Adman: Minimum Standards of Mental Health

“I was proud of us. We are not only protecting each other from this nastiness, but we’re protecting the rest of Australia from it too. “

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory - William Barclay.

After much thought, reflection and meditation, an idea popped into my mind. The idea came from speaking to my Mum, who recently turned seventy, and we got her birthday celebration in, just before lockdowns began. That was in March, and it was the last time I saw the majority of my family. Now we are under level 4 lockdown in Melbourne; it felt like a burden to hold onto, like a sad story that you don’t want to finish.  

Back to my idea, I do get sidetracked easily. My mum was saying that when she listened to the radio, all she heard was arguments. Fights. This fighting, these contradictions and conflicting views on locking down and Dan Andrews bothered her, and I don’t like hearing my mum getting worried in isolation. I told her what I did (outlined in my previous article) and asked her to stop listening to the radio. Get your news from App alerts from the ABC or even the Government I told her.

See what I mean, so sidetracked.  The idea popped into my mind when I went to my local Coles. It was a post-apocalyptic supermarket, and I was waiting for zombies to drag their feet through the aisles. That was the first time I’d been in the car in a week, to get some groceries that you can’t get online. I also needed to top up my fridge with some cheeky beers. The idea was that I was proud of everyone for staying home. People in Melbourne (at least where I live) are taking this deadly serious. In unique Adman form, it got my creative, superhero mind thinking. I was proud of us. We are not only protecting each other from this nastiness, but we’re protecting the rest of Australia from it too. We’ve shielded them from the horrors of a second wave.

 How can I be so positive when everything around me is in darkness and danger? Perhaps the pride that I feel for Melbournians right now echoes the happiness I’m feeling for my new company, Hatched Media.

Hatched signed the Mentally-Healthy Minimum Standards. We live and breath Mental health, balance and getting the best out of yourself, which has been so refreshing for this adman.  Let me run you through the minimum standards.

They are a charter and a guide for businesses to improve their approach to mental health. One of the most challenging things for an individual to accomplish is to monitor their mental health when they are more often than not, in high-pressure situations. During these times, survival mode kicks in, and you start to feel distressed. The goal of Minimum Standards is to nip this in the proverbial bud before it can cause harm.  

Here’s a quote From   “Minimum Standards is a set of industry rules to live by. These standards are the bare minimum that we believe is reasonable for organisations to provide a safe and supportive workplace for the mental wellbeing of its people. Some of them are sourced straight from the legislation. Others have been tested with leaders and business owners in our industry to ensure that they can not be argued.   These standards are written to set the absolute minimum that we expect of employers in our industry. We invite every company in our industry to read, sign, adopt and embed them. If you work for someone that hasn’t signed yet, please share this page with them.”

Is your company a signatory? If not, it’s never too late to turn things around. I encourage you to raise this issue with your boss (link is here) and affect positive change in your company. My mental health is a case study of how great workplaces can help staff members through troubling times.    

To end on a positive note, I’ve seen stories of nurses coming to the aid of Victorians from South Australia and the Sunshine Coast. Sikh communities are feeding the homeless and needy. Social media campaigns supporting Melbourne. Hearing these things makes me feel like my soul is getting a much-needed massage.  

I’m proud to wear a mask to defend those who are vulnerable. We’ll get through this!

Adman is on Facebook, feel free to reach out, I’d love to have a chat.


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