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“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” and “To know, is to know that you know nothing.” These might be two of my favorite quotes from Socrates. And how contradictory they are. What these philosophical quotes do is remind me that it takes effort to truly know ourselves. 

This is an ongoing, and maybe even never-ending, process, because we might never be able to know everything about ourselves. For me, this means never forgetting that as humans we’re always changing. So feeling good, and understanding what it takes to feel good, takes continuous work. 

Mental Health Awareness Month

As someone who has gone through my own mental health journey, I’m writing this blog to celebrate May being Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to educate and build awareness around mental health, raise awareness of the support out there, and reduce any stigma around mental illness and mental health conditions – as these are mostly unseen and invisible. 

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that anxiety disorders tend to be more common in women than in men, affecting 54% of women and 46% of men. It’s important as well to highlight that these things should be prioritized all year round, not just during one month.

In this blog I’ll share some of my own reflections, before providing inspiration for readers by outlining how Clarity’s Wellbeing Taskforce (of which I’m a member) and Clarity’s company benefits support the mental health of our people.

Marlieke at home with her daughter

What mental health means to me

A while ago, I had to take some steps back and press pause to focus on my own mental health. I started by putting in order which aspects of my life were most important for me. This included noting which things I gained energy from, and which consumed energy. I then focused on building boundaries so I was doing a healthy level of both. 

This hasn’t been easy. Sometimes things that consume energy can also bring tremendous value in other ways, and sometimes what brings energy one day can shift to consuming it the next. Managing this constant change is so important when it comes to feeling mentally well, although it’s also important to recognize that there will always be good days and bad.

Difficult too is that, unlike having a broken leg which can be seen on an X-ray, mental health can be intangible and unseen. This can feel really demotivating to someone who is struggling. To counter this the first steps I took were towards self awareness and understanding. I found ways to learn about my own mental health by turning to wise philosophers like Socrates, working out to support my physical health, and reading a lot about psychology. 

Something I discovered that I’ve found particularly helpful is the importance of a healthy living to support mental health. The opposite is also true, improving mental wellbeing can help reduce the risk of physical illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. 

Marlieke walking around Amsterdam with her colleagues

The Clarity Wellbeing Taskforce

To support my own mental wellbeing, it also helps me to help others understand and work on their mental health. This has seen me join the Clarity Wellbeing Taskforce where our most important focus pillars are the mental, physical and financial health of all Clariteers. As well, I am being trained to be a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) for the Amsterdam office. In the next couple of months we will have at least one trained MHFA in each office globally.

We’re a hard working team. Creating awareness and motivating people to uplift their mental wellbeing takes constant work, and our focus is on sharing educational materials via virtual platforms and running regular events to bring the team together as a community in-person. 

For example, January was all about the global walking competition where we racked up a total of 13,783,537 steps to encourage people to get out during the dark Winter months in the Northern hemisphere. Monthly we also attend a virtual yoga session hosted by Clariteer Grace Sakellariou, and our Australian team Sefiani are lucky to have an MD – Mandy Galmes – who is a qualified yoga instructor and teaches classes in the office. 

Another example tied to what makes me personally feel mentally well, is that in September the Amsterdam team will run the Dam-tot-Dam loop. This will see us run 16km (just under 10 miles) from Amsterdam to Zaandam. I can’t wait!

Benefits to support our team’s mental wellbeing

Working at a PR and marketing agency can be very exciting, but hectic and chaotic at the same time. So, in addition to the Wellbeing Taskforce, Clarity is constantly adding new industry-leading benefits to support the best possible mental and physical health of its team. 

These benefits include Summer Fridays (where in the Summer months all Clariteers are allowed to wrap up their work by 2pm local time); an unlimited holiday allowance; individual wellness funds which can be used for anything that benefits mind, body and soul; flexible work; meeting-free Fridays; and mental health first aiders in each office. 

Support for team members is also baked into our policy. In the U.S. and Australia, team members benefit from Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) which feature the likes of mental health counseling, life coaching, work and life resources, medical advocacy, and legacy and financial resources. In the UK, through our nominated health insurance provider Aviva, employees benefit from the Mental Health Pathways offering which means they can receive a mental health assessment without having to visit a GP. The assessment guides employees towards the most effective treatment for what they’re going through.

I’m proud to work at an organization that doesn’t just see the value in a team with good mental wellbeing, but actively prioritizes it. Happy employees are more likely to be productive and engaged, which leads to better interpersonal relationships, both at work and in personal life. This builds better communication, teamwork, and collaboration, which creates a more positive work environment and enhances creativity and innovation. People who feel good mentally are more likely to generate new ideas, solve complex problems, and also come up with innovative solutions. 

If you’re struggling with your mental health, or want to learn more about how to support those around you, check out these fantastic support networks from each of our regions:

Australia – 

Benelux – 

UK –

U.S. – 

Are you interested in finding out more about Clarity’s culture, or joining the team? Check out our careers page here.


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