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A better kind of wealth management?

07 Sep 2017

Illustrated lady meditating by desk

Ever since watching Lisa Minnelli’s huge eyelashes in Cabaret, I have loved money, says author and speaker on mental health, Jeremy Thomas.

Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go 'round.
A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go 'round.

Yet there’s an old cliché, if you lose your health it doesn’t matter how much money you have. To put a modern spin on it, if you haven’t got your mental health, chances are your physical health is not going to be great and then all bets will be off. 

Yet despite every other person talking about the importance of mental health, others still find the subject tricky to talk about. Nowadays, we seem happy to discuss our friends’ sexuality, Brexit, overdue VAT, even the modern way of dealing with a colostomy bag. So why not mental health?

Could it be because the word mental has so many damaging connotations? Ever since we were in the playground the word has been bandied around negatively. "Your dad’s in a loony bin, he’s really mental, and you are going to be mental too."
It’s often a word used in a derogatory way, as a slang adjective. 

"That man’s bloody mental. She’s chucking a right mental. Gone a bit mental."

Let’s not be embarrassed or afraid of it, but reclaim the word mental and promote it by using it positively. If some people want to use terms like Wellbeing, Pastoral or even Happiness, let them. But could I suggest the word ‘mental’ needs to have a sexier bed fellow. 

Perhaps the word ‘WEALTH’ is a more alluring, powerful and attractive partner. "Be sure to look after every inch of your Mental Wealth" or "Don’t you think it’s time to make an appointment to go and see your Mental Wealth Manager?" both have a good ring to them.

"Where have you been?"
"I had a check-up with my mental wealth doctor."
"How did it go?"
"She said I had made real progress with my anxiety but could increase my wealth by doing more meditation and less work e-mails at night."

The topic of mental health has never been as important as it is right now and is heading for the top of most people’s agendas. However, we need to talk about what it actually is and how to go about implementing good practice.  It’s easy to make assumptions that we know what it is – but do we? 

It is easy to talk the talk but less easy to walk the walk. We all need to be seen practising good mental wealth from the top down to the ground floor. Yes, that’s right, it starts with you the Directors! And the way you do that is... by talking about it and listening to what others say. 

The best step forward for your business is to start implementing plans to promote good mental wealth. And before you are half way through, you will be amazed to see how good you have become at mental wealth arithmetic. Begin it now!

Jeremy Thomas, author and speaker 

Jeremy Thomas is an inspirational speaker who gives talks to companies, schools, and colleges about good mental health. His talks draw on twenty years’ experience of working in the music business and crucially, overcoming his own battle with manic depression and bipolar disorder. Prior to giving talks, he co-produced with Dr Tony Hughes the Emmy Award winning documentary ‘Stephen Fry, The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive’ and is the co-author of You Don’t Have to Be Famous to Have Manic Depression – An A-Z Guide to Good Mental Health. He has written articles for The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail and he has appeared on BBC Television and Radio. For more information: or contact

Mental health in the workplace

The IoD is committed to raising awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, with a particular focus on opening up the conversation for small- and medium-sized businesses. We have created a hub packed full of helpful advice, best practice and useful resources, as well as shared experiences from business leaders.

Go to IoD mental health hub

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