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Work & Wellbeing Mental Health

Advertising charity Nabs reports 15% rise in calls for mental health support


By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

April 25, 2022 | 4 min read

Data gathered in the first quarter of 2022 by Nabs, a wellbeing charity for the advertising and media industry, shows that mental health challenges have increased significantly among industry members following two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mental health

Mental health accounts for 59% of emotional support calls to the Nabs hotline

Calls to Nabs relating to mental health are up by 15% on both 2021 and 2020 figures, revealing a worrying upward trend. Mental health concerns now account for a quarter of all calls, with therapy referrals up by 50% year-on-year.

While many agencies have launched workplace wellbeing and DE&I policies following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nabs data points to the ongoing need for agencies to support staff after what has been a difficult period for many – as well as amid the ongoing crisis of the rising cost of living.

Uzma Afridi, head of careers at Nabs, points out: “Many people are contacting us with concerns relating to redundancy, confidence and career improvement following the last two years.”

However, emotional support remains the number one reason for calling Nabs, the organization reports, accounting for almost half of total calls.

Mental health accounts for 59% of these emotional support calls, with callers sharing significant concerns as they adapt to living with Covid and realizing the longer-term impact of the last two years on their state of mind.

Calls relating to bereavement have also jumped to 14%, up from 2% last year, as people begin to process any losses that they experienced during the pandemic.

Calls to the Nabs advice line have increased 20% year-on-year overall, with the second and third reasons for contacting Nabs primarily being financial support (29%) and redundancy, which makes up 67% of all digital enquiries across Nabs’s redundancy tool and support bot.

Diana Tickell, the outgoing chief executive of Nabs who steps down from her role at the end of this month, said: “Our stats clearly reveal that the pandemic has left its mark on the mental health of people across our industry.

“I urge leaders and managers to remind your teams that Nabs is here to support the wellbeing of everyone working in our industry. You don’t need to be at crisis point to call us, but equally we can provide and signpost to tailored, specialist support for whatever you are going through. Our expert, empathetic team can lend a listening ear, whatever the problem and if you’re experiencing specific mental health challenges, we work with a range of therapy providers and can refer you for sessions for free. Advocate for your team’s and your own mental health, contact Nabs and we can support you to thrive, not just survive.”

Work & Wellbeing Mental Health

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