Empowering Minds: Joselyn Tan’s Inspirational Journey in Mental Health Advocacy – An Exclusive Interview with Co-Founder and Public Relations/Social Media Director of éclat PR Media

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Joselyn Tan, a mother of three boys, stands as an embodiment of resilience and transformation. As the co-founder and Public Relations/Social Media Director of éclat PR Media, Joselyn’s journey has been marked by triumph over severe depression and the societal stigmas surrounding mental health. In 2017, Joselyn Tan embarked on a challenging journey, during which she was diagnosed with severe depression, leading to a two-and-a-half-year hiatus in her career. However, Joselyn was determined to move forward and overcome this obstacle, leading her to take up the SGUS social media marketing program with the Social Media Academy. This decision allowed her to rebuild her life and eventually co-found éclat PR Media.

As the co-founder of éclat PR Media, Joselyn chose an unexpected path by participating in a beauty pageant. Despite her struggles with clinical depression, she realised that her story should not be seen as a flaw but rather as an inspiration to others. Her journey aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health and create a safer space for everyone.

Our editorial team had the opportunity to interview Joselyn Tan, where she shared her journey from battling severe depression to establishing éclat PR Media and joining the World Madam 2023 pageant. In our conversation, she expressed her commitment to breaking societal stigmas around mental health, emphasising the strength that emerges from vulnerability. By sharing her stories, she hopes to inspire and educate women who are facing the same struggle with severe depression, letting them know that there is a supportive community for them to share their mental challenges, and that mental health is the cornerstone for overall well-being. Read on to find out more.

Exclusive Interview with Joselyn Tan, Co-Founder and Public Relations/Social Media Director of éclat PR Media

1. Can you share more about the turning point that led you to seek professional help for your mental health and how that decision impacted your life and career?
Joselyn Tan: In 2017, my life took an unexpected and distressing turn, leading me to confront a dark abyss of emotions. The vibrancy that once colored my world faded away, replaced by prolonged periods of deep sleep, persistent thoughts of self-harm, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. It was as if a dense cloud of depression had settled over my every thought and action, casting a shadow on everything I once enjoyed.

Despite the concern from my husband, who initially hoped it was a passing phase, it became increasingly clear that this was more than a temporary struggle. After enduring three months of emotional turmoil, I made the pivotal decision to seek professional help.

This choice brought me to Professor Lee, a psychiatrist who would play a crucial role in my mental health journey. His diagnosis of clinical depression was not just a clinical label; it was a profound revelation that marked a turning point in my life. Faced with the gravity of my mental health, I decided to put my career on hold, navigating uncharted territory as an entrepreneur forced to confront the intricacies of mental well-being.

This marked the beginning of a tumultuous yet transformative odyssey through the landscape of my own mind. Some days brought a semblance of normalcy, while others were marred by the weight of my struggles. Seeking help became my lifeline, providing me with the necessary tools to navigate the intricate maze of emotions that had come to define my daily existence. In this journey, I discovered resilience I never knew I possessed, and through the guidance of mental health professionals, I gradually pieced together the fragments of my life that had been shattered by the grip of depression.

2. As a mother of three and a successful professional in the PR and Marketing industry, how did the support from your family, especially your husband and sons react to your diagnosis of severe depression, and how did their support contribute to your recovery?

Joselyn Tan: Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to share my condition with my family. When I got hit with the news of severe depression, I was lucky to have a family that’s pretty open about everything. I found support and solace in my family during difficult times especially my husband. He plays a significant role, offering understanding and patience, especially the frequent holiday travels. Surprisingly, those travels turned out to be a breath of fresh air for my well-being. I decided to pick up the piano again, something I’d left behind at Grade 5. Bought a keyboard, enrolled in a music school – it’s been a therapeutic journey. It’s amazing how these little things, the support from your loved ones, and a bit of music can bring light to the darkest moments.

So, as I reflect on this journey, I’m reminded that it’s not just about weathering the storm; it’s about finding solace and strength in unexpected places. In the embrace of family, the patience of a spouse, and the healing power of music, I discovered a resilience I never knew I possessed. It’s a testament to the transformative influence that love and understanding can have on one’s journey to recovery.

3. In your experience, how has the stigma around mental health affected your personal and professional life, and what steps do you think individuals and society can take to reduce this stigma?

Joselyn Tan: You know, when I was encouraged to join Mrs Singapore World 2022, then World Madam 2023, and now representing Singapore in Mrs Asia Pacific as Mrs Singapore Asia Pacific Cosmopolitan 2023, I saw it as a chance to shift the narrative. I wanted to share my journey, not just for me but for all the women out there grappling with similar struggles. Mental health, especially depression, carries this weight of stigma that often keeps us from talking about it openly. Families, friends, even colleagues, it’s like this unspoken topic.

But this platform, these beauty pageants, they’re more than just crowns and titles. They’re a way for women to lift each other up, be real role models, where my mental health isn’t a flaw but a strength. My mission is to inspire and motivate others to step into the spotlight, especially in women’s and mental health communities. Break the stigma, create a space where everyone feels safe.

