Creating safe spaces for mental health and financial health

Jimmy Cheung, senior vice president of Global Cloud Technology for Experian and co-executive sponsor of Experian’s Aspire ERG

Asking for help.

It takes commitment on behalf of leaders, and courage on behalf of someone who needs it. Many people are afraid of the stigma, especially when it comes to mental health. Being Asian, I feel even more compelled to normalize discussions. There’s a saying in Chinese that translates to “eat bitter.” Mental illness or challenges is considered taboo; suppression of confusing and hurt feelings is considered a desired trait.

Speaking from my personal experience with mental health challenges, I vehemently disagree.

Companies can create safe spaces. At Experian, I’m proud to co-lead our Aspire Employee Resource Group (ERG), which focuses on supporting mental health, disability and caregiving. We’ve collaborated with other ERGs to hold “Comfy Couch” sessions, which are small, intimate and confidential chats amongst employees. Our Mental Health First Aider program enables teammates around the world to talk confidentially to a colleague, in their preferred language, who is akin to a first responder in an emergency. They’re not licensed mental health professionals; they are volunteers who have gone through training and can refer employees to resources that can help.

Asking for help when it comes to financial health can also cause feelings of embarrassment, stress and confusion. That’s why Experian offers a variety of resources, from credit education, to Experian Go – which can help someone establish their credit record; to Experian Boost – which can help consumers contribute positive payment information to their credit reports. We’re especially proud of the Support Hub, which empowers people with disabilities and those with access needs to share their requirements with a lot of organizations in one simple process.

Our partnership with Disability:IN and Inclusion Works is invaluable. Together, we can find solutions to bring about financial inclusion for all.

Learn more about Experian’s commitment to the disability community here.