Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2021

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Poppy Jaman


THROUGHOUT her extensive career, Poppy Jaman has consistently strived to ensure mental health remains a high priority.

As the CEO of the London-based City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), a coalition of multinationals working together to create a culture of good mental health, the 44-year-old campaigner has helped to challenge the public’s perception of mental ill health.

In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the work continues. CHMA has delivered web-based mental health training involving 14,000 staff, and reached out across the world to develop culturally appropriate training materials.

In November, the organisation launched the Global Thriving at Work Framework – a set of standards for multinational business, intended to help employees thrive mentally.

“As we face a global mental health crisis, every business has to be radical and relentless in its expectation of itself to support the mental health of its people,” Jaman explains.

Although the stigma attached to poor mental health has become less prevalent over the years, Jaman believes there remains a reticence to seek help when faced with mental illness.

“All too often things can escalate simply because people don’t know the signs to look out for, where to turn to for information or support or who to talk to,” she said last year.

Jaman has been open about her own battles with depression. She grew up in a traditional Bangladeshi household in Portsmouth and entered into an arranged marriage when she was 17. Three years later, Jaman had given birth to her first child and developed anxiety and postnatal depression.

“It was a very dark time, and I needed the support of my family, many of whom did not understand what I was going through or even what mental illness was,” she has explained in an interview with the Huffington Post.

Despite going to her

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