When he was a young boy, Aaron Harvey often started unwanted, violent, sexual thoughts. For 20 years he was struggling quietly, not telling anyone, even his wife or other family members, about his observation. Working, he put them in bottles.
“As a person who often knows hundreds of thoughtful ideas, it is a daily challenge to a primary communication role,” says Harvey, now principal of Ready Set Rocket, the digital ad agency that he co-founded in 2009. “Going into a boardroom and presenting or being on a panel and trying to answer questions in front of a few hundred people, while setting aside these terrible ideas with razor blades – it is very difficult to balance achieve."
At SXSW five years ago, Harvey heard about another person with a similar condition. He has not only discovered then that he suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder that is not seen in texts or other signs of mental illness.
Since then, Harvey had vocal, even bald, about his difficulties. It helped create a web resource for people with OCD, IntrusiveThoughts.org, and launched Made of Millions, a non-profit mental health advocacy platform. "Dear Manager," encourages an existing partnership between the American Association of Advertising Agencies and Made of Millions, agency employees to guide mental health resource managers.
“This industry makes full money for our brain and creativity and the ability to deliver under pressure and tough circumstances,” so agencies need to take some responsibility for the mental well-being of those who do the work, says Harvey. “It is a recognized problem that is compounded by the cut nature of what we do.” T
Some studies agree. In a US survey of marketing and media professionals carried out last year by mental health charity Mind and Nabs, the media support and media support organization, 26% of respondents said they had a long-term mental health condition. Six out of ten people said their work had a negative impact on their wellbeing over the past year. UnLtd's Healthy Mind report this year in Australia, Everymind and creative agency Never Not Creative, found 56 per cent of people in marketing or creative areas and 29 per cent higher than anxiety rates. general community.
Given these numbers, some stores are starting to rise. David & Goliath gave an extra day of recent paid-in paid time for mental health. However, most companies have not codified policies or support systems, and only slow progress. Cultural dialogue is on its own, and there is a danger that agencies that do not keep them will be left behind.
Open changes are a sign of society in general. Kanye West has become more open to dealing with its bipolar disorder, and Burger King's “Real Meals” campaign has prompted talks about broadening the range of acceptable feelings. The ads, from MullenLowe, showed meals like Happy Meals but show other feelings, such as the Pissed Meal Meal, Mental Health Awareness Month, as, as the tag says, no one is “always happy”.
Tragedies, such as suicide of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, also kept the topic ahead. In April, Portland's chief creative officer, Maine, took the agency Via his own life, “as a result of addiction and mental illness,” said his wife with the Portland Press Herald.
“Some of the advertising industry is beginning to accept true‘ It is ok for you to talk about your mental health challenges, ”says Simon Fenwick, Executive Vice President, participation and talent inclusion at the 4As. “But there is a stigma, in particular, about mental health because it is not clear or can be seen by people.”
This invisibility can be less sympathetic to mental health issues with people who are not dealing with them. It will not take time off for broken or cold leg no eyebrow, but can view the difficulty of emotional health as less valid way. Earlier in her career, Heather Pieske, creative director of executive at Vox Creative, was not justified, “trying to call in‘ sad amhail as if sneezing and coughing, ”she says. Although she dealt with manic events in college, it was still easy to internalize traditional business standards.
“If I had the flu, I would have mercy. But I felt that I should be able to work and fight through depression or a general feeling of anxiety and malaise, ”she says. “I felt I was not allowed to use a PTO day.” T
For many employees, it is tempting not to mention their difficulties at all. Workers have a duty to surrender issues that are less visible as mental health, and the calculus often leaves in silence. “Everyone reacts differently, so you have to consider who your supervisor is and what you know,” says Jessica Toye, creative director at Virtue Worldwide. As a manager, Toye tries to accept anything her team brings. And she is open about her mental health difficulties with her manager, the Chief Creative Officer Cameron Farrelly, who was honest about his tendency to deposit and over-organize.
“With my other bosses, I'd never give it,” says Toye “Never. Because I knew they would never understand.
