CEO becomes mental health first aider

CEO becomes mental health first aider

Agency News


Mental Health Awareness

 CEO becomes mental health first aider

In January, our Founder and CEO Emma Critchley-Lloyd completed the Mental Health First Aid course run by SIREN on behalf of MHFA England. The course which spans over two-days covers anxiety, depression, personality disorders, bi polar, psychosis, eating disorders and suicide.

It's estimated that in the UK, mental ill health will effect 1 in 4 people every year, however every single one of us are effected at some point in our lives. Depression and anxiety account for 70 million days off sick per year, the most of any health condition and almost a third of employees said they would consider leaving their job in the next year if stress levels in their organisation didn’t improve. The marketing and PR industry falls particularly foul with almost half believing it’s not very accepting of those with mental health issues.

Emma Critchley-Lloyd, Founder of BIG little LDN comments, “Over the past five years, there has been more talk about the importance of mental well-being than ever before, and it’s only increasing. As an industry, agencies are the ones convincing the brands we work with, to talk more inclusively about mental health issues, creating campaigns that encourage consumers to take greater care of themselves and others. Yet as an industry, that culture of self-care is rarely projected inwards. Many people who work at agencies have experienced some sort of mental health issue as a result of their job. I don’t just mean a one off bad day, I mean prolonged periods of anxiety that have led to therapy and some leaving the industry all together. That’s not ok.”

In September 2021, The Drum reported that the “talent crisis” is resulting in agencies declining business. As brands entered 2022 with greater spending confidence, work loads increased and with less resource, the people left became squeezed. However, this isn’t just a people issue. Agencies becoming more selective about who they pitch to, may mean that the brands who need the most support, will find it more difficult to find an agency.

Critchley-Lloyd continues, “BIG little LDN was founded on the desire to create a workplace people genuinely loved coming to. Where people thrive, not just in the office, but in their everyday lives. Boiled down into its simplest form, for most people, work is just something we do so we can enjoy more of what we really want to do. The moment work related stress starts creeping into that precious time outside the office, is the moment people are unable to enjoy the thing that they go to work for in the first place. And it’s the top talent, who often take more of that burden.

If we really want to change the narrative, the C-Suite have to be involved. If we want to retain the best talent, we have to listen. We have to stop painting agency values on the wall and live them - from the top down.”

Every BIG little LDN employee is entitled to six-free ‘opt-out only’ therapy sessions with a mental health coach. Making the benefit opt-out as opposed to opt-in, makes it common place for everyone and means those who really need it, are more likely to use it.

"Every moment is magical and if you can make it even more magical, even more intense by doing something that is new and fresh, life won't seem boring." Jayson Jerome, 1986 - 2012.

We’re always interested in hearing from people who want to make a difference, have a fire in their belly and believe marketing and creativity can change the world. Drop us a message if that’s you.

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