TBWA Sydney launches mental health and wellbeing program

By Paige Murphy | 12 August 2019

TBWA Sydney has partnered with Mitch Wallis, the founder of the Heart On My Sleeve Movement, to develop and lead an ongoing internal mental health and wellbeing program including staff training, peer support, leader training and consulting.

It is the first advertising agency in Australia to rollout the Heart On My Sleeve program following months of strategic planning to develop a "purpose-built" approach between the two organisations.

"It’s a really positive thing that our industry is openly talking about the importance of positive mental health, and we applaud those that are raising awareness that we have a problem," says Paul Bradbury, CEO of TBWA Australia & New Zealand.

"We have decided to convert the conversation into action, which is why we have invested in a bespoke ongoing program led by Mitch for everyone at TBWA. We will share the learnings and content of the program with the industry at the right time."

The custom program, named REAL, focuses on the core values of Heart on My Sleeve and their integration with mental health.

It also highlights the belief that storytelling, authenticity and conversations can transform the lives of those struggling everyday

With three distinct components, the program will provide training and tools that address the specific challenges and opportunities for both managers and people at all levels across the TBWA Collective.

For managers the REAL Leaders program is about providing soft skills training, so they are better equipped to spot the signs earlier and to support their teams.

For the Collective REAL Conversations will provide the space and the tools to help everyone manage their own well-being.

TBWA will also be introducing an accredited peer support system throughout the agency as part of the program called REAL Mates.

Mitch Wallis, CEO and founder of Heart on My Sleeve, says the partnership will "cultivate culture" and create both meaningful and practical conversation to drive change in the industry.

“Heart on My Sleeve has already made incredible traction and huge inroads with the media industry in Australia and the ongoing vital conversation around mental health," Wallis says,

"It’s promising to me to see a leading agency group put their hand up and move into an action based programmatic approach to address the challenges of mental health and employee wellbeing.

"This is more than awareness; it’s about driving real change and shifting the future of mental health in the workplace and wider industry.”

The initiative will support TBWA’s existing employee support program.

TBWA Sydney includes the agencies TBWA, Eleven, Fleishman Hillard, The Integer Group, Fabric and Bolt Content. 

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