The threat of professional consequences is always the biggest barrier to reducing the stigma of mental health issues in the office. Unfortunately, it is a chicken and egg controversy. Mental health issues cannot be normalized until people talk about them openly and freely, but it is too dangerous to do so until it is normalized. “It's great that we have quit the campaign to say 'Positive Manager', This is cool, but it's fired before I talk about it, '' says Harvey.
A path could be to the fore in the movement for demonstrating LGBTQ rights and visibility. Like mental health issues, it is not clear that sexuality is at a glance, as is often the case for other minority groups such as women or color people. As well as mental health issues, in recent years it has been difficult to create resource groups or affiliated groups for LGBT people because many people did not want to be out at the office. “People will be reluctant to join a group if the organization has not put in place the policies and procedures to say that it's okay to talk about your mental health without fear of disqualification,” said Fenwick. “Fifteen years ago, my office didn't have an LGBTQ matchmaking group, and probably wasn't. I was out there, but I worked with some people who were not about them, by the organization I worked with, not spoken about. "
As society's perceptions of LGBT people changed, companies found themselves coming up, a situation that could happen again without strong defenses for workers struggling with mental health issues. “When we realized we had to be more comprehensive [about other issues], we wrote many policies to include LGBTQI people. We did it to combat physical disability, ”said Fenwick. “What we have not done as an industry is to put policies in place to tackle mental health.” T
Two (or more) for one person
It is a missed opportunity, as addressing mental health also helps to address issues that agencies have already faced to address them. Biological reasons are not always the case with mental health issues – or even usually. “The demands of our industry can be very stressful, and stress can be a major stimulus for people suffering from mental illness,” says David Angelo, founder and chairman of the incoming agency David & Goliath. PTO mental health day. “Our goal is to only allow our employees who are suffering from mental illness that they are not alone and that we support them.” T
Stresses can develop depression, depression or anxiety as they deal with difficult managers or simply become a minority in an industry that has traditionally established direct white men. “For color populations, particularly black employees, the problem is one hundred times worse,” says Fenwick. “In every industry, they are struggling to create themselves from day one. And LGBTQI people often do not come to their families until later in life and into work. The mental health challenges combine all these issues. ”
Even for people with no mental health history, stressers can cause problems. Mental health changes. Like physical illness, healthy people can become ill, and people with mental health can get better.
Apart from self-reported studies, it is difficult to find concrete numbers on the prevalence of mental health problems in the industry. “I'd like to imagine if you asked a room of 100 creative people how much a mental illness had suffered, most of them would be quiet, and I don't blame them,” says Rob Ford, The founder of the FWA's online awards site, which has difficulty with most depression of his life. Ultimately, this means that programs that improve the mental health of employees can affect everyone in an organization at some point in their career. However, many of the benefits offered by companies will not benefit from this opportunity. Instead of bugs such as free snacks, Ford says that in-house counseling would be a better use of resources. "The creative industries do not provide safer environments than other industries unless individual companies stand to make a difference," he adds.
The crazy genius;
There is no scientific consensus on whether more creative people are at risk of mental health. Perhaps people with mental illness are more creative, or maybe they are drawn to an industry that is renowned for being accepted. Whatever happens, the marketing and ad industries attract people looking for creative outlets, who understand or do strange and wonderful work, it looks to be tormented in reviews or reviews and start again.
So, if the industry is full of intent that makes extraordinary connections, can employers of these minds provide greater responsibility for mental health because of vulnerability or uncertainty?
“I think this is fair,” said John Patroulis, Chief Creative Officer Gray, who managed many people involved in mental health issues during his career. “If you are an athlete, there is probably more responsibility for the professional baseball team you are doing to ensure that your body responds well to the pressures and stress of physical play. Perhaps this is also true of mental health in the creative industry, where the things that might be going, are honest, about a little. "
However, real change, Ford, will only change when companies only take discussions on mental health issues and those who live with them but also act on them. “It is time for the whole industry to accept mental health. There is nothing afraid or frightened, ”he says. “These wonderful people could all be affected by your agency now or at any time. They are not crazy, and they should not have to hide. ”