I’m all about being vocal on mental well-being. Let’s make it normal to talk about our struggles, even if we’re still working through them. I get it – when you’re in the thick of depression, the last thing you want to do is tell the world you’re struggling. But trust me, sharing your story not only helps you shift your mindset, but it also lets others know it’s okay to open up. And that, my friend, can make a world of difference.

4. Battling depression, you’ve emphasised the importance of reaching out for professional help. What advice do you have for others who may be hesitant to seek therapy or counselling due to societal perceptions?

Joselyn Tan: Seeing a psychiatrist or seeking emotional mental therapy isn’t a mark of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. Acknowledging that you need assistance is a profound wisdom. Mental health conditions are diagnoses, sure, but they don’t define who you are. The real struggle often comes from the stigma surrounding mental illness. It’s like this heavy cloak of shame that people carry, preventing them from admitting that they need help. The truth is, you’re not alone in this. Seeking help is a courageous step, and it’s okay to take it.

5. Your decision to share your story involves addressing childhood trauma. What advice do you have for others who may be grappling with suppressed memories and how can they navigate seeking help for their mental well-being and relationships?

Joselyn Tan: Seek professional help. You couldn’t change, erase, and forget the past. Take your time to heal as I am still in the process of healing.

6. Body shaming is an issue you’ve addressed, particularly in the context of weight gain due to medication. How do you handle societal pressure and comments regarding your physical appearance, and what advice do you have for others facing similar challenges?

Joselyn Tan: You know, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with societal pressure and comments about my physical appearance, especially regarding my weight gain due to medication. There were moments, like gown fittings for Grand Finals, where I felt desperate, sad, and demoralized because I couldn’t fit into the evening gowns. It’s tough, especially when relatives bombard you with unnecessary comments during Chinese New Year. I used to be petite, slim, and weighed only 48kg, so dealing with these changes has been quite challenging.

Approaching the upcoming Mrs Asia Pacific 2023 swimwear photoshoot, I found myself grappling with self-consciousness, feeling like the heaviest among all. Gaining more than 18kg due to antidepressant medication didn’t make it any easier. But, I’ve learned to take a more light-hearted perspective, reducing self-criticism and understanding the importance of not comparing myself to others. It’s become a journey of self-love and self-care, where I’m putting in the effort to become a healthier and slimmer version of myself.

With the Mrs Singapore Asia Pacific Cosmopolitan 2023 platform, I’m on a mission to spread love and encouraging words. I want to promote openness about mental well-being and health, normalizing the idea of talking about struggles without having to be over them yet. As someone going through depression, I know it’s not easy to share that you’re currently struggling. However, talking about it can help shift your mindset and allow personal growth. It’s not just about me; it’s about letting others know that it’s okay to talk about their challenges too.

7. Balancing a demanding career and being a mother of three are undoubtedly challenging. Are there specific practices or routines that have proven effective for you in managing stress and preventing burnout?

Joselyn Tan: Balancing a demanding career with motherhood, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay not to be okay, and it’s perfectly acceptable to express emotions and cry when things become overwhelming. While I don’t adhere to specific remedies or methods, I find solace in the therapeutic effects of music and the calming practice of coloring. These simple yet effective activities help me manage stress and prevent burnout.

8. Your involvement in World Madam 2023 and being a finalist in Mrs Singapore World 2022 reflects your commitment to normalizing discussions around mental health. How do you leverage these platforms to break the stigma associated with mental health and inspire others?

Joselyn Tan: As I immerse myself in platforms like World Madam 2023 and proudly stand as a finalist in Mrs Singapore World 2022, my commitment to normalizing discussions around mental health takes center stage. I recognize the power these platforms wield, and I am determined to leverage them to break the stigma associated with mental health and inspire others.

Utilizing diverse channels such as women’s communities, associations, media, and podcasts, I aim to empower women globally. My goal is to raise awareness of mental health and create a safe space for individuals, like myself, to come forward and share their struggles. I firmly believe that every voice deserves to be heard, and every story deserves to be shared. Together, let’s cultivate a culture of empathy and support for mental well-being.

Now, adorned with the titles of Mrs Singapore Asia Pacific Cosmopolitan 2023 and Mrs Empowerment Beauty 2023/2024 in Mrs Asia Pacific 2023, I carry the torch of empowerment, mental health awareness, and the courage to shatter the silence surrounding our struggles. Let’s unite to weave a cultural tapestry marked by empathy, understanding, and unwavering support. In this space, every voice resonates, and every story deserves to be heard.

As we navigate a world where every story holds significance, let’s join hands to dismantle the stigma shrouding mental health. The best attitude is gratitude, and in every moment, there’s always something to be thankful for. Together, let’s foster a collective commitment to breaking the chains of silence and building a world where mental health is embraced without judgment.

9. Having experienced both well-intentioned but misguided advice and genuine support from friends, what do you believe are the most helpful ways for friends and loved ones to provide support to someone dealing with mental health challenges?

