Episode 62: Hearten Up’s Joel Clapham

Mental Health, Superannuation and Smelling Flowers

This episode of the [i3] Podcast is different from our normal focus on institutional investment issues. Here, we talk about the importance of mental health with Joel Clapham, who is the founder and Chief Mental Health Champ at Hearten Up, a company that provides mental health first aid advice and training.

In this interview, we talk about how Joel was a successful marketing and communications executive within the superannuation industry, but gradually lost his way as he struggled with mental health problems. After taking a much needed break and working on his mental health, Joel is now helping others to deal with their struggles.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people in isolation, while often the stresses and demands from work and home life have increased, we thought it was a good moment to pause and take stock of our own mental health and that of others.

In this interview, Joel shared some of his experiences and lessons learned. We spoke about success, depression, comedy, masculinity and smelling flowers.

For more information on Hearten Up, please visit: https://heartenup.com.au/

If this podcast leaves you distressed, please contact Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Overview of Podcast with Joel Clapham, Hearten Up

1:00 You’ve had several marketing and communication executive roles with superannuation funds. How did you get started in the industry?
5:00 Joining Telstra Super
6:50 Then in 2016 a ‘perfect storm’ hit you?
7:50 “I started to measure my worth by professional success”
11:00 Giving up alcohol
13:30 Getting back up
14:30 Dealing with grief: my father’s suicide
16:00 Allowing myself to feel what I felt
18:00 Talking publicly about my mental health issues
20:00 Asking questions on depression and suicide
21:30 Hearten Up instead of harden up
23:00 Views on masculinity
26:30 Countering feelings of isolation during the pandemic
27:30 The value of small talk
28:00 Joining The Men’s Table
30:00 Smelling the roses
32:00 Comedy as therapy
36:30 What is Hearten Up?
37:30 Being constructively compassionate


The [i3] Podcast is the official podcast of the Investment Innovation Institute [i3]. It covers major trends and innovations in institutional investing, providing independent and thought-provoking content about pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds across the globe.