In response to the rise in mental health issues surrounding the pandemic, TBWA Sydney is encouraging its people to participate in a series of virtual peer support webinars to normalise the conversation around mental health in the workplace.
As part of the ongoing partnership with the Sydney based agency, mental health organisation Heart On My Sleeve’s (HOMS) will host the themed virtual peer sessions over the coming months, focusing on three key topics; creating certainty during a time of uncertainty with routine and structure, parenting from home whilst working from home and staying creative without the usual environment, people and processes.
TBWA Sydney includes the agencies TBWA, Eleven, Fleishman Hillard, The Integer Group, Fabric and Bolt Content.
Already being the first agency in Australia to develop, announce and lead a comprehensive ongoing internal mental health and wellbeing program last August, TBWA managing director of Sydney Nitsa Lotus said she is continuing to work closely with partnering mental health organisation Heart On My Sleeve to adapt the program to the changing needs of its staff.
“The transition into a new virtual agency operating rhythm from a functional standpoint has been relatively easy. But this new normal is taking an emotional toll on people and their families. It’s a big adjustment. So it’s more important now than ever before to check-in with ourselves and others while we continue to adjust to these significant changes.
“We want people to know it’s OK to not be OK and we want to encourage a speak-up culture so everyone has the opportunity to be heard and that is the aim of these virtual sessions” said Lotus.
Heart On My Sleeve Founder Mitch Wallis said that industry leaders who openly share their own challenges, and wear their heart on their sleeve, will help normalise the feelings of uncertainty and worry in the workplace.
“People are looking to its industry leaders for guidance and those who openly share their own challenges, wearing their heart on their sleeve, then listening to others will see that the conversation will start to become more normal each day.
“At the moment, so many people feel like they are living in a snow globe that’s just been shaken up, trying to see through the fog of this new reality. Being real and talking about your experience in an open and honest setting is the best way to find stability and regain true north” said Wallis.
The virtual program commenced on 22 April and will continue online for the foreseeable future.