To prepare for Mental Health Awareness Week, we welcomed the wonderful Carol Keith to our London office to talk to us about mental health, both in and out of the workplace.
You may have seen Carol recently in the news for the launch of the new mental health charity; Shout – the UKs first free 24/7 direct messaging service. The charity is supported by the Royals and officially launched on Friday 10th May 2019, Prince William declaring, “with the biggest investment by the Royal Foundation to date we are today able to formally launch Shout.”
Speaking to the Grace Blue team about Shout, Carol emphasised the importance to speak out about mental health and being able to off-load and share your problems, whilst also touching on her personal experiences.
As we know mental health within the creative communications industry is a common topic of discussion, thankfully with increased awareness now, more than ever before. But we face a stark challenge to make sure that the talent we prize so much does not suffer from mental health issues in a rapidly-changing and challenging environment.
Nearly two-thirds of the media and marketing industry have considered leaving due to poor workplace wellbeing according to The Drum’s annual Do it Day by Mind and Nabs.
Additionally, advertising executives are more likely to show mild-to-severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. This isn’t unique to the UK either. In a study conducted by Never Not Creative on the Australian creative and marketing industries, 20% out of over 1,800 participants showed symptoms of depression and 29% more showing symptoms of anxiety contributed by factors like job satisfaction, stress, and pressure (from themselves and others), overworking and the number and quality of social connections.
Dramatic structural change is happening within our media, marketing and advertising industry, both in the UK and around the world. As a result, there is immense amounts of pressure on individuals. Thankfully there are multiple initiatives and plans in place within businesses, such as wellbeing and mindfulness to help combat this as reported here by Campaign. Often HR and senior managers are referring their colleagues directly to charities such as NABS, the brilliant charity for the UK advertising industry, for therapy.
Ultimately, removing the stigma surrounding mental health and being proactive to do something about it, rather than ignoring the symptoms, is something we all have responsibility for. We have a rich talent pool in our industry and it will be even better, with greater capability to produce the world’s best advertising work if we can improve the state of the minds that work within it. That’s why we are proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week and make sure it is top of the agenda for our team and the many people who work with in our wonderful industry.