It is well documented that the advertising industry experiences higher rates of mental health issues than the general population.
TBWA Sydney has partnered with Mitch Wallis, the founder of the Heart On My Sleeve Movement to develop and lead a comprehensive ongoing internal Mental Health and Wellbeing program including staff training, peer support, leadership training and consulting.
TBWA Sydney is the first advertising agency in Australia to roll out the Heart On My Sleeve program following months of strategic planning to develop a purpose-built approach between the two organisations.
TBWA Sydney includes the agencies TBWA, Eleven, Fleishman Hillard, The Integer Group, Fabric and Bolt Content.
This initiative will support TBWA’s existing employee support program.
Entitled ‘REAL’ this custom program focuses on the core values of Heart on My Sleeve and their integration with mental health, and highlights the belief that storytelling, authenticity and conversations can transform the lives of those struggling every day.
With three distinct components, the program will provide training and tools that address the specific challenges and opportunities for both managers and people at all levels across the TBWA Collective.
For managers the REAL Leaders program is about providing soft skills training, so they are better equipped to spot the signs earlier and to support their teams.
For the Collective REAL Conversations will provide the space and the tools to help everyone manage their own well-being.
TBWA will also be introducing an accredited peer support system throughout the agency as part of the program called REAL Mates.
TBWA AUNZ CEO, Paul Bradbury commented: “It’s a really positive thing that our industry is openly talking about the importance of positive mental health, and we applaud those that are raising awareness that we have a problem.
“We have decided to convert the conversation into action, which is why we have invested in a bespoke ongoing program led by Mitch for everyone at TBWA.
“We will share the learnings and content of the program with the industry at the right time.”
Heart on My Sleeve founder and CEO, Mitch Wallis said: “Heart on My Sleeve has already made incredible traction and huge inroads with the media industry in Australia and the ongoing vital conversation around mental health.
“It’s promising to me to see a leading agency group put their hand up and move into an action-based programmatic approach to address the challenges of mental health and employee wellbeing.
“I’m proud to be partnering with TBWA to further cultivate culture and open up the conversation in a very meaningful and practical way.”
He added: “This is more than awareness; it’s about driving real change and shifting the future of mental health in the workplace and wider industry.”