The first step towards tackling the mental health challenges in the digital marketing industry is to start sharing our experiences. If you are a digital marketing professional who is going through a rough patch, please know you’re not alone. Here are some stories from Passion Digital employees who want to get the conversation started.
We Support Your Wellbeing with Passion
At Passion Digital, we aim to create a work environment in which all of us can not only survive, but thrive. With stress and depression being far above the UK average in our industry, we feel it’s our responsibility to go above and beyond in improving mental health at work and bring people from diverse backgrounds into our work family.
Personal Stories from Passionistas
Agency Work and Antidepressants
“Before I got headhunted by Passion, I'd been working in a very non-diverse work environment where I didn't fit in very well, being the only non-Brit in the company. On top of that, my living situation had been very stressful as my partner and I weren't in a good place. I got diagnosed with depression, something which I never imagined would happen, and started taking antidepressants.
As I was going through my probation at Passion, I was still getting used to the antidepressants I'd started taking and was experiencing terrible side-effects. All the symptoms I had felt five times worse, and on top of that I was moving out of the flat I had shared with my partner.
Despite everything that was going on inside me and in my personal life, working at Passion brought some brightness to my day. My manager was very protective of my time, making sure I didn't take on too many projects and had the head space to thrive. My colleagues were kind, supportive and appreciative of my work and initiatives. People would check in on me, but they were never intrusive, allowing me to leave my personal problems at home.”
Managing Anxiety at Work
“At my previous employer, I was experiencing high levels of anxiety, fear and panic attacks due to a large amount of work, pressure and low levels of recognition. My close colleagues paid attention to my state and were always there to have a chat. But sometimes you get to a point where you need to make a choice between wellbeing and work – and in that case, you should always choose wellbeing.
I haven't been at Passion for that long, but at times I have been feeling overwhelmed and effected by causes that aren't work related, which I haven't been able to leave outside of the office. The outcomes of these have been headaches, sadness and general anxiety.
I was given the opportunity to work at my own pace, take the breaks that I needed and rest in the lounge area to take a step away from work, without any judgement. Also, the massage has been very helpful in some moments.”
Back Pain Affecting Mental Health
“While I was working at Passion, my back was very painful which was causing a lot of anxiety. My employer provided me with the tools I needed to improve my pain - these included exercises, gym membership, yoga, fruit, sport days etc.
I felt supported at work at that time, because I knew that my managers cared and had the tools in place to help me out. This positively impacted my mental health and reduced my anxiety of not being able to do my job.”
Passion Digital’s Approach to Mental Health
Discussing mental health with your employer can be scary, but at Passion Digital we want to help reduce the stigma. In our workplace, we are willing and able to discuss your mental health in confidence and without judgement. These are some of the ways in which our management team approaches the topic of mental health at work.
Discussing Mental Health at Work
“Mental health has increasingly become framed in the discussion around workplaces which feels like a weight being lifted from many people’s shoulders. Having struggled with depression and anxiety since an early age, it's been something I've commonly seen in colleagues over the years and has often gone about unspoken. Since coming to Passion, the mention and focus on support of mental health has been overwhelmingly encouraging and it's certainly evident in the way people talk.
We're all in this together and offering a safe space to discuss mental health struggles, in confidence and without judgement, is essential. Team meetings are open discussions, encouraging everyone to get their voice heard and regular 121's with team leaders give people the chance to not just talk about their progression, but to be honest about where they're at in general and check in.”
Positive Management Style
“At Passion, we employ a positive management style. We believe that people want to work, and that they want to do a good job. That makes positive management all about empowering the team members by making sure they know what to do, why they’re doing it and how to do it. As people managers, we want to be positive, constructive, affirmative and helpful at work – with ourselves, with our colleagues and with our clients.
When someone in our team is going through a difficult period, we try to make sure they have enough time to recover so that when they come to work, they feel ready to go. We won’t judge when someone shares their mental health challenges with us, but together we will try to find out what they need and how we, as an employer, can contribute.”
Boosting Resilience at Work
"Resilience - the ability to bounce back from adversities - is one of the most important success factors in the workplace, both for our business and the individuals in it. At Passion, every single person is trained by a leadership coach to understand their individual resilience and team resilience, and we are given tools for taking care of ourselves and each other when challenges arise.
Our management team acts as the support system for any individual, whether they need specific training in work related skills or extra coaching for wellbeing."
How We Aim to Improve Mental Health at Work
Our efforts to improve mental health in the digital marketing industry aren’t confined to internal initiatives. We collaborate with the wider industry to increase understanding of various mental health conditions and create an inclusive environment in which everyone can thrive. Passion Digital’s founder and our HR manager comment on the internal and external initiatives that we have spearheaded.
Collaborating with the Industry
“At Passion Digital, we pioneer the improvement of mental health in the digital marketing sector. Our internal workshops and management training sessions aim to open the conversation about mental health in the workplace and learn how to provide support when someone’s struggling.
As part of our Passion Project Swindig (Southwest in Digital), we brainstorm ideas and collaborate on initiatives to improve mental health at work with fellow industry professionals. This way, we want to engage the wider industry in this very important cause and really make a difference.”
Our Mental Health Initiatives
“According to a 2018 survey, British people will work an average of 3,507 days over a lifetime. This makes our work environment a major factor in determining our health and mental health. As a responsible digital marketing agency, these are some of the ways in which we try to support health and mental health in the workplace – with new initiatives being in constant progress.
“We’re constantly working on new initiatives to improve health and mental health at work.”
Channing Cox, HR Manager
3,507 The average number of days British people will work over a lifetime