NABS, the media industry support network, has revealed that calls to its advice line have spiked 35% year-on-year, driven by a need for emotional and financial support. Two-thirds of all these emotional support calls to NABS in 2022 were for mental health support and guidance with burnout, lack of work-life boundaries, the rising cost-of-living, and increased stress at work leading to this severe decline in the welfare of adland’s workers. With mental health being a top priority for the7stars, we explored these findings to see how the industry can do better.
The importance of the NABS Mental Health statistics
Mental health support is as important as ever for the industry. The combination of macro-factors and those facing individuals within their company is only increasing the desire to try and regain a sense of agency through means such as ‘quiet quitting’, or even removing themselves from the industry entirely. The media landscape should be where creative talent can thrive, enjoy themselves, celebrate successes, and push forward their careers, however, if the environment and support systems aren’t there to allow this to happen, then it would only be right for that talent to prioritise their wellbeing and explore different options.
NABS will continue to work harder than ever to support the well-being of the industry, but real changes need to be made within organisations to make a true change. Mental wellness must be at the heart of what this industry does, led by senior management making effective commitments to improve areas such as support, pay, and working conditions.
How we support our workforce’s mental well-being
At the7stars, we make mental health and well-being our absolute priority. A project team made up of individuals across the agency, Team Boost, continuously promotes the support mechanisms in place and helps bring about real change with support and leadership from the senior management team.
We have 14 trained Mental Health First Aiders across the business, as well as direct access to JourneyHR who are always available to support us through professional or personal difficulties. Our extensive healthcare plan with Vitality, given as a benefit to all employees, offers a range of mental health support including free CBT and counselling sessions for those who made it.
Ongoing initiatives include free gym membership to look after physical health, as well as weekly lunchtime yoga sessions to encourage people to get away from their work and take a full lunch break. If the working day is becoming a bit too stressful, there is also a Calm Room which anyone can use to take some time out of their day for a breather from work without having to leave the office.
To support our team with the cost-of-living crisis, we increased the salaries of all staff under £60,000 per annum by £1,000, as well as increasing our pension contributions to 8% for those earning under £35,000. We also introduced an interest-free Cost-Of-Living Loan for staff that needed additional help without the additional stress. This loan was managed by our Financial Advisor (who was available to help all staff with any financial questions that they had) to ensure that staff were able to take out loans that they could manage.
Following the release of NABS’ results, we really hope that it shocks the industry into putting a big and quick step forward in how it supports the mental well-being of every single individual within it. Whilst these numbers are concerning, they can be reversed by people in senior positions implementing the changes and commitments required to improve the environment we work in. If this can happen, it will ensure that the Media industry remains one that talent is excited to work in, knowing that they have the support setup to maximise their mental health and allow them to truly enjoy what they do.