The results are in for the second major study into the mental health and wellbeing of the media, marketing and creative industry in Australia.
The Mentally Healthy research, conducted by Everymind, Never Not Creative and UnLtd and supported by the Mentally-Healthy Change Group measures the levels of depression, anxiety and stress in our industry as well as the attitudes towards mental health in the workplace. It is a follow-up study to the first Mentally Healthy 2018 study that was completed 18 months earlier.
More than 1,500 employees across the media, marketing and creative industry participated in the survey, which took place during February and March this year. A further pulse-study was conducted in May 2020 to measure the impact of COVID-19 on the findings and was completed by over 560 participants.
Mentally Healthy used the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) to identify symptoms of depression and anxiety in research participants. The findings showed that depression and anxiety levels had remained similar to those observed in 2018, with 56 per cent of respondents displaying mild to severe symptoms of depression, exactly as in 2018. Similarly with anxiety, 52 per cent displayed mild to severe symptoms of anxiety, compared to 55 per cent in 2018. The pulse study showed that in the short-term, COVID-19 had only a minor impact on mental health, with a minor increase in depression (58 per cent vs 56 per cent ) and a minor decrease in anxiety (46 per cent vs 52 per cent ) compared to the February results. Further research will be needed to explore if there are any longer-term impacts of COVID-19.
Whilst depression and anxiety remained commonplace, the 2020 results show a positive improvement in stigma around mental health. 24 per cent more respondents would now disclose if they had been diagnosed with depression compared to 2018. Similarly, 22 per cent more believed others would not be treated poorly if they disclosed a mental illness at their workplace.
At a workplace level, there was a clear difference between the perceived priority of mental health in their workplaces versus the perceived effectiveness of the workplace initiatives. Whereas 23 per cent of respondents perceived that mental health was a high priority in their workplace, only 6 per cent felt their organisation was highly effective in addressing mental health.
A key focus of the study was to identify initiatives that were perceived as effective and useful in improving wellbeing in the workplace. The areas that were perceived as most important for improving mental health in the workplace were empathetic, educated leaders who lead by example; appropriate structure and resources; flexible working conditions and clear objectives. At the other end, motivational posters, yoga, healthy food and mindfulness initiatives were listed as least important.
A total of 54 per cent of respondents showed mild to severe levels of stress, with 20 per cent showing signs of severe or extremely severe levels of stress, with no significant difference in the COVID-19 study. The biggest stressors remained consistent with the 2018 findings with the top three being the pressure of our own expectations, pressure from others and multiple responsibilities.
The study also showed that many of us are struggling with low quality of sleep and poor self-esteem with over half of respondents reporting bad quality of sleep and only 38 per cent ranking their self-esteem as high.
In terms of coping, most respondents showed preference for healthy coping methods however 45 per cent of respondents were consuming alcohol at risky or harmful levels. The COVID-19 pulse study further identified an increase in drinking with over 50 per cent stating their alcohol consumption had increased during the lock-downs. At the same time, many positive coping methods also increased during the pandemic with 47 per cent of respondents increasing their exercise and 79 per cent increasing talking to friends and family over video chats.
Nina Nyman, CMO of UnLtd and Co-Chair of Mentally Healthy Change Group said the results around stigma were encouraging: “It’s great to see the stigma numbers improving. The 2018 results identified high levels of stigma in our industry and a lot of the projects that the Mentally Healthy Change Group have been working on have focused on smashing the stigma and encouraging people to speak up when they need help. Whilst the depression and anxiety levels remained high, it seems that we are getting better at talking about our mental health and seeking help.”
Andy Wright, Founder of Never Not Creative and Co-Chair of the Mentally Healthy Change Group said leadership was the key in tackling mental health in the workplace: “The results show clear feedback on where people believe organisations should focus their efforts and it all starts with empathetic, educated leaders who lead by example. In an industry that has a relentless focus on the work, we need to start educating on what an intense focus on people looks like. It’s something that just isn’t taught enough and I know it’s something I was never taught. We’re products of our environment. We need to focus on this before investing in yoga lessons and mindfulness programs, if we want to improve things significantly.”
