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Team Eames: How comfortable do you think people are talking about their mental health today?

Mental Health Awareness Week

​​​​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: How comfortable do you think people are talking about their mental health today?

  • "I think we still have a few groups of conservative people who are more inclined to keep it to themselves but with mental awareness in social media, we are slowly seeing people opening up." Jasper Ang, Associate Consultant, Singapore

  • "I think it is becoming more and more spoken about however it can be a taboo subject, some people don’t necessarily feel comfortable talking to anyone about how they are feeling with the fear of being misunderstood or thinking they are being a burden. I think it is good to be open however it can’t be forced." Jessica Hartley, Senior Contracts & Compliance Officer, UK

  • "I think we still have a long way to go for people to feel completely comfortable, particularly in the work-place, however, things have improved over the years and there is a growing acceptance and understanding that this is an important issue that everyone faces." Matthew Eames, Founder & CEO

  • "It depends on the age group. But generally speaking, I’d say people are more comfortable talking about it today compared to a few years ago, in particular amongst their friendship group." Daniel Navazesh, Partner & Director, UK

  • "Not very. Strides forwards have been made, but people still struggle with understanding an illness that isn’t physical." Ruth Foster, Chief People Officer

  • "I think that people are more supportive of family, friends and co-workers who may be suffering, but I’m also aware that there is a real reluctance to admit to any sort of mental health problem too." Abigail Moss, Associate Director, UK

  • "I think it’s still arguably in the grey area because it’s either taken for granted by people themselves or there’s always a looming prejudgement that they might be misunderstood or misjudged." Keo Salonga, Consultant, Singapore

  • "It’s definitely less of a taboo than it was, but I think the stigma is still there. People need to understand that poor mental health can be an illness, just like any other. No one chooses to have it. I think that’s where we can definitely improve – less judgement." Rafaela Fakhre, Principal Consultant, UK

  • "Way more comfortable, even compared to a few years ago and the positive trend seems to be that it’s all generations and sections of society that are happy to talk about mental health openly." Glen Roberts, Director, UK

  • "While it was considered a taboo topic in the past, I think people are getting increasingly comfortable to discuss it. There’s still a long way to go but I definitely welcome the change – stress is shown to be linked to many illnesses and it does adversely impact one’s general well-being." Abigail Lee, Principal Consultant

  • "I don’t believe there is a simple answer to this as it is very specific to the individual, this can be impacted by the society they live in, family, friends, past experiences, the severity of the mental health issue and more. I can say personally I would feel much more comfortable talking about mental health issues now than say 10 years ago, I don’t know if this is because mental health issues have become more accepted or a realisation that people, in general, are more empathetic to these issues than I initially realised." Matthew Jones, Head of L&D Asia

  • " think generally people are more accepting towards talking about mental health issues, but I can still see it being a stigma especially within the older generation. The general public is still not as educated about how to approach or respond to someone sharing about mental health - which might be a major blocker to those suffering from mental health issues." Charmaine Chiam, Associate Consultant, Singapore

  • "Mental health is such a hot topic at the moment so I definitely think people are more open to talking about this than they were before but too often people still reference there being a stigma around mental health that really shouldn’t be there." Lauren Seal, Partner & Head of HR & Operations

  • "I believe it is still a topic that people feel uncomfortable talking about as they do not want to be seen as a vulnerable individual. Hopefully with Mental Health Awareness Week, it can encourage people to speak up and talk about any problems they might have to get the support and help they need." Nigel Ma, Senior Consultant, Singapore