Culture Shock: Initiative Australia on how brands should interact with mental health issues

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 14 August 2019

Initiative Australia has launched an exploration of mental health and sport -- Culture Shock -- with marketers and the communications industry the main targets. 

Sam Geer, chief strategy officer at Initiative Australia, says this is the first report in a series to stimulate discussion and thought across the industry. 

"At Initiative we relentlessly explore cultural trends and their impact on the communications landscape," he says.

"We are at a moment in our relatively young country's evolution where our traditional values are being challenged, and creating cultural shockwaves.

"These waves impact the way people think, communicate and behave with significant impacts to our industry and business. It's both fascinating and confronting to reflect on who we are as a nation and who we are becoming, but something we revel, and take great pride in, at Initiative."

Click on the image below to open Initiative's work:

initiative - culture shock

Initiative has over the past two months been analysing existing research, media coverage, and conducted in-depth investigations.

The result is a deep dive. Mental illness among professional sports players isn’t new, but the last five years have seen a dramatic increase in players coming out to openly talk about their struggles.

"While the strategy team have lead the report's development, contributions have come from each office around the country (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney)," says Geer.

"The process itself has already impacted the way we are talking to some clients about opportunities around sport, and the different ways their brand can add value.

"The marketers of Australia and the communications industry, are the primary targets, as the exploration of how brands can or should interact with the topic will be most relevant for them.

"Having said that, anyone who either loves sports, or has had an experience with mental health issues (which is most of the Australian public) should find it an interesting and insightful read." 

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