Agencies predict in-house psychologists within five years
Mental health was high on the agenda at Advertising Week APAC, with GroupM Australia CEO Mark Lollback predicting that psychologists will be on agency payrolls within five years.
- Rise of mental health issues in adland
- CEOs recognise problem, predict psychologists will be on the payroll
- If CEOs quick to intervene on client abuse of staff, why not act quickly to address escalating mental health issues?
“I would be very surprised if sooner than five years, we don’t have psychologists on the payroll,” said GroupM CEO Mark Lollback at Advertising Week APAC.
The prediction is further industry acknowledgement of a bubbling mental health crisis that sees people of all seniority levels ending up in situations, frequently work related, that impact their mental health.
Lollback’s comments follow the recent Mentally Healthy report conducted by UnLtd, Everymind and creative agency Never Not Creative which surveyed more than 1,800 people and found 56 per cent of respondents showed mild to severe symptoms of depression compared to the national average of 36 per cent.
During Advertising Week APAC, many admissions of mental health struggles came to light with Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio revealing he battled chronic depression while at PepsiCo after he was going “too fast and was way too busy”. He said he is still yet to find the right balance.
Also during the event, The Mentally Healthy Change Group, a collective of leaders in the creative, media and marketing industry, launched the Heart On My Sleeve storybook to help remove the stigma around mental health in the industry.
Lollback took part in the book, and also said the group has cut ties with clients over concerns of staff impact.
“We have resigned accounts on a duty of care basis where we could not get to a point where there would be respect on both sides,” Lollback said.
“Our teams were under so much stress - literally almost abuse - that I’d rather not have the business than have my team put under that,” he said.
Laudable action, but it also begs the question that if CEOs are willing to cut ties with poor clients, why not cut ties with ways of the past?
If we are truly ready to help stem the increase of mental health issues, then small steps, such as hiring a psychologist now, in 2019, not five years down the track, can be one of the many stepping stones taken to help improve a growing and concerning industry issue.