The mentally-healthy report started in 2018. It was a hunch off of industry conversations relating to burnout, time off work, stories of not knowing how to cope, and whether it will always be like this.
Rather than be guided by hearsay, Never Not Creative, Unltd and Everymind joined forces back then to quantify the size of the challenge. Fast forward to 2022, and we’ve now completed three surveys of the creative, media, and marketing industries, with almost 5,000 responses and over 200,000 data points.
Every wave, we get deeper and deeper into understanding how we’re dealing with our mental health, attitudes towards the relationships we have, and what levers we can pull to make improvements across our industry.
Here are the headlines for 2022.
- Our attitudes towards mental ill-health are improving. We’re more likely to disagree that people who disclose a diagnosis of depression will be treated differently.
- However, that doesn’t translate into having the confidence to speak up ourselves. We’re no more likely to speak up about a diagnosis than in 2020.
- A gap appears in the overall mental well-being of respondents from media agencies vs creative agencies (creative agencies include advertising, full-service, design, and production). Media agency respondents appear mentally healthier, and their workplaces are generally seen to be more effective in addressing mental health than their creative counterparts.
- We need to watch out for the younger people in our industry more than ever. They have the best stigma levels, but those under 29 are more likely to show signs of depression than respondents over 40.
- Workplaces that are perceived to put profit before people are also more likely to have employees that display signs of mental ill-health and who are reporting negative experiences at work.
- The concept of ‘tolerable demands’ defined by the SMART WORK framework developed at Curtin University has a strong negative correlation with mental ill-health across respondents.
- We have a clearer idea than ever before of the signals, signs, experiences, and solutions that can make a difference in the mental well-being of people in our industry. From more empathetic leaders to appropriate structure and resources and support in making the demands of our jobs tolerable, we also found a high correlation between signing the Mentally-Healthy Minimum Standards and a perception of a more effective approach to mental well-being by employers.