Industry bands together to answer tough questions on mental health with ‘Asking for a Friend’ initiative

Industry groups Mentally Healthy, Never Not Creative and Young Bloods Australia have teamed up to help the creative, media and marketing industry ask difficult questions about mental health that often go unasked.

The ‘Asking for a Friend’ initiative will consist of a series of monthly webinars hosted by mental health experts and industry leaders to answer anonymously submitted questions.

Asking for a Friend will help people in the industry ask the hard questions

The first webinar will take place on 2 April, addressing isolation and uncertainty. It will feature psychotherapist Katie Feder and Colenso BBDO New Zealand executive creative director Maria Devereaux.

Feder noted that we’re living through unprecedented times of uncertainty.

“The feelings of anxiety rising from the uncertainty, the overwhelm of negative information combined with isolation is having a major impact on everyone’s mental health. We hope that the discussion this Thursday will help our industry get answers to some of those tough questions and also get comfort from knowing that they are not alone with their questions,” she said.

Andy Wright, founder of Never Not Creative and co-chair of Mentally Healthy, said he hoped the initiative will encourage members of the industry to turn to one another during this difficult period of time.

“Our industry can be a tough place. While we know how rewarding it can be, we’re also more than aware of how challenging it can be. When times are tough, like they are now, we hope we can turn to each other,” Wright said.

“But there are certain questions that we choose to keep to ourselves and suffer in silence, fearful of how we’ll be treated or the opportunities you might miss out on.

“We all know that “asking for a friend” is an easier way to ask a tough question. So once a month we’re going to allow anyone anywhere to “ask for a friend” anonymously online and have those questions answered by an industry leader and a psychologist.”

Linh Diep, national chair of Youngbloods, added: “The Asking For A Friend series is just what we all need right now. We have to stay connected, but we may also be more cautious than usual when saying what’s really going on in our minds. Virtual connectivity throws out a lot of communication nuances. Being able to say what you really think without fear of judgement could come to some as a big relief.”

The webinars will be restricted to 100 participants, but will be available on the Never Not Creative website for 24 hours for anyone to access.


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