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We asked #TeamEames: Why do you think Mental Health has been more of a focus in the last 2 years?

World Mental Health Day

​There has been increasing acknowledgement of the important role mental health plays and prioritising your own wellness has never been more critical.

We asked #TeamEames: Why do you think Mental Health has been more of a focus in the last 2 years?

  • “More people are gaining awareness around mental health and hence are now less afraid to speak up.” Abigail Lee, principal consultant, Singapore

  • “Social media I think. Suffering from mental health issues is isolating and if you don't know what you're experiencing or why you're experiencing it, it's difficult to talk about. I think the discussion taking place online sheds light on how prevalent mental health issues are.” Jared Cave, senior consultant, UK

  • “Because of Covid and how isolated that could make you feel, especially when people who have moved abroad to live and are alone in another country or live by themselves.”Hazel Rowe,regional head, Singapore

  • “Covid has taken a mental toll out of everybody. With everyone mostly working from home, the boundaries between work and personal life are blurred. Physical spaces are also getting smaller. The number of divorces, suicide, depression rates has increased and hence it's of paramount importance that we speak up and focus on mental health” Charmaine Chiam, consultant, Singapore

  • “There was definitely a movement before but undoubtedly the pandemic has brought into view peoples state of mind as everyone has been much more isolated. This has focused employers and employees on working harder to identify ‘how people really are’ and encouraging everyone to be more open to talking about how they are and how they feel. There has also been an increased number of studies published which have linked wellness to productivity and a general movement to remove the stigma of mental health issues.” Matthew Eames, founder and CEO

  • “It’s become less of a taboo subject and a general acceptance that just because you can’t “see” it doesn’t mean it isn’t a reality. Plus, the changes we’ve all had to adapt to in the last 2 years have made us all realise that we have to take care of ourselves first, else everything else suffers.” Ruth Foster, partner and chief people officer

  • “Given the influence of the pandemic, a lot of life routines have been turned on their head, as we know changes in life are difficult to overcome and cause stress for a lot of people. Change is difficult, especially when it is out of your control!” William Bragg,managing consultant, UK

  • “Purely down to Covid-19 in my opinion. The fact that it is a completely alien situation that has been thrown onto all of us in the last 18-24 months has shown how important it is to look after yourself mentally. As someone who considers themselves mentally quite strong, I must admit I didn’t really understand anxiety and thought that it was just banded around as a buzzword when people felt a little deflated. But having experienced these lockdowns and the pressures of having to work on your own completely from home it has helped me to understand how important it is to keep on top of making sure your mind is fit and well.” Robin Muir, partner and senior principal

  • “There has been a lot of well-publicised stories which I think has gone some way to help people understand mental health and in turn feel more comfortable talking about it. The pandemic has also put mental health and employee wellbeing at the forefront, which has certainly been a positive step forward.” Sam Crayk, manager, UK

  • “I think the reason mental health has taken such spotlight in the last 2 years is because of Covid-19. The lockdown has made everyone take a pause on the things we do to take care of mental health. Especially in these difficult times, we are forced to change our lifestyle and look internally hence while mental health has always been important, it was especially highlighted through this pandemic.” Jasper Ang, consultant, Singapore

  • “I think we’ve all seen the impact of how a good work-life balance can still produce exceptional results. A happy workforce not only produces results it also drives retention of good people.” Sanjeev Vegad, partner and director

  • “Depression and anxiety are one of the leading causes of disability and suicide is now the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years old. There is very little we know about mental illnesses, and we should try and do everything under control to help those that suffer it, comfortable to speak about their feelings and eventually get the support needed to overcome or manage it.” Rafaela Fakhre, senior consultant, UK

  • “The last two years have been stressful for many as the routine they are used to has changed very quickly. Also, in the beginning, there was a lot of uncertainty around the world on how long it would last. I remember when my mom was telling me to come home because of Covid-19 in China as we are so close, being in Hong Kong and then 6 months later Hong Kong became one of the safest places to live.” Toby Miles,managing consultant, Hong Kong

  • “The sudden switch to full/semi-working from home and lack of group-based activities built up a lot of unconscious stress and pressure.” Adrian Chua, associate director, Singapore

