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the mentl space
It's time for open, honest conversations about mental health. It's time for us all to thrive.
Nov 21, 2023
the mentl space: live - Life, work and how to be better
How important is your humanity in the office? How can leaders inspire themselves and their teams to succeed? And, what really works in workplace wellbeing? These were just three of the questions ‘the mentl space: live’ discussed as our podcast hit the road for the first of a series of free community events. We drew together a panel of experts to tackle the conversation in front of a live audience filmed at LVL Wellbeing in Dubai. Podcast host, and mentl founder, Scott Armstrong was joined by Calvin Lee-Pickett, CEO & founder at Calvin James Recruitment, Charlotte (Charlie) Spurway, psychologist and therapist and Sam Harvey, chief performance officer with LVL Wellbeing. On the podcast they discussed a range of topics including the paradox of increasing loneliness despite the economic opportunity available in today's world, the importance of maintaining biodiversity and creating deeper connections, the challenges and potential solutions within hierarchical company structures, and the navigation of the contemporary job market with its cultural complexities. They addressed issues including boosting employee satisfaction through rewards and freedom of choice and how reflective leadership can increase business success over the next decade. The panel discussed the importance of creating a psychologically safe space for teams by sharing personal experiences and taking a leap of trust, and the conversations reflected on the evolving nature of the corporate world, highlighting how companies and individuals alike must adapt and transform to seize new opportunities. They also dove into personal growth stemming from hardship, how taking responsibility for one's part in relationships and events can lead to prosperity and how to avoid the stagnation of blame. And, they delved into the impact of family background and core or limiting beliefs on current behaviors, acknowledging the potential influence of childhood and parenting on adult life. Top 10 insights from the podcast: 1. It is the joint responsibility of both the employer and employee to create an optimal workspace for performance. 2. Employers need training to better understand employee motivations and issues, which will benefit the business overall. 3. By unpacking negative core beliefs about ourselves and others, we can become more empathetic and emotionally intelligent, allowing us to understand behavior better. 4. To improve oneself, it's important to make swift behavior changes and engage in deep introspection to discover true personal identity and purpose. 5. Understanding how limiting beliefs from childhood can impact adult behavior can help in developing a deeper understanding of oneself and others. 6. Recognizing and changing unhealthy coping mechanisms can improve communication and emotional responses in difficult situations. 7. Continue advocating for the wellness movement as it is beneficial for all involved and should be an ongoing effort. 8. In a fast-paced environment, it's important to take a step back sometimes and reassess why you're doing what you're doing. 9. Embrace a co-created culture within teams, which can lead to more enjoyable and beneficial perks for team members. 10. Fulfillment can be derived from helping people perform and feel better through vulnerability.
Oct 13, 2023
Transforming mental health through compassion
How do we build a future where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued? We glorify hustle culture, we work - or are worked - to burnout while we unwittingly embrace and accept increasing isolation. Is each individual now an island disconnected from the mainland of humanity? Does the essence of human connection risk being overshadowed? Or, like a startup, can we solve for this, not with technology but with compassion. In a latest episode of the ‘the mentl space’ podcast, host Scott Armstrong had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Nahida Nayaz Ahmed, a renowned consultant psychiatrist and pivotal in many of the major initiatives on mental health in the UAE. Throughout the conversation, Dr. Nahida shared her insights and experiences, emphasising the transformative power of words and the importance of creating compassionate and inclusive environments. Let's delve into some of the top moments from this enlightening interview. Dr. Nahida joins ‘the mentl space’ podcast also as a judge for ‘the mentl awards 2023’. Our black tie gala dinner at the St Regis Downtown hotel in Dubai on November 10 will hero individuals, initiatives and industries and institutions across the public and private sector who are tackling the stigma of mental health and creating cultures where people thrive. For tickets to our evening of inspiration and insight email email@example.com *The importance of connection and community for mental health and well-being * Dr. Nahida focused on the significance of human connection and the impact it has on our mental well-being, especially in the workplace where we, on average, spend a third of our lives. Speaking about the power of words, she told the podcast, "You know, your words could mean so much, especially if you're in a leadership role, create positivity, create compassion and kindness in your atmosphere around you and then that just proliferates itself." Dr Nahida underscored the importance of fostering supportive communities and nurturing relationships to promote mental health. *Shifting focus in psychiatry: From institutionalisation to functional recovery* Dr. Nahida discussed the need to shift the focus in psychiatry from treatment in institutions to functional recovery in the community. She highlighted the potential for individuals with mental illnesses to lead fulfilling lives when provided with purpose and avenues to seek it. Dr. Nahida shared a powerful example of a patient who experienced a significant transformation through rehabilitation and reintegration, stating, "Giving them that purpose or avenues to seek purpose for what they do when they wake up in the morning. I think that's incredible." *The urgent need for increased support and awareness of mental health issues* Dr. Nahida expressed her concern about the lack of support and awareness surrounding mental health issues, particularly among younger individuals. She stressed the importance of advocacy and the role of leadership in prioritizing mental health in healthcare systems. Dr. Nahida commended the UAE's leadership for their vision and support, stating, "We are profoundly blessed to have that kind of leadership and vision that would say yes, we are here to support you and put our mental health as a priority in healthcare." *The need for compassion* The interview with Dr. Nahida Nayaz Ahmed sheds light on the importance of compassion and passion for advocacy and her dedication to improving mental health initiatives serve as an inspiration to all. As we navigate the complexities of mental health, let us remember the profound impact our words and actions can have on those around us, and strive to create a society that prioritises understanding, and inclusivity.
