UK advertising and media industry helpline records spike in mental health calls

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UK advertising and media industry helpline records spike in mental health calls

A UK non-profit that provides a wide range of career counseling and helpline services to people working in media and advertising has seen a 15% increase in calls related to mental health. Mental health issues, which can range from the pressure of adjusting to the pandemic world to employment issues, accounted for 25% of all calls in the first quarter of 2022, according to figures from the National Advertising Benevolent Society ( NABS).

NABS, a London-based charity that focuses on wellbeing within the UK advertising and media industry, also reported that its advice line received almost twice as many calls in the quarter than last year – 466 for the quarter just ended, compared to 252 a year earlier.

Overall, issues related to emotional support – a category that includes mental health issues – accounted for almost half of calls to the helpline. This category was followed by problems with financial support and dismissal.

“Many people are reaching out to us with concerns about redundancy, confidence and career enhancement after the past two years,” Uzma Afridi, career manager at NABS, said in a statement. “In addition to coaching, NABS can also provide financial grants for those looking to further their education, so contact us to see if you might be eligible.”

The nature of calls to the helpline has shifted somewhat from their primary focus on career issues. Grief issues, which accounted for 2% of calls in the first quarter of 2021, accounted for 14% of calls in the quarter just ended, as people increasingly come to terms with the losses they have suffered during the pandemic. Therapeutic referrals increased by 50% compared to the first quarter of 2021, as more and more people request in-depth structured support.

“Our statistics clearly reveal that the pandemic has left its mark on the mental health of people in our industry,” CEO Diana Tickell said in a statement. “Our industry cannot ignore this upward trend. NABS is here to support anyone facing challenges related to their well-being; if you’re having trouble, call us for help, whatever your problem. »

Beyond questions of emotional support, NABS offers advice related to work and career. Recent topics covered in NABS “masterclasses” (group coaching sessions) include managing home life and workload limits, overcoming self-doubt, communication skills, strengthening personal visibility and relationship building when employed in a work-from-home or hybrid work situation.

Topics most frequently covered in NABS one-on-one coaching sessions include: developing strategies for success in new roles; negotiate career advancement and rebuild trust after layoffs or working from home.

In the UK, media and advertising professionals can access the NABS Advice Line on 0800 707 6607.

NABS is funded by a series of paid fundraising events and training programs, as well as donations from individuals in the advertising and media industry.

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