The SYCK Career Podcast

Ep 85: The Importance of Mental and Physical Well-being In Your Career: An Interview with Newton Cheng


Mental health, once a topic shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, emerging from the shadows to occupy a central position in the corporate realm. Organizations have recognized that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and they are increasingly adopting initiatives to promote employee mental health. 

Embracing this shift towards prioritizing mental health is Newton Cheng, Director of Health + Performance at Google, who joins me today to share his personal journey with mental health and the valuable lessons he has learned along the way. 

Over the past year and a half, Newton has grappled with burnout and mental health challenges, experiences that have profoundly shaped his perspective on personal well-being and the importance of seeking support. Through his open and honest dialogue, Newton sheds light on the pervasiveness of mental health issues and the crucial role that self-awareness plays in navigating them.

Tune in to this episode to gain insights into fostering mental well-being in the workplace and beyond.

In This Episode:

  • 00:00 - Introduction
  • 04:48 - How Googlers get mental health support
  • 07:36 - Newton's signals of burnout
  • 13:57 - Newton's process of accepting his condition
  • 19:45 - Why Google is investing in mental health
  • 25:11 - Thoughts on return to office
  • 27:45 - How Google measures the impact their mental health support
  • 27:34 - Public vs. private undergrad
  • 30:37 - Deciding to get an MBA depends on your purpose
  • 32:03 - Newton's advice to listeners

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Newton Cheng is a husband and father, competitive powerlifter, and is Director of Health + Performance at Google. His goal is to offer a different model of vulnerable leadership that inspires culture change in the workplace so that we can take better care of ourselves and each other. 

He’s spent his 15-year career at Google developing, launching and scaling global programs aimed at helping Googlers to thrive. Today he oversees a global portfolio of Google’s physical and digital health & wellbeing amenities. He spends much of his time exploring how Google can leverage spaces and services, community, culture and technology to support the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of Googlers, their families, and our neighbors.

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