Xi Ren Yang, Founder, Xel Consulting, Speaker & Coach

At 35, Xi Ren faced a traumatic experience battling alopecia areata, where she lost all her long thick hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Despite this setback, she quickly picked herself up with a positive mindset, and this conviction fuels her passion for spreading positivity and helping people build resilience, fostering their well-being. Her journey has led her to develop the C.A.R.E framework, backed by science. Embracing her calling inspired by her alopecia experience, she transitioned from a 20-year corporate HR career, where she held global leadership roles, to establish Xel Consulting. Her mission is to empower individuals to overcome challenges, enhancing their well-being by offering coaching, training and keynote speeches.


Half of World’s Population Will Experience a Mental Health Disorder

One out of every two people in the world will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime, according to a large-scale study co-led by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Queensland. The findings are based on structured, face-to-face surveys of more than 150,000 adults across 29 countries of varying wealth from all of the regions of the world, reported in July 2023.

In another study, recognizing the crucial necessity to understand and enhance organizational approaches to mental health risks, Aon and TELUS Health conducted a groundbreaking research project that culminated in the 2023 Asia Mental Health Index Report.

The study surveyed 13,000 workers across 12 locations in Asia – China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, providing a vivid depiction of the strained mental health within the working population. Contributing factors include work-related exhaustion, burnout, financial insecurity, cost-of-living challenges, rising healthcare costs, climate change impacts, and the evolving nature of the post-COVID-19 workplace.

This stark reality places mental health issues as a major health concern, amid the challenging times we are currently facing.

In the ever-evolving landscape of current workplaces, individuals navigate escalating stress levels, intensified by a myriad of challenges. These stressors include overwhelming workloads, frequent organizational restructuring, unclear directions and juggling of work-life demands, often resulting in heightened anxiety. Stress can have a detrimental impact on our health if not managed effectively.

The ramifications of mental health issues extend beyond the individual, impacting organizational productivity through low employee engagement, absenteeism and increased turnover, highlighting the critical need for organizations to address mental health issues comprehensively.

Good mental health is essential for individuals to thrive, and supporting employees’ mental wellbeing within organisations is necessary for fostering workforce resilience, employee engagement and productivity. Business performance is tied to the resilience of workforces, emphasizing the fundamental role of good mental health in effectively solving challenges.

Acknowledging this, the emphasis on employee mental health is ever more critical in the quest for employee engagement. Fostering a culture of well-being within organizations emerges as not just a desirable attribute but a paramount necessity.

Organizations are awakening to the realization that authentic employee well-being transcends mere superficial perks. It involves creating an environment where employees feel supported in all facets of their lives, cultivating positive mental habits to address stressors and navigate challenges with resilience.

How can organizations achieve this? The key lies in a commitment to care for employees. Embrace a proactive approach that includes preventive measures to promote mental health such as raising awareness through training and education programs, implementing stress prevention programs, establishing regular check-ins and creating a supportive culture. The C.A.R.E framework serves as a useful tool to consider when integrating these measures.

Building a Workplace Culture of Employee Well-being

Envisioning and actively building a workplace culture where individuals are valued not just for their contributions but as holistic beings is the crux of this journey. The C.A.R.E framework is a practical guide that organizations can integrate into their daily operations. Through care for employees, organizations lay the foundation for a future where employee well-being is not merely a corporate buzzword but an integral aspect of shared success.

The C.A.R.E Framework: A Blueprint for Mental Health

Choose to be Positive

By intentionally cultivating a positive culture, organizations set the stage for positivity to become a shared language. This deliberate choice establishes an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and supported. Recognizing that everything starts from the mindset, when individuals embrace a positive outlook, they not only enhance their own well-being but also contribute to a collective atmosphere of resilience and growth. Positivity becomes a fundamental ethos that permeates the organization’s DNA, shaping a culture where challenges are approached with optimism and opportunities for growth.

Acknowledge Emotions

Encouraging open communication, free from judgment and fostering empathy create a workplace that acknowledges and values the diverse emotional experiences of its employees. This acknowledgment not only establishes a supportive environment but also fosters psychological safety, ensuring that employees feel secure in expressing their thoughts and emotions without fear of backlash.

Reframe the Mind

Equipping employees with the ability to face challenges involves empowering them to shift their perspective. The ability to find constructive meanings in challenges, framing them as opportunities for growth and learning, is pivotal. This reframing of the mind promotes a solutions-oriented mindset, where challenges are not viewed as insurmountable obstacles but as avenues for professional and personal development.

Furthermore, mental health issues can stem from cumulative negative experiences. As such, nurturing mental health in the workplace involves addressing stressors and also equipping individuals with tools to manage failure effectively. By encouraging a mindset that reframes failures as stepping stones, organizations can empower employees to learn from their experiences and continue to progress despite setbacks, fostering a culture of well-being.

Embrace Positive Self-Talk

Internal dialogue significantly influences mental health. Fostering a positive internal narrative within employees is not just a tool for resilience but a mechanism for cultivating self-compassion, a guiding force in facing workplace challenges with grace and fortitude. As we incorporate affirming language into our lives and extend it to others, we cultivate an uplifting environment where people feel supported and valued.

Organizations embracing these principles embark on a journey where employee well-being is not just an aspirational goal but an ingrained aspect of their corporate culture. The C.A.R.E framework becomes a blueprint for creating an environment where employees not only survive but thrive, resulting in higher productivity and engagement.

As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, let us collectively commit to fostering an environment where we truly care for our employees – a shared philosophy that defines not only how we work but how we thrive together. Through this commitment, organizations become champions of change, fostering not only the well-being of their employees but shaping a future where mental health is prioritized, nurtured and integrated into our everyday lives.


  1. https://hms.harvard.edu/news/half-worlds-population-will-experience-mental-health-disorder

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