Marketing and media industry encouraged to adhere to employee mental health standards

The Mentally Healthy Change Group has launched industry minimum standards for mental health

In an effort to raise the bar and help the marketing and media industry understand the impact it has on its employees’ mental health, The Mentally Healthy Change Group has launched industry minimum standards for mental health.

The minimum standards have been developed as a benchmark for businesses in the creative, media and marketing industries and are designed to help businesses and employees understand what is acceptable. The standards are based on legislation, academic research and health professional advice around areas such as privacy and discrimination, working hours and environment, disconnection and support.

The Mentally Healthy Change Group, a collective of leaders in the creative, media and marketing industry, found more than half the industry is displaying mild to severe signs of anxiety and depression.

The standards include such things as: not expecting workers to be connected while on leave or sick, supporting people who disclose mental health issues, and discouraging significant overtime without time in lieu in return.

Co-chair of the Mentally Healthy Change Group (MHCG) and founder of Never Not Creative, Andy Wright, said the minimum standards are exactly as the name suggests – the bare minimum.

“This is the starting point but what we hope to see is organisations going beyond just the minimum and creating a mentally healthy culture where creativity, and business can thrive. The standards are a voluntary opt-in initiative that shows the organisation’s commitment for their staff in a public way. We are also looking at ways to measure compliance to ensure companies stay accountable to their promises in the future.”

The group has also today launched a new website, mentally-healthy.org, to make it easier to find relevant information about mental health, specifically curated for the industry. The site includes selected resources from expert mental health organisations, such as Black Dog Institute, R U OK and Beyond Blue, with curated collections for individuals looking for help, companies looking to create a more mentally healthy culture, or individuals looking to support their peers or staff members. The site also includes mental health articles and stories by leaders in our industry and a section to read and sign the newly launched minimum standards.

Co-chair of MHCG and CMO at UnLtd, Nina Nyman, said since the findings of the Mentally Healthy study last year, the Mentally Healthy Change Group has been focused on finding practical solutions to tackle the mental health issues affecting our industry. 

"The launch of the minimum standards and the Mentally Healthy website are great examples of a group of volunteers using their passion, skills and expertise to make a positive difference in our industry. We hope that the launch of these new initiatives will take a small step towards making the industry that we all love, more mentally healthy.”

Twenty organisations have already signed up their support, including Facebook, Fjord, Edelman, Havas, Hearts & Science, IAB, McCann, MFA, Omnicom Media’s PHD, OMD and Resolution, Ooh! Media, Tonic Health Media and Verizon Media.

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