Learning how to open up discussions around mental health is a constant journey. Whether it’s understanding your own experiences, or finding ways to approach helping others, keeping an open mind about vulnerability is vital.
For Scott Bidmead — a TV presenter, entrepreneur and wellbeing expert — having conversations around mental health have always been a huge priority. Between travelling the world to interview celebrities, presenting TV shows and running his own company ‘Mead Media’, he’s made multiple efforts to raise awareness for the cause, while prioritising his own self-care when his schedule gets hectic.
Scott kicked off his career by completing a Bachelor of Journalism at Griffith University, which played a vital role in developing his skill pool. It opened him up to new perspectives that have ultimately enabled him with the tools to transform his passions for both media and mental health into a range of forward-thinking initiatives.
“I was driven to add more meaning and purpose into my work and am passionate about helping people,” explained Scott, discussing his drive to place mental health awareness at the forefront of his work.
“I think there has been a positive shift in recent years towards more focus on mental health and reducing the stigma around it, but there is still a long way to go and especially after 2020 we need to focus on practical initiatives.”
Since then, he’s utilised his skills and passion for mental health to develop a new product called Euda – a software platform that helps businesses support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.
“Euda is the complete corporate wellbeing solution backed by leading organisational psychologists and software developers,” said Scott.
“During my time as Chairperson of Headspace Adelaide, I realised there wasn’t a clear, cost-effective solution for Aussie businesses to support their staff better. So we created our software and app to improve the mental health of Aussies at work – through better insights, improved communication, expert programs and resources like guided meditations.”
Scott’s expertise in both the media and mental health is incredibly vast, so we picked his brain further around how to best arm yourself with strategies to maintain self-care whilst working in a fast-paced industry.
PTV: What strategies do you use to ensure you’re maintaining a work-life balance?
Scott Bidmead: I’ve always tried to value my mental health and wellbeing no matter how busy I am (or where in the world I am!). I think it comes down to balance and creating some good minimum standards around positive habits.
Hard work is important, but I always make time for self-care – mindfulness, travel, kickboxing, quality time with friends, whatever it is that fills up my cup.
PTV: How can young people approach speaking up about their mental health to their boss?
SB: Firstly, it is super important to realise that it’s more than ok to speak up, and ask for help. Now being vulnerable is hard for most of us, but remember those good things always live on the other side of fear.
There is no blueprint for this, but we can start by working on building a support network in our personal and professional lives and ask for help when we need it. Start by seeking advice, from friends and colleagues, and look to your company’s support and wellbeing platform.
If you need help or understanding from your boss, write down what you want to share and even bring it with you. Tell the person you decide to speak to that you have something you want to chat with them about and again remember that it’s ok to ask for help and not a huge thing. Then do it. Share.
It’s also important to put pre-emptive practises in place to help support our mental health even when we think we are doing fine.
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PTV: Where do you think the media industry needs to improve in terms of mental health support and acceptance?
SB: I think we need less superficial fluff and more meaningful content and conversations that can drive our culture forward. We are moving in the right direction (slowly) but the media industry needs to be at the forefront of change, pushing positive and sometimes tough conversations out there and leading by example.
We also need a bit more innovation and fresh voices that are willing to shake things up a bit and shine a light on the positive. And can we please have a bit less focus on influencers and who they cheated on, and more on change-makers.
PTV: What advice would you give to young people forging their path in the media industry?
SB: I would start by identifying why you want this, attaching a sense of purpose to your goals makes it so much more likely to materialise.
Work on yourself and develop a solid knowledge and skill base. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, network and take risks. Talent will only get you so far. You also need to work your ass off to get ahead in the media industry.
If Scott’s journey has inspired you to use your passions and skills to help others, suss out how Griffith University can support you on your way.Image: Instagram / Scott Bidmead