Sep 27, 2023
The transformative power of exercise on the mind
We’re bombarded constantly with messages about how we should be exercising, especially with a view to our self-image and aesthetics. But does the power of exercise go beyond skin deep? What is the impact beyond the shallow comparison of social media images? Can exercise actually make you smarter? And, what do the scientists, rather than the influencers, tell us? On ‘the mentl space’ podcast we sat down with Dr. Brendon Stubbs of King’s College London, a renowned expert in the field of exercise and mental health for more than two decades. Dr Stubbs had travelled to Gulf for the regional launch of Mind Games, a massive experiment carried out with global sports brand Asics, to determine whether physical exercise really can boost the performance of the brain. And the results were surprising… Profound transformations Dr. Stubbs shared inspiring stories with the podcast from participants in the Mind Games experiments, highlighting the incredible impact of exercise on individuals. He emphasised, "Engaging in physical activity and exercise has a plethora of benefits on people's physical, mental, and cognitive health." The studies conducted by Dr. Stubbs revealed impressive cognitive enhancements and an enhanced state of mind among participants. The mind-body connection The podcast also touched upon the powerful connection between exercise and mental health. Dr. Stubbs highlighted the importance of exercise in improving mental well-being, "Exercise transforms not only your physical health but also your mental well-being." The research conducted by Dr. Stubbs showcased significant reductions in anxiety levels and improvements in confidence among participants. Breaking barriers and tackling isolation Dr. Stubbs salso hed light on the role of exercise in breaking the silence surrounding mental health and fostering a sense of community."Exercise and community play a vital role in tackling isolation and mental health challenges." Through exercise, individuals can find support, connection, and a sense of belonging, ultimately leading to improved mental well-being. The power of physical activity in the workplace The conversation also explored the transformative impact of physical activity on employee performance and well-being. Dr. Stubbs stressed the need for employers to prioritise physical activity, stating, "Your employees are your asset. Supporting them to engage in physical activity can sharpen their mind performance, reduce burnout, and decrease sickness days." Incorporating exercise into the workplace can create a happier, more productive workforce. Tune into ‘the mentl space’ podcast now The podcast highlighted the profound transformations that exercise can bring to our lives. From cognitive enhancements to improved mental well-being, exercise has the power to positively impact every aspect of our physical and mental health. Dr. Stubbs' research and inspiring stories showcased the importance of exercise in breaking barriers, fostering community, and enhancing workplace performance. It is clear that exercise is not just about physical fitness but also about nurturing our mental well-being. Listen / watch the podcast now and learn what the science has to teach us. Chapter List: Chapter 1: Tips For Building A Healthy Exercise Routine - Timestamp: 00:00 Chapter 2: Exploring The Impact Of Exercise On Cognitive Function In Elite Performers: The Mind Games Experiment - Timestamp: 02:47 Chapter 3: Mind Uplift: The Minimum Threshold For Mental Health Improvement Through Exercise - Timestamp: 17:23
Sep 20, 2023
The power of human connection and the search for our authentic selves
What does it mean to be human? How can we live a life in tune with our authentic selves? And…are we all just a little bit weird? In a thought-provoking episode of ‘the mentl space’ we bring you a captivating conversation with the insightful and inspiring Andrew Stotter-Brooks. Drawing on his experience from a career spanning decades, most recently as Vice President Learning and Development for Etihad Airways, and now as Chief Learning Officer for Weird Human, the conversation delves into the essence of humanity, the interview explores the significance of surprising encounters, the power of influence, and the importance of human connection. Andrew's profound insights shed light on the unique role we play in a world dominated by AI, emphasising the need to embrace our individuality. He joins ‘the mentl space’ podcast also as a judge for ‘the mentl awards 2023’ which aims to hero individuals, initiatives and industries and institutions across the public and private sector who are tackling the stigma of mental health and creating cultures where people thrive. *The power of human connection and encouragement* Andrew emphasises the importance of connectivity and the influence it holds, saying: "Don't underestimate the power of just connecting with another human being." Andrew believes that deep and intense connections can inspire individuals to reach out and connect with others, creating a ripple effect of positivity. He passionately expresses, "Letting them know they're not alone, genuinely couldn't say it any better than that." This sentiment highlights the transformative power of human connection and the encouragement it brings. *Embracing our uniqueness in a world dominated By AI* Andrew delves into the topic of AI and its increasing presence in our lives. He believes that as AI takes over various tasks, our unique ability to connect and build rapport with others becomes even more crucial. Andrew asserts, "The only thing we're going to be left with is really our own ability to connect and build rapport with people." He emphasises the importance of directing AI to solve problems, highlighting the role of human decision-making and problem-solving skills. *Watch or listen now* This episode offers profound insights into the power of human connection and influence. Andrew's experiences and perspectives shed light on the transformative impact we can have on others through genuine connections. As AI continues to advance, Andrew reminds us of the importance of embracing our uniqueness and harnessing our ability to connect deeply with fellow human beings. As we say at mentl: “Together we thrive.” Enter 'the mentl awards 2023' today - but hurry the deadline for nominations expires at 11.59pm on September 30. *Chapter List: * Chapter 1: Embarking On A Quest To Uncover The Essence Of Humanity - 00:00 Chapter 2: The Importance Of Meeting Others' Needs - 03:38 Chapter 3: Unexpected Career Opportunity And Frustrations Of Working Internationally - 07:14 Chapter 4: Concerns About Connecting With Others In The Digital Age - 11:15 Chapter 5: The Importance Of Relationships And Asking Questions In Achieving Success - 14:53 Chapter 6: Importance Of Open Communication And Reflection - 18:33 Chapter 7: Harnessing The Power Of AI: Proceed With Caution - 22:21
1 hr 8 min
Sep 8, 2023
Disability didn't define me, but discrimination almost broke me - now I‘m fighting back
If Jessica Smith’s life was a Hollywood movie then the story would have gone like this, a child born with a disability overcomes adversity to beat everyone in her school at swimming. She swims so well she swims all the to the Paralympics, there she achieves her dream, music plays as she swims off into the distance happily ever after. But Jessica Smith’s story is far more raw, far more unacceptable, far more painful and thus far more human and far more inspiring. In the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’ podcast host Scott Armstrong had the privilege of diving, forgive the pun, into a life forged not by her physical situation, not by the body she was born with, but by people’s reactions, society’s prejudices and even elite sports indifference to inclusivity. It’s a story that saw Jessica battle with mental health, it’s a story that nearly killed her. But, appropriately enough for a children’s author, the story did not end there. Now a global inclusivity advocate Jessica is on a mission to have open and honest conversations about diversity, about attitudes, and is determined to inspire future generations. Throughout this conversation, Jessica shares her inspiring and emotional journey and highlighted the importance of embracing differences, changing conversations on leadership, moving forward with responsibility, and pursuing gender equality. Her insights shed light on the challenges faced by marginalised communities and the need for a more inclusive society. She joins ‘the mentl space’ podcast also as a judge for ‘*the mentl awards 2023*’ which aims to hero individuals, initiatives and industries and institutions across the public and private sector who are tackling the stigma of mental health and creating cultures where people thrive. Learn more about '*the mentl awards 2023*' at mentlawards.com *Embracing Differences* Inspiring The Younger Generation Through Technology And Acceptance: Jessica emphasised the significance of engaging with younger generations to foster acceptance and understanding. She shared, "But that has allowed a different conversation with the younger generation, a conversation about technology, a conversation about that is so cool that you are so different and we want to be like you." Her experiences in schools have shown that children are now more open-minded and less fearful, creating an environment where differences are celebrated rather than stigmatised. *The Changing Conversation On Leadership And Tokenism In Companies* Discussing the evolving conversation on leadership, Jessica acknowledged the progress made but also highlighted the persistence of tokenism. She expressed her frustration, stating, "So, let's get Jess in to come and talk and we'll tick that box and we'll take a photo. Fantastic. So, is that frustrating? Yes and no." Despite the challenges, Jessica recognised the importance of being part of the first step towards change and educating organisations on the need for genuine inclusion. *Moving Forward With Responsibility* Jessica emphasised the responsibility she feels to share her story and help others. She explained, "I think it's about perseverance and I think it's about trying to be accepting of what the reality has been for me as a female living with a disability." Rather than succumbing to anger or bitterness, Jessica chooses to focus on acceptance and resilience, inspiring others to do the same. *Optimism In Pursuit Of Gender Equality In Society And Sport* When discussing gender equality, Jessica expressed optimism while acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. She stated, "We need to be talking abou
Aug 31, 2023
Is there a mental health crisis in the hospitality industry?
We’ve come to expect service with a smile, after all, isn’t the customer always right? But what about the people behind the smiles? Long hours, difficult conditions, sometimes even more difficult customers, hospitality as one commentator recently wrote ‘is not for the faint hearted’. In this special roundtable edition of ‘the mentl space’ podcast - part of our partnership with Gates Hospitality – we shine a light on well-being in the hospitality industry. We welcome to the table four guests each with a wealth of experience perspective. Naim Maadad, Chief Executive and founder of Gates Hospitality, he’s also Chairman Australian Business Council and Treasurer & Board Member of the UAE Restaurants Group Tapan Vaiyda is a veteran of the industry, he is CEO of PJP Investments Group, owner-operators of Papa John's in the UAE & Saudi Arabia. With 36 years’ experience across Middle East & India, Tapan has been associated with the development of hundreds of restaurants across these markets with brands including Papa John's, Chili’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Outback Steakhouse… it is a long list. Samantha Wood is a food writer, founder of foodiva.net an event organiser and communications consultant with nearly three decades of experience in the UK and the Middle East. And Jessica Smith, is a leading global disability inclusion consultant, a former Australian Paralympic Swimmer, a public & motivational speaker a children’s author and recipient of the ‘*Medal of the Order of Australia*’. Both Naim and Jessica are also judges for ‘the mentl awards 2023’ which aims to hero organisations that promote well-being and have honest open conversations about mental health. During the round table we dive into: - The lack of places for industry leaders to seek support and solutions for mental wellness in the workplace. - The need for open communication and a supportive environment to address mental health issues. - The stigma and cultural biases surrounding mental health that prevent people from seeking help in the hospitality industry. - The physically demanding nature of the hospitality industry and its impact on mental well-being. - The challenge of addressing mental health issues without relying solely on medication. And, we explore solutions, such as: - Establish forums or leadership conferences where industry leaders can discuss and understand the seriousness of mental health issues. - Appoint a well-being officer or consultant who is available for team members to reach out to privately and assess their needs for support or change. - Foster open communication and create a workplace culture that encourages discussions about mental health without embarrassment or stigma. - Provide practical support, such as focusing on the importance of sleep and addressing the physical demands of the industry. - Encourage companies and industry veterans to prioritise the well-being of their teams and provide necessary support and resources. Listen now: Chapters: 00:00 The Importance Of Employee Well-being In Customer Service 04:33 The Changing Dynamics Of The Restaurant Industry: A Commentator's Perspective 08:12 The Role of Leaders in Fostering a Positive Work Environment 12:45 Challenges and Potential of Casual and Part-time Work in the Gaming Industry 17:20 The Impact of COVID-19 on the Hospitality Industry 21:56 Strategies for Empowering Leaders and Encouraging Discussion on Industry Challenges 26:30 The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace 30:15 The Potential for Change and Collaboration in the Industry with Generation Alpha
Aug 25, 2023
How dark is it on the dark side?
In the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’ podcast, Scott Armstrong delves into the pressing issue of mental health within the PR and communications industry. According to the research presented in the episode, a shocking 70 percent of professionals working in PR and communications reported struggling with their mental health. This figure is more than twice the global average and paints a picture of the industry's mental well-being. The statistics indicate that mental health issues are pervasive and demand urgent attention. Exploring the factors contributing to these alarming statistics with Scott is Kate Midttun, CEO and founder of Acorn Strategy and Chairperson of MEPRA, the Middle East PR Association. They discuss the need for agencies to advocate for mental health and implement strategies that yield tangible results. Kate highlighted the significance of agencies taking a stand and supporting their employees' well-being to reduce the high percentage of mental health struggles within the industry. Kate is also a judge in ‘the mentl awards 2023’ which aims to hero individuals, institutions and industries, public and private sector projects, which tackle the stigma of mental health and help create cultures where people can thrive. “Mental health is so important,” said Kate. “At the end of the day, we are all just humans, everyone is on their own journey and mental health affects everyone. “Whether or not you're trying to help support someone else through it, or, whether personally you've got your own struggles. “I think the awards are really, really important for addressing that and making sure that people are recognising what excellence looks like in mental health. “Until we recognise and celebrate excellence, we're not going to achieve it.” The episode also focused on the importance of recognising mental health as a business fundamental rather than a mere "nice to have." MEPRA research revealed that 45 percent of professionals surveyed admitted that their mental health struggles had a direct impact on their ability to perform their work effectively. These findings underscore the urgent need for organisations to prioritise mental health support and create a conducive environment for their employees. While the statistics paint a grim picture, the conversations also shed light on the positive side of the conversation surrounding mental health. By openly discussing mental health issues, the industry is making progress in breaking the stigma and fostering a supportive environment. The increased dialogue surrounding mental health is seen as a positive step towards addressing the challenges faced by professionals in the PR and communications field. This episode is a call to action for industry leaders and organisations to actively contribute to the conversation and take concrete steps to support their employees' mental well-being. By prioritising mental health, the industry can create a more inclusive and supportive environment that allows professionals to thrive. Chapter List: 1. High Prevalence Of Mental Health Issues In The PR Industry (00:00) 2. Addressing Mental Health In The Workplace (05:23) 3. Shifting Towards A Long-term Perspective (10:32) 5. The Importance Of Community In Overall Health And Well-being (21:02) 6. Promoting Work-life Balance And Boundaries (26:05) 7. The Importance Of Two-way Empathy In The Industry (29:38) 8. The Importance Of Discussing Mental Health And The Need For Progress (32:12) 9. The Importance Of Individualized Access And Support In EAP Programs (35:49)
Aug 18, 2023
Our children are beating themselves up
“It’s the pressure, the pressure they are putting on themselves, they are so hard on themselves.” In a world that seemingly accelerates on a daily basis, understanding the realities of young people and their mental well-being is increasingly vital. Recent research in the Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey showed that Gen Z are currently the most stressed generation on the planet, while a recent study by Dove showed that younger children are struggling with their mental health, tied to an addiction to social media. In this episode of ‘the mentl space’ podcast Scott Armstrong sits down with Jasmine Navarro, a family wellbeing expert, to explore the challenges our children are dealing with. One of the standout moments is the discussion on empowering children to find their own answers. Jasmine emphasises the importance of listening and questioning, allowing children to discover their own solutions. This approach not only empowers them but also fosters a sense of independence and self-confidence. By giving children the space to speak and be heard, we can help them develop their own emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills. Another significant moment in the episode revolves around the impact of social media on teens' mental health and the challenges faced by parents. Scott and Jasmine engage in a thought-provoking conversation about the role of social media in today's society. They acknowledge that while social media can be a powerful tool for communication, it also poses risks to mental well-being. The podcast encourages parents to have open conversations with their children about social media usage, helping them understand the potential consequences and make informed choices. The episode also touches upon the journey of grief and purpose, highlighting personal loss and professional transformation. Through Jasmine's story, listeners can gain insights into the power of self-discovery and acceptance. Her experience serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, it is possible to find purpose and meaning. This narrative resonates with individuals who may be going through similar struggles, offering hope and inspiration. This episode offers valuable insights into empowering children, navigating social media, and finding purpose amidst grief. By exploring these topics, the podcast encourages listeners to engage in open conversations, develop emotional intelligence, and foster a supportive environment for mental well-being. A must-listen for anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the realities faced by today's youth and the strategies to support their mental health. Timestamp chapters: 03:45: Personal Struggles With Depression And Feeling Alone 07:27: Personal Loss And Professional Transformation: A Journey Of Grief And Purpose 13:55: A Gentle Approach To Helping Teenagers Embrace Their Emotions And Self-language 19:00: The Importance Of Leading By Example And Developing A Personal Routine
Aug 6, 2023
From a broken back to breaking world records: A Paralympian's story
In a world filled with uncertainties, it is crucial to embrace each day and make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. That’s the message from Mark Colbourne MBE, a Paralympic Cycling Champion, gold medallist and, we delighted to say, a judge for the ‘the mentl awards 2023’. Scheduled to take place on October 12 in Dubai, ‘the mentl awards 2023’ will be a gala celebration of the extraordinary efforts and achievements in the field of mental health, from individuals to organisations from the public and private sector and across industries. The winners will be chosen by an independent jury of respected leaders from the public and private sectors, including healthcare professionals, mental health champions, Paralympians, athletes, CEOs, industry leaders, and well-being advocates. They will cast their vote to determine which organisations and individuals will be honoured at the event. In this special edition of ‘the mentl space’ podcast dedicated to ‘the mentl awards 2023’ we delve into Mark's incredible story and the importance of embracing the present. Mark's story begins with a tragic accident that changed the course of his life, leading to a series of events that tested Mark's emotional strength and resilience. However, Mark's ability to focus on the present and not worry about tomorrow became a guiding principle in his life. He emphasises the importance of embracing each day and planning for the future without letting worries consume us (Timestamp 33:24). One of the most remarkable moments in Mark's journey was his participation in the London Olympics. Being selected for such a prestigious event was a dream come true for Mark, and the support he received from the entire country was overwhelming. The Olympics and Paralympics, as Mark describes, are a celebration of human potential and an opportunity to showcase the extraordinary abilities of athletes (Timestamp 33:24). Mark's journey also highlights the value of friendships and emotions. During his time in the hospital, Mark realised that it is the relationships we build and the experiences we cherish that truly matter. The wake-up call he received during his recovery made him appreciate the present moment and motivated him to make a difference in the lives of others (Timestamp 25:55). Mark Colbourne's story is a testament to the power of embracing today and finding strength in adversity. His journey from a life-altering accident to becoming a Paralympic gold medalist is an inspiration to us all. By focusing on the present, planning for the future, and cherishing the relationships and experiences that come our way, we can overcome any challenge that life throws at us. Mark's story serves as a reminder to embrace each day with gratitude and determination, for it is in the present moment that we have the power to shape our future. Chapter List: 04:20 - Unexpected Canopy Collapse: A Terrifying Experience For A Pilot 08:28 - A Miraculous Rescue: Surviving A Horrific Crash 22:45 - Gratitude For A Second Chance At Life 25:55 - Embracing The Present And Making A Difference 30:09 - Turning A Conversation Into A Life-changing Moment 32:05 - Seizing The Opportunity: Joining British Cycling And Pursuing A Childhood Dream 43:11 - Achieving World Records Through Perseverance And Determination 45:20 - Teaching Self-inspiration And Overcoming Regret Through Personal Experience 51:29 - Contemplating Euthanasia and a Fa
Jun 27, 2023
"What I'm talking about is the human race surviving...we are not meant to be alone."
How often do we listen, truly listen, to the person we are talking to – rather than waiting for them to finish so we can deliver our reply? In this special podcast celebrating the launch of ‘the mentl awards 2023’, Scott Armstrong is joined by Mimi Nicklin, Creative Chief Executive Officer of Freedm agency and best-selling author of ‘Softening the Edge’. Scheduled to take place on October 12 in Dubai, ‘the mentl awards 2023’ will be a gala celebration of the extraordinary efforts and achievements in the field of mental health. The winners will be chosen by an independent jury of respected leaders from the public and private sectors, including healthcare professionals, mental health champions, Paralympians, athletes, CEOs, industry leaders, and well-being advocates. They will cast their vote to determine which organisations and individuals will be honoured at the event. Mimi is member of that illustrious independent jury who will judge entrants across 36 categories covering the public and private sector and inspiring individuals. In this episode, Mimi unpacks why empathy can be the antidote to loneliness, revealing just how damaging that lack of connection can be to our health and wellbeing. Just how many of us across the world are lonely? The figure will surprise you, dive into this powerful episode and gain more insights from Mimi, and learn more about ‘the mentl awards 2023’. mentlawards.com #MentlAwards firstname.lastname@example.org 10 Key Ideas from this episode exploring empathy with Mimi Nicklin: 1. Timestamp 01:12: Mimi's passion is to create more empathy in the world through her book "Softening The Edge" and her podcast "The Mimi You Show." 2. Timestamp 12:35: Research shows that a third of people in this region experience daily anger and stress in the workplace. 3. Timestamp 13:10: Mimi discusses the global issue of burnout and the fast-paced nature of life. 4. Timestamp 14:35: The conversation around mental health and empathy is prominent in the region, with mental health awards and insurance companies focusing on this topic. 5. Timestamp 16:58: Mimi emphasises the importance of understanding that social media doesn't reflect reality and that comparing oneself to others can lead to burnout. 6. Timestamp 18:38: Mimi finds energy and happiness in making a difference and helping others. 7. Timestamp 20:28: Mimi acknowledges that buzzwords like empathy are commonly used but believes in their effectiveness. 8. Timestamp 21:03: Mimi feels her purpose is to help people and make a difference, even if it may seem like a big brand word. 9. Timestamp 27:05: Mimi discusses the impact of social media on propagating certain narratives and the need to avoid getting sidetracked. 10. Timestamp 29:41: The key to overcoming loneliness is to listen to each other and strive to understand rather than just reply.
Jun 18, 2023
Azeem Rafiq: My battle with racism, mental health and personal tragedy, and how I found hope again
From the outside Azeem Rafiq's life seemed to be ticking all the boxes, with sporting success on the cricket pitch playing for England and for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. But there was something rotten in the state of the sport, racism, and it was eating away at the young man. And despite trying to fit it, and becoming the first player of Asian origin to captain Yorkshire, he was losing himself and so he had to speak out. That courage would cost him his playing career and start the beginning of a long and arduous road. In this powerful episode of 'the mentl space', Azeem Rafiq talks about how blowing the whistle locked him on a collision course with those at the top of the game over racism, the mental health battles he has endured, how faith and family pulled him back from the brink of suicide, and how he lives with the grief of losing his stillborn baby son. Amid all of this, and despite being forced to move his family from the UK to Dubai after speaking out, he remains committ…
1 hr 17 min
Jun 10, 2023
The power of empathy in leadership
It's lonely at the top is a phrase that's been around for a very long time. This seems to have taken on new power recently, with the US Surgeon General warning about the impact that loneliness can have on us. It's as bad for us as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So if it is lonely at the top, do we really want our leaders to be unhealthy? And what can we do about it? Naim Maadad, CEO and founder of Gates Hospitality, sits down with 'the mentl space' to discuss getting to the top, the pressure of staying at the top, and the importance of empathy for those leading their organisations. We discuss: It’s lonely at the top. 0:03 What are the pressures that come with success? 2:29 How does the pressure play out on the team? 6:24 Managing the pressure of being a leader. 8:18 The importance of staying on track with your business. 12:45 How does loneliness play into the workplace? 15:12 Deciding not to change your name. 19:24 How important is your own validation? 23:59 Advice to trai…
May 29, 2023
Why social connection is optimal for mental and physical health
The intricate connection between mental health and physical well-being has been at the forefront of health discussions globally. Recent insights into the power of social connections, and the damage of loneliness, underscore this link, revealing the importance of community involvement for overall well-being. So ‘the mentl space’ podcast sat down with fitness manager of Optimal Fitness in Dubai, Tony Deeney and the popular clinical psychologist Dr. Thoraiya Kanafani (known as Dr. T), to explore that connection between the social, the physical and the mental. Summary * *Introduction to today’s show.* 0:03 * Welcome back to 'the mentl space'. * Loneliness is damaging to health as tobacco. * *Building a sense of community and belonging.* 2:44 * Building a sense of community at the gym. * Mental health and mental health. * *What has taught you to lean into your mental health?* 4:53 * Personal experiences. * Why exercise is a big part of life. * What the auton…
May 23, 2023
Work, life and children: The mental health demands on working parents
They are working harder than ever before, they barely have time for their own wellbeing, their bosses don’t want their focus to be anywhere other than at work. And yet, parents still need to be parents, and somehow, amid all those pressures do the best for their children while navigating the challenges of social media and the myth that somehow a ‘work life balance’ is possible. This was the topic of the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates (BBG)’s recent ‘Business Briefing’ which played host to a live recording of a bonus episode of our ‘the mentl space’ podcast. Scott Armstrong, the host of the podcast, started the conversation by pointing to alarming statistics on working hours and burnout, "98% of respondents in the UAE are suffering from at least one symptom of burnout," he said. He also touched on the perils of social media and its impact on children's mental health, an increasingly relevant concern for parents juggling their professional and perso…
May 21, 2023
The silent workplace killer: the impact of loneliness in the crowd
In the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’, Scott Armstrong delves into the intricacies of a condition affecting millions worldwide, irrespective of their age, social status, or geographic location: loneliness. His guest, Dr. Shefali Verma, a medical director specialising in integrative medicine, explores how pervasive loneliness can be and its profound implications on both physical and mental health. They discuss how loneliness, an often overlooked public health issue, was on par with tobacco and obesity, according to recent remarks by the U.S Surgeon General. Loneliness doesn't merely equate to being alone, but can permeate even in a crowd, especially in workplaces where employees feel isolated and unengaged. The explore Generation Z's stress levels. Gen Z, often called "snowflakes" or labeled "entitled" by older generations, is grappling with unprecedented stress and burnout rates. How have rapid advancements in technology resulted in a discernible disconnect between trad…
May 11, 2023
Unlocking the secret to effective teamwork: The Importance of psychological safety and purpose
Is your team toxic, and does it really have to be? In this episode of ‘the mentl space’ podcast, Andy Fieldhouse, founder of The Team Space, a team coach and author, joins us to discuss the importance of effective teamwork and how to improve team dynamics. The best-selling author of ‘Getting Teamwork Right’ draws on his 15 years of experience in team development and coaching to provide insights on how to optimise team performance. One key factor we discuss is the importance of choice, where team members voluntarily choose to do their best work and contribute to the team's success. This requires creating an environment where team members feel a sense of purpose and meaning in their work beyond just financial incentives. We also drill into the importance of psychological safety in teams – building a climate of trust and openness where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of negative consequences. Creating such…
Apr 16, 2023
Creating a culture of care: Why leaders must champion employee wellbeing
"Leaders have a responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees from day one." Does your organisation sound like this? Because it should. On the latest episode of 'the mentl space' we step back a little in time to a vital conversation captured at the Wellbeing at Work Summit Middle East in Dubai. We sit down with Suzanne Gandy, Director of Human Resources at Bayut | dubizzle to dive into McKinsey research on employee wellbeing (or not) which top-level found that two-thirds of workers across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are struggling with their mental health. And, in a conversation which is a must for C-suites, we explore the leadership responsibility, the return on investment in safeguarding mental health, and the lessons her time in the UK Army taught.
Apr 9, 2023
Leading with kindness: The ROI of compassion
Can you lead with kindness? Is there an ROI to compassion? Well one world leader certainly believes so. "You can be anxious, sensitive, kind and wear your heart on your sleeve. You can be a mother, or not, an ex-Mormon, or not, a nerd, a crier, a hugger – you can be all of these things, and not only can you be here – you can lead." These were the powerful words of former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in her farewell address to the parliament in April. We put the same questions about kindness to entrepreneur Shadi Moazami, founder and director of MAIA communications agency in the UAE. Once criticised for being 'too mothering' in her corporate role, she discusses balancing the pressures of the business world having founded her own company with the wellbeing needs of her team, and herself. And, she explores on 'the mentl space' podcast, the true ROI of kindness.
Apr 3, 2023
Is hustle culture bad for startups?
We live in a world that glorifies 'hustle culture' for entrepreneurs, but does it work? Those brave enough to start their own businesses are expected to work nights and weekends, sacrifice family time and even ignore their own health, wellbeing and mental health, as they chase their dreams. And yet, with all that some 90 percent of all startups fail. Is there an alternative approach that embraces hard work, but also puts the health of the entrepreneur at the heart of the new business? What impact would that have on the success ratio? This is just one of the questions longstanding Dubai businessman Phil Bedford - aka The Rebel Networker - tackles in the latest episode of 'the mentl space'. (special thanks to Tales and Heads agency for hosting the conversation)
Mar 27, 2023
The road to inclusivity - creating work places where all thrive
Inclusivity is one of the foundational cornerstones of a healthy culture that promotes employee mental health - but persuading c-suites that it’s a must rather than a nice-to-have, sometimes feels like a long road. Thankfully, mentl is delighted to announce that it has a new friend on our journey, as General Motors officially becomes our latest partner, and we begin a series of conversations that, together, we hope will amplify our shared vision for work places where all can thrive. And so, we welcomed Monica Hernandez, Regional Director of Human Resources at General Motors Africa & Middle East, to ‘the mentl space’ podcast. In this compelling conversation we discuss leadership, creating inclusive cultures, how companies can 'walk the talk' and the rewards on offer for companies which embrace a new way. Plus, we dive into the GM's mission to become the most inclusive company in the world.
Mar 20, 2023
International Happiness Day: What makes you happy?
It's March 20, International Happiness Day, but what makes us happy? In this bonus episode we caught up with a few notable people in the UAE to find out what makes them happy. Our bonus guests are: Kris Fade, star of Virgin Radio’s The Kris Fade Show and Netflix’s Dubai Bling, and founder of Fade Fit. Jessica Smith, Paralympian, Medal of the Order of Australia awardee, and founder of TOUCH Dubai. Dr. Louise Lambert, Associate Professor with the Canadian University Dubai and Head of Happiness Policy, Programming, and Research with HappinessMatters.org. Dr Sara Al Dallal, President of Emirates Health Economics Society at Emirates Medical Association. Mimi Nicklin, bestselling author of Softening The Edge - A Leadership book on Empathetic Influence & Creativity, and Creative CEO of Freedm. Happy International Happiness Day from the mentl space.
Mar 15, 2023
CEOs 'must open their hearts and minds' if they want to survive
"If you are trying to do things the old-fashioned way, you won't make it." That's the message to leaders from one CEO who has been at the top of his industry for decades. The Chief Executive Officer of Fine Hygienic Holding, James Lafferty has often been described as one of the most unique and diversified CEO’s in the world today. He is not only a successful CEO, he is an Olympic Coach, an award-winning journalist, a college professor, a competitive athlete, a philanthropist, husband and father of six. James started from humble roots as a youth track and field coach. Three decades on his successful career includes building businesses and organizations across five continents for some of the world’s leading fast-moving consumer goods companies, including CEO roles within Procter and Gamble and Coca-Cola. He sits down with 'the mentl space' to explore what leadership means today, how 'my way or the highway' no longer works. And, in this powerful interview, he opens up about his…
Mar 9, 2023
"I couldn't stop crying." How grief shaped one man's journey into wellness
Men, what is the price of our silence? How do we calculate the cost of bottling up the things which impact us? Ultimately, there is always a bill to settle with ourselves. In this powerful episode of 'the mentl space', former professional golfer Simon Dunn, founder of The Lighthouse Retreat, shares his deeply personal experience with his own mental health, and how unresolved grief began to show up in his life. He shares his story as mentl and The Lighthouse Retreat look ahead to their three-day Men's Mental Health retreat, taking place on the shores and in the desert of Ras Al Khaimah. In this third episode we go deeper into how mental health shows up in men's lives, how our inability to talk about it is literally killing us, and explores some more of the activities on offer during the three days, such as a barefoot trek through the desert and a fireside chat under the stars. And, we'll talk about practices which may be new to men, such as Reiki and sound healing. If you haven't…
Mar 1, 2023
Why better mental health is a gut reaction for men
Does your stomach control your brain? Well the science tells us that in fact what happens in your gut has a profound impact on your mental health. In this episode of 'the mentl space', we explore fasting and diet with Simon Dunn, founder of The Lighthouse Retreat, as we look ahead to our Men's Mental Health Retreat, taking place on March 17 to 19. Inspired by the recent Chris Hemsworth documentary Limitless, we talk diet, nutrition, and also focus on yoga, balance, and why even paddle boarding can help men feel fitter in body and mind. All will feature in our compelling three-day retreat. Don't forget to check out our first episode with The Lighthouse Retreat which also explores 'fire and ice', the science behind saunas and icebaths, which also form part of the men's weekend. To learn more and join us visit https://thelighthouse-retreat.com.or WhatsApp +971 55-5169101
Feb 27, 2023
Selfish, lazy, entitled? How to help Gen Z enter the workplace
Recent research by Cigna revealed that Gen Z is currently the most stressed generation in the workplace, with 98 percent in the UAE, and 95 percent globally suffering. Mentl's recent article discussing the modern-day employment inferno facing Gen Zs drew supportive comments, but equally a number of firmly-held opposite views, including words such as 'selfish, entitled, spoiled, lazy' and more beside. For a balanced, more academic view 'the mentl space' took a deep dive into the issue with Dr Zoë Fortune, adjunct assistant professor at Hong Kong University and partner at Minds Matter DXB, at the Wellbeing at Work Summit Middle East. Dr Fortune has been leading research which reveals a disconnect between what is happening at university and what the world of work needs or expects.
Feb 24, 2023
It's time for men to hero up their mental health
When Thor leans into his mental health you know guys it's time for us to take it seriously too. Amid a growing mental crisis, mentl and The Lighthouse Retreat in Ras Al Khaimah are teaming up for a special 'Men's Mental Health Retreat' which dives into the secrets of longevity, performance and taming stress. Today on 'the mentl space' we sit down by the sea with The Lighthouse Retreat founder Simon Dunn to talk about the science behind wellness practices such as 'fire and ice', saunas and ice baths, featured in the recent Chris Hemsworth documentary Limitless, which will just a part of our three-day retreat. To learn more and join us visit https://thelighthouse-retreat.com.or WhatsApp +971 55-5169101
Feb 19, 2023
Turning down the heat - why leaders need a recipe for respect
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." So goes the old adage about intense pressure environments, especially in the hospitality industry. Recent reports globally have highlighted the mental health challenges many face while working in the sector, including the pressure cooker of high-end kitchens. TV shows have also dialled up the heat, historically portraying aggression and abuse as commonplace parts of the hospitality industry. But, are times changing? On 'the mentl space' we're joined by Naim Maadad, CEO and founder of Gates Hospitality in the UAE, who is on a mission to create a better way, one based on a foundation of respect, psychological safety and empowerment. And, amid multiple reports of soaring burnout, he has a message for fellow CEOs who fail to change their recipe for leadership.
Feb 7, 2023
Unlocking the secrets to a longer and happier life
Want to live longer and live happier? Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author of Happy Mind Happy Life, host of Europe's number one podcast Feel Better, Live More, and star of BBC's Doctor in the House, joins Professor Rose Anne Kenny, author of Age Proof, on 'the mentl space' for an invaluable conversation about the lives we lead. Prof Kenny who also leads The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing unpacks the secrets of living longer and how physical habits are amplified by our mental health and attitues. Meanwhile, Dr Chatterjee leans into what it means to be happy, discusses the latest statistics on burnout. And, keep listening for their practical wisdom that can be taken into all our lives.
Feb 2, 2023
How reading can help during the darkest hours
In a world of rising anxiety, burnout and polarisation what role do books have to play in this digital age? Isobel Abuhoul, OBE, the CEO of the Emirates Literature Festival, which launched this week, joins 'the mentl space' to discuss how reading is good for mental health, both for our children and for ourselves. She tells how her lifelong love of reading has helped her through difficult times and why the Emirates Literature Festival has never been more relevant. Visit the link below to access authors focused on health and wellbeing at the festival. https://tickets.emirateslitfest.com/m-16-emirates-airline-festival-of-literature-2023.aspx?VectorFilterID=0&CategoryFilterID=0&LibraryFilterID=12&GenreFilterID=0&LanguageFilter=0&SectionFilterID=0 By the way, after a technical issue the audio was rebuilt using an AI tool.
Jan 31, 2023
"It can be lifesaving" Why it's time to talk about your mental health
Imagine your life is going pretty well, career, family, overall fitness, all where you would want things to be, and then something changes. In this episode of 'the mentl space' we sit down for an honest conversation with Sam Browning, dad of two and Dubai resident. He talks through his journey as aspects of his childhood crept into his adult life and his growing discovery that he was dealing with depression. How did he seek help, how does he live with his condition, what does the future look like moving forward, and what advice does he have for anyone else who is struggling? Join us for this inspiring conversation.
Jan 26, 2023
Why employees are voting with their feet over wellbeing
Pick your label, quiet quitting, loud quitting, the Great Resignation, the war on talent, or simply a new reality for employers; the conversation on wellbeing has crossed an inflection point. Ahead of its return to the region, Chris Cummings, Group CEO of Wellbeing at Work World, talks to 'the mentl space' about the Wellbeing at Work Summit Middle East 2023, the epoch in corporate life, which means more and more employees are done with toxicity and are choosing a new path. This year the summit is being held for the first time in both Saudi Arabia and Dubai, and we're proud to say that mentl is an official partner. If you are planning to attend, then you can access our special discount code MENTL20 to unlock 20% off. Visit https://wellbeingatwork.world/summit/... to learn more about the summit (and bag that discount). NB - recorded via Zoom so be forgiving
Jan 19, 2023
You can run, but you can't hide from your mental health
Why it's time for us to take off our masks. Dana Shaddad, founder and managing director of Imtiaz Middle East Consulting and Nigel Prasad, Program Director of Ballers Dubai and host of The OneTribe podcast join 'the mentl space' to talk about life, burnout, men's mental health, the mental cost of running a business, and the pressure growing on young people in world polarised by social media. And, what true transformation looks like. Check out The OneTribe podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOuP2QD_Nz03Mdn10an_92A
Oct 21, 2022
A human influencer: Karen Wazen on protecting her family's wellbeing, and her own
She is a mother, entrepreneur, and wellbeing advocate, who also happens to be one of the largest social media personalities in the region, having amassed a global audience of over 13 million. She also has a master’s degree in psychotherapy, her own international eyewear business and roles as UNHCR High Profile Supporter. If that wasn’t enough, she is the global face of Roberto Cavalli Fragrance and Middle East Ambassador for Guerlain Skincare, and is someone who has, quite simply, redefined the concept of ‘working mom’. Despite all her accolades, she protects her ‘family first’ mentality and in doing so continues to showcase a remarkable human side to influencing. Our conversation took place on stage at the Caring for Each Other event which was partnership between Viatris and Sesame Workshop – the makers of Sesame Street – as they launched a series of resources to help children and parents alike with their wellbeing. Welcome Karen Wazen to 'the mentl space'.
Oct 5, 2022
'I've got no time to be dying'. From near-death to mentally strong
Laura Everest was out running one day, when a car smashed into her. She was flung 30ft through the air and when she landed she was broken and close to death. That was the beginning of her journey. Twenty surgeries on, Laura is the author of the best-selling 'Rebuilt to Last' and now works as a leadership productivity specialist, putting the lessons her near-death experience taught her to use. Listen to her inspiring story here.
Sep 23, 2022
Employers vs employees? In the age of the 'Great Reassessment' how do leaders step up?
It's tough at the top, just ask Julio Bruno, the former global CEO of the Time Out Group. In his new book 'A Passion To Lead: Advice for Inspiring Leaders', the C-suiter explores the future of work, the power balance between workers and management, and what leadership means in the post-Covid landscape. mentl's Scott Armstrong joins Julio to dive into his lessons from a lifetime in leadership, and what that means for individuals' and companies' wellbeing.