that experience. It’s been a really important time for people to acknowledge that their mental health has been impacted and take steps to improve this as much as they can which has massively brought it into the spotlight." Sophie Daniel,L&D & HR Consultant
"A mix of reasons, but mainly due to social media. People are willing to share much more about their personal lives and day to day activities, that inevitably it’s only a matter of time before people feel more comfortable to start sharing their personal feelings / mental state. There has also been a lot more education in the media around mental health with good “ambassadors” sharing their experiences. And unfortunately, a fair few celebratory suicides as a result of mental health challenge too, which again has raised awareness."Daniel Navazesh, Partner & Director, UK
"The pandemic has highlighted some of the key factors leading to things like depression, feeling isolated being one of them." Liam O'Mahoney,Partner & Associate Director, UK
"As a result of Covid, the isolation, uncertainty and anxiety have been brought across all elements of people’s lives, work and personal."Danielle Rainert, Head of People & Performance
"That’s a good question. It’s been exacerbated by remote working and lockdowns which have taken their toll on everyone, at times, in different ways. But the focus on mental health started before that." Ruth Foster, Chief People Officer
"I think that people have become aware of their own mental health more, with many people insolation. Young people, people in house shares or living with their parents are often living, working and sleeping in the same space so any underlying niggles have come to the surface. I think that in the absence of face to face settings, people have been more able to talk about their mental health as there has been a collective societal discussion about it." Abigail Moss, Associate Director, UK
"I think due to the pandemic, a lot of people who would have considered themselves strong mentally (including myself) have found it a lot more difficult than they originally anticipated, and in turn has actually helped them understand how strong the mind needs to be to cope with certain situations and stresses that life brings." Robin Muir, Partner & Senior Principal Consultant, UK
"The pandemic has definitely influenced it. I have heard that the lack of social interactions impacts your mental health – I disagree. If you look into the causation-correlation, the pandemic has forced people to become more introspective, we are only becoming more aware of what’s truly happening in our mind and feelings. This can be a very scary thought. It’s a huge step towards a good state of mental health." Rafaela Fakhre,Principal Consultant, UK
"Lockdown has highlighted people’s mental health and we have all had to adjust to a new way of working and living. We all need to be aware of things that we can do whilst working from home for ourselves and others, by talking about our fears and feelings."Arlene Cooper,Credit & Treasury Manager, UK
"Aside from the obvious and a global pandemic, social media and high-profile stories about the negative impact of poor mental health have really made everyone wake up and pay attention."Glen Roberts, Partner & Director, UK
"I’m blessed to be in Singapore where the spread of COVID-19 is very well controlled and rarely worry about contracting the disease. That said, many of our living arrangements and job situations have been negatively affected. With the uncertainty on the end of the pandemic, people are generally not taking it too well. It is however important to surround ourselves with the right people and take time out to recharge and focus on self-care." Abigail Lee,Principal Consultant, Singapore
"I think a greater focus on mental health has been developing over a considerably longer time frame than this. The unexpected stresses and uncertainty that have been the case over the last 18 months I do think has probably accelerated this focus. We have also had a rare situation where an event has put increased stress and pressure on the majority if not whole of the world population, so this is an unusual situation in which everyone is impacted close to simultaneously globally." Matthew Jones, Head of L&D Asia