Joselyn Tan: During my battle with depression, I often hear advice from friends, You know, those phrases like “think positively” and “it’s all about your mindset.” While their intentions were to be encouraging, these words often felt discouraging during my darkest hours. Instead, what proves most helpful is genuine empathy, a listening ear, or a comforting hug — the assurance of unwavering support from friends. Sometimes, just being present for someone can make a significant difference when they’re grappling with mental health challenges.

10. What are your aspirations for éclat PR media and also in contributing to the broader conversation around mental health, both within and beyond the workplace?

Joselyn Tan: My aspiration is to continue spreading love and encouraging words among colleagues, family, friends, and loved ones. Beyond the workplace, I aim to foster a culture where individuals can be vocal about their mental well-being and health. I hope that others can be vocal about their mental well-being and mental health. Normalise the idea of talking about one’s struggles without having to be over it yet. As someone who is going through depression, I truly understand it best when the last thing one might want to do is to tell others that you are currently struggling. Indeed, it is so much easier to say that it was all in the past but talking about it may just help you get into a better mindset and allow you to grow as a person. Not only that but talking about it helps other people too to know that it’s okay to talk about it.

11. Receiving the “Media Choice Madam Award” is a significant recognition of your efforts in promoting mental health awareness. What are your future aspirations in continuing this advocacy, and how do you plan to use this platform to inspire and help others?

Joselyn Tan: Now, as Mrs Singapore Asia Pacific Cosmopolitan 2023/2024, and Mrs Empowerment Beauty 2023/2024 in Mrs Asia Pacific 2023, I bear the torch of empowerment, mental health awareness, and the courage to shatter the silence surrounding our struggles. Let’s come together to weave a cultural tapestry marked by empathy, understanding, and unwavering support. In this space, every voice resonates, and every story deserves to be heard.

As we navigate through a world where every story holds significance, let’s join hands to dismantle the stigma shrouding mental health. The best attitude is gratitude, and in every moment, there’s always something to be thankful for.

12. Looking ahead, what would you like to see for yourself in terms of personal growth, advocacy, or achievements as you continue your journey, both personally and professionally, beyond the experiences that you’ve shared?

Joselyn Tan: Personal Growth:
Participating in the Mrs Asia Pacific beauty pageant became a platform for personal growth and connection with women globally facing similar struggles. The experience has fueled my determination to expand my advocacy for mental well-being beyond national borders to the Asia Pacific and international arenas.

My decision to join Mrs. Asia Pacific 2023 is deeply personal, rooted in a six-year battle with Clinical Depression. Despite the dark moments, this chapter symbolizes resilience and hope. Through this platform, I strive to break the silence around mental health struggles, sharing my story to inspire others. Depression and mental health challenges should not be stigmatized; seeking therapy is an encouraged step toward healing.

A recent, challenging episode highlighted the importance of mental health discussions. An attempt to overdose led to an 11-day hospital stay, sparking deep introspection and a renewed purpose to openly address mental well-being struggles.

As a staunch advocate for mental health awareness, my journey through pageantry has redefined my purpose—to raise awareness and eliminate stigma. I identify five key qualities for inspirational women: purpose, belief, empathy, encouragement, and thinking big. I emphasize the need for a safe space to discuss mental health openly.

My aim is to empower women globally, raise awareness of mental health, and provide a safe haven for those, like me, to share their struggles. Leveraging my position, I vocalize the message that it’s okay not to be okay and continue sharing my journey to influence and empower others. Every voice and story deserve recognition, fostering a culture of empathy and support for mental well-being on a global scale. Together, we strive to break the stigma surrounding mental health in a world where every story matters.

Dedicated to contributing to the local community, I also actively volunteer at Punggol 21 CC Women’s Executive Committee. Through this role, I engage with community initiatives, fostering connections and making a positive impact. I also took on the position of Programme Chairperson at the Singapore Business Professional Women’s Association where I play a vital role in shaping and organizing impactful programs. This involvement allows me to contribute to the professional development and empowerment of women in the business arena.

In addition to my advocacy efforts, I was also invited for an interview and the publication of my biography by a prestigious British Publishing House. This opportunity is part of their 6th edition encyclopedia, a compilation of success stories and biographies from diverse personalities across Malaysia and Singapore.

Currently in the collection phase, the encyclopedia aims to showcase these stories in a hardcopy format, accessible in national libraries and online. This initiative serves as a form of recognition and legacy, inspiring younger generations to find motivation and guidance in the narratives of accomplished individuals.

Being part of this endeavor reinforces my commitment to sharing impactful stories, breaking stigmas, and fostering a culture of empathy and support, not only locally but on an international platform.

To learn more about Joselyn Tan and éclat PR Media, please visit their website at https://www.eclatprmedia.com/.

Joselyn’s inspiring story of her remarkable achievements and triumphs over clinical depression serves as a testament to the unwavering strength of the human spirit, this uplifting story encourages us to embrace resilience and seek a path towards holistic well-being. Let us embrace the collective commitment to breaking the societal stigma surrounding mental health, cultivating a culture infused with empathy and steadfast support for the journey to mental well-being.


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