At the Crossroads – of Mental Health and the Workplace
Written by: samantha
Officially launched this November, Crossroads is an interactive choose-your-own-adventure game aimed at exploring how mental health challenges are perceived within the workplace.
This is a joint initiative between Tusitala and The Tapestry Project, a grounds-up, non-profit online publication that champions first-person accounts of everyday Singaporeans touched by mental illness and recovery.
A workplace adventure on choice making and mental wellbeing
Crossroads aims to educate viewers on what dealing with mental health in the workplace looks like, and more importantly, emphasise the immeasurable power of personal agency.
“When it comes to taking charge of one’s mental health, there is always a choice.”
Readers will get to experience the perspectives of characters at different stages of their career as they navigate potential stress factors such as an inescapable workplace culture, the pressure of climbing the corporate ladder, and the stigma of being perceived as “lesser” if they do reach out for help.
What would you do in their shoes?
The project follows three individuals as they navigate the intricacies of workplace culture at different stages of their careers. Despite their differences, each of them experience different forms of workplace challenges:
- Jamie is a fresh graduate who is entering the workforce, and battles feelings of loneliness as she acclimatises herself to the working world.
- Ravitha is a seasoned producer-presenter, who pushes herself to expertly juggle multiple responsibilities in order to land a promotion.
- Sam is a newly appointed team leader who struggles with his leadership role, and wonders if it is the right fit for him at this point in his career.
As this is a choice-driven game, every choice continually shapes the characters’ outlooks as they each embark on a journey of self-discovery and reflection.
“We tried to keep it as diverse as possible, so it was very heartwarming to hear some say that the game was relatable.” – Euginia Tan, writer
At the official launch of Crossroads, 5 November 2022
“It’s really [about] exploring and having conversations with my fellow writers, we are actually more playwrights than story writers, and we write more dialogues so this was a bit challenging for me in creating the points and junctions where they make decisions.
As I was reading it just now, it kept coming to me, ‘is there a right decision’? And then come to think of it, there’s no so-called right decision. … So I do encourage everyone to read all the different characters and try different combinations of the choices and see what you get out of it.” – Isaac Lim, writer
Not everyone understands mental health as it should be
Working on the project has led the team to a realisation that seeking professional help and looking after mental health at work is not as straightforward as we think.
“It’s a really hard balance to strike,” said Nicole Kay, founder-editor of The Tapestry Project. It brings us questions such as:
- How do we balance empathy with accountability?
- How do we talk about things kindly and also with candour?
- How do we look out for each other’s mental wellbeing, and whose job is it anyway?
“We don’t have all the answers but we hope that Crossroads becomes a useful tool that facilitates deeper conversations.” – Nicole Kay, founder-editor of The Tapestry Project
“That’s why we wanted to start this project. In the process of this project we also met with some challenges, and managing our own mental wellbeing became very real for us,” said Nicole.
She mentioned three key things that she would like for people to experience from Crossroads:
1. To understand different perspectives
2. To be understood
3. To be empowered to make good choices for your own mental wellbeing
Participants at the Crossroads launch event reading the stories of Jamie, Ravitha and Sam
Fiction as a tool to raise awareness
It is through the experiential and safe choice-making process presented in Crossroads that one starts to relate and understand others beyond oneself.
Playing as any one of the characters, the reader puts themselves in the shoes of that character and experiences their thoughts while making choices in their place. In this way, Crossroads becomes a tool that can be used for mental health awareness and education.
If you are a senior staff or a manager of a team, you might have lost touch with the sentiments of a fresh graduate starting out in their first job. Crossroads might therefore be a refreshing solution to empowering both employees and employers to consider what mental health in the workplace looks like and remind them that no matter the choices they make, help is always on the horizon.
The Crossroads experience can be conducted as a talk or an in-person workshop. If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with the team at The Tapestry Project to explore bringing this to your workplace.
Play it now
This project is brought to you by:
The Tapestry Project
Euginia Tan, writer
Aswani Aswath, writer
Isaac Lim, writer
National Youth Council