Mike M

Marketing, North America

mike m

What barriers do you think still exist when talking about mental health in the workplace?

We are still learning how to speak about these topics openly and candidly as a society, so it is no surprise that workplace conversations are sometimes difficult. Real or perceived, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to mental health. Until we can all acknowledge that mental illness is no more someone’s own fault as any physical condition, then many will continue to hide their struggles for fear of judgment.

How has lockdown affected your mental health?

It has been extremely difficult, for our whole family. So many of the social outlets and activities that we relied on to maintain a healthy balance and relieve stress suddenly vanished. Like everyone, we’ve been trying to find new routines and experiences. Isolation worry for loved ones, and for the world at large, all seem to magnify many of the issues that were already there pre-lockdown.

How does Kantar support the mental health of our employees?

I’ve found a great deal of support and assistance from my colleagues across the business – but it’s important to feel comfortable asking for help in the first place. Opening the channels of communication, providing multiple ways to seek assistance, and offering the same flexibility for handling mental health conditions as are afforded to physical health conditions.

What is your number one tip for looking after your mental health?

Taking time throughout the day for some mindful breathing, to create some space between yourself and the business of the day.

Accepting that not being OK, is OK. Acknowledging that mental health is complicated and essential, especially in today’s world.

Read more about mental health at Kantar.