  • “Some people are overly stressed in their life due to different reasons (personal, social, environment etc) but they are not aware that those aggregate stresses will affect mental health and not willing to talk about it or share with someone.”Louis Fan,associate director, Hong Kong

  • “I don’t have scientific reasons to back this up but at least the lack of overseas travel would have contributed one way or another. I think most of us have our “recovery” over the weekend, rather than “rejuvenation”. We talk about zoom fatigue, longer working hours due to incessant video conferences, and in Singapore, we have had periods of no dining out. These would have impacted our moods and mental health in one way or another. The additional screen-time may also contribute to fatigue, and it does not help if we Netflix binge after office hours! On the work front, this is the distinction between a good vs a great company: how do employers take care (or take note) of their employees' mental health over the past 2 years?” Vincent Yao,associate director, UK

  • “I think that the pandemic has meant that it’s harder to hide your mental health from your colleagues, friends and other work connections. Even now, I have regularly had video calls that have been interrupted either by my own children or someone else’s! I also think that the lockdowns have meant people have been isolated and alone with their thoughts a lot more, and this has spilt into the working world. I also think that the stigma around mental health appears to be lifting with celebrities, politicians and leaders talking openly about their challenges. I also believe that people have had more time to evaluate what truly makes them happy after the global trauma of Covid-19 and so are more willing to tackle an issue that they may have been ignoring.” Abigail Moss, associate consultant, UK

  • “I personally think mental health has been a huge focus because of the growth of Social Media which resulted in people being more vocal online and talking more bravely due to autonomy in their identity. I also think because of Covid-19 most people had to coop themselves up at work. As a result of that, they work longer hours, more overtime and late-night conference meetings. Hence their mind is constantly in a state of work.” Lucas Tan, associate director, Singapore

  • “I think lockdown and the pandemic have definitely bought mental health into the spotlight. Being isolated, in lockdown, and not being able to see family or friends has highlighted the importance of staying connected and checking in on your friends and family.” Hannah Turner, principal consultant, UK

  • “In my opinion, the pandemic has been a huge cause for a mental health issue. People were trapped inside four walls and we lost the ability of interaction and free will in certain perspectives. It created inner anxiety within everyone and caused a huge impact on our social well-being. It affected how we think, feel and act. Quickly it became a global issue where we can almost see irrational human behaviours on networks every day. I’m glad the organizations are slowly focusing on mental health to regain balance for their employees. And I am proud to say Eames Consulting has done exceptionally well in taking care of our mental health!” Jun Leong, consultant, Singapore

  • “Traditional male stereotypes have been broken down and now males feel more comfortable speaking openly with other guys about their mental health helping to stop the old view that being depressed or having poor mental health makes you a ‘weak person’. There’s also been more advertisement and businesses focusing on mental health have popped up in recent years especially due to the covid lockdown.” Alex Joslin, associate consultant, UK

  • “People’s lifestyles have had a massive change due to Covid-19, working from home and social distancing are the major reasons that people start to look at mental health. People also may start to experience poor mental health as restrictions are lifting and working styles start to rapidly change.” Jojo Yeung, operations manager, Hong Kong

  • “Other than the pandemic, I think social media is the biggest influence on people’s mental health, which has grown exponentially over the last few years. Of course, people only post the good parts of their life on social media, which can unintentionally make others feel inferior. Personally, I set my phone to lock all social media apps during the day to have a break.” Viveca Riley, associate consultant, UK

  • “Due to isolation and our new way of working. With lesser interactions with our friends and colleagues, it can get quite stifling without the element of human touch. This work-life integration has led us to live our lives in a way that we might just focus on work 24/7 unknowingly, where without bringing awareness to mental health, might lead to a breakdown of sorts in the long term. More people are speaking up about mental health issues, which are very apparent even pre-covid times – which is great! This is especially so in Asia, where people view speaking up about mental health as a sign of vulnerability or weakness when actually many people are dealing with it in silence.” Chanel Wee, associate director, Singapore

  • “It’s now much more of a ‘thing’ and rightly so. People are now more open to speaking about it, gradually, barriers have been broken down around the stigma attached to it which has made people realise they are far from on their own if they are struggling.” Mark Thomas, partner and director, UK