The mental health and wellbeing of Australians in every workplace setting is a shared responsibility according to Associate Professor Carmel Loughland, Acting Director of Everymind, the Institute who conducted the research. “There has never been a greater need or time to provide Australians with the opportunity to fortify their own resilience, mental health and wellbeing across every community and every setting. Make no mistake, this has been a tough time for many and we know people are struggling, especially those within the media, marketing and creative industry. We are dedicated to learning more, listening and exploring through research how and in what way we can support communities and individuals. We are determined to ensure the specific needs of those who make important contributions to the community such as individuals who work in media, marketing and creative industries are not only heard but addressed.”
If you or someone you care about needs support, please contact:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
In a massive shift in the broadcasting landscape, Amazon Prime has secured the Australian rights to the next cricket World Cup alongside a range of other tournaments run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) until 2027. The deal means that Australian Cricket fans can only access the tournaments if they have a paid subscription to […]
With just over 24 hours to go until the world premiere of Addy Lala and the Mood Tea Thieves, limited tickets are still available for the pantomime, which will run for one night only at the Everest Theatre in Sydney’s Seymour Centre on December 5th. All in the industry are encouraged to come along to […]
2045, a Melbourne-based creative agency founded by Tim Evans and Nick Auditore has just launched. The agency takes its name from the year futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted organic and artificial intelligence would converge. Lead Image: 2045 Team Evans was formerly a Partner and Executive Strategy Director at DT (now AKQA), before co-founding B.B.E in 2015. […]
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has been announced as the Charity Partner for Sydney New Year’s Eve. The Australian not-for-profit organisation is represented by the pink ribbon and raises money to fund world-class research towards its vision of zero deaths from breast cancer. Research that saves lives through a better understanding of how to prevent […]
This holiday season, Emporium Melbourne has announced its festive creative campaign that celebrates and encourages the Melbourne community to embrace their personal ‘untraditional traditions’ – the unique traditions that make Christmas truly special for them, and their family. The campaign’s tagline, “Every tradition starts somewhere”, reflects Emporium’s commitment to embracing, inspiring and applauding diverse traditions […]
Reddit has announced updates to its new ads placement with Carousel Ads and Product Ads. These new units, placed in the heart of Reddit discussions, provide an even more dynamic and compelling way for advertisers to scale to relevant audiences, deliver deeper value to users, and drive stronger, full-funnel performance among the hundreds of thousands […]
Automotive Network Drive has announced its 2024 upfronts, its biggest in more than a decade, with a suite of more than 12 new products that underpin its vision to be the number one automotive network in Australia. Now in its 27th year and with a monthly audience of 2.45 million, Drive is leveraging its reputation […]
B&T unaware of the vitriol & acrimony between the online mattress companies. We were aware of it between News & the ABC.
oOh!media continues to rapidly expand its large format digital network, launching seven new sites at premium locations across major arterials in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The latest large format digitals include another premium site in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Mosman. Positioned at the gateway of the lower north shore on Military Road, the high-impact […]
The Seven Network revealed the results of the second round of its flagship innovation initiative – Ignite – which saw seven employee-led generative AI concepts selected for prototype development. An inspiring three-week event, Ignite brings together internal cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, product managers and staff from across the business to collaborate and develop […]
Australian tech consultancy Engaging.io has scored a major business win with the appointment by a leading Texas-based US National Basketball Association (NBA) team to revolutionise its marketing and communication strategies. The powerhouse NBA franchise turned to Sydney-headquartered Engaging to spearhead a major HubSpot implementation, driving greater efficiencies, personalisation and a more seamless experience for fans. […]
Dentsu Queensland has formed a strategic partnership with DeadlyScience, an organisation that provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) resources to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students across Australia. The partnership is in collaboration with UnLtd, which helps connect the media and marketing industries with charities helping children and young people at risk. This is […]
Victoria-based Venetian Media Group (VMG) has acquired web and digital strategy shop Digital Native. Lead image L-R: VMG CEO, Michael Fishwick; Digital Native big chief, Matt Gardan. Digital Native specialises in digital strategy, branding, UX and web design it has deep experience in renewables, emerging technology and not-for-profit. Its web design process and collaborative approach […]
One of Australia’s biggest off-street car and motorbike festivals, Rare Spares Rockynats, is returning to Rockhampton for Easter 2024 and has kicked off its promotional calendar with a high-octane media campaign. The two-phase campaign, via award-winning marketing agency Murmur-Group, will launch across large format out-of-home and retail placements and will be supported by local radio, […]