NEWS27 March 2023

Mental health ‘widely misunderstood’ by employers, says new IPA president

News UK Wellbeing

UK – Josh Krichefski, newly elected president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), will today announce a ‘people first’ agenda with a focus on the mental health of people working in advertising.

josh krichefski

In a speech to be broadcast online later today, Krichefski will outline his agenda, which will aim to: re-frame the relevance of advertising to ