Joel Brydon | UsTwo | It's Time to Talk about Mental Health

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It's Time to Talk about Mental Health

That’s exactly what Joel Brydon, Managing Director of UsTwo did.

In the second Rising Minds Sydney Mental Health talk of 2018, we were moved, inspired and importantly – we started talking.

Sharing his own personal journey with mental health for the first time - Joel openly delved into the heights, depths and learning’s he’s had regarding mental health. From dealing with the sudden loss of his brother, learning what it takes to be mentally resilient as a leader and losing friends tragically to suicide, Joel opened up in an attempt to change some of the perceptions around mental health.

Here’s what we learnt:

01. Your mental health takes work

When Joel first began to seek help, his perception was that seeing a counsellor or a psychologist was something ‘some crazy person did' - and therefore not him. Yet what he didn't realise at the time, was the issue was actually just perception. We currently think of 'getting help' as counselling or psychology - when in actual fact it's work. Just like a muscle, your mental health requires training. It takes practice and is an element to your health that needs ongoing maintenance. It's worth working on.

02. The thing about physical health

Physical health is important – we have a whole industry that has exploded in recent years that certainly attests to that. In modern society it is generally agreed that physical health is critical to your overall health, and if that's the case - why does mental health sit in the corner? It's not embarrassing or socially unacceptable to say you're going to the gym, or to yoga or for a run - so why is it that working on your mental health has such a stigma attached to it? Joel believes it shouldn't be that way. That both mental and physical health are of equal importance.  

03. Depression is crippling, suicide baffling

By 2030 depression will be the number one disability in the world and 1,000 people take their own lives in Australia every single year. Let those number sink in. Joel, speaking of his experiences tragically losing a friend, counterpart and beautiful person to suicide reflected - “We can clone sheep, Invent the internet and send people to space but we can’t stop people taking their own lives. I cannot fathom this and want to spend more time understanding this space.” 

04. You need to be open

When Joel first started his journey to improve his mental health, he realised - he was holding himself back. He was closed off and didn't want to be open. His tip - find a doctor/psychologist/counsellor who you can connect with - but give them three sessions. Three sessions to allow you to open up and for them to demonstrate they understand you, and therefore - can help you. 

05.  There is an array of brands we can learn from

Being the Managing Director of UsTwo Sydney - Joel has worked on, and personally invested in a range of companies making a real and positive impact on mental health. His tip - apps alone won't 'solve' mental health - but the right ones contribute to a solution. 

Just look at moodnotes , swaypause and Sanctus - a company he invested in early due to its simple mission - to change perceptions surrounding mental health. 

 06. Where to start? A conversation

Working on your own, or others' mental health needn't be daunting. It starts with simply engaging in face to face conversation. In truly listening, not always having answers. In noticing, connecting and talking. That's why Joel shared his story - so openly and for the first time, Joel’s hope was to go beyond speaking on a topic, instead he stood up, in front of the Rising Minds community, his family and friends, and the doctor who truly saved his life. He spoke openly, vulnerably and shared his raw story to get us thinking about what support looks like for each and every one of us – and importantly, to start the conversation. We encourage everyone to do the same. 

About Joel –

 Joel Brydon is the Managing Director at ustwo Sydney, with clients including Qantas, the ABC, Google, Westpac, Network Ten, Cancer Council and Caltex; Joel has worked across Sydney and London creating product focused thinking, design and development that makes a meaningful impact on the world. 

Thanks to Rising Minds' sponsors - 

A huge thank you to our sponsors - Golden Age Cinema for the amazing venue, and Mobile Experience for keeping us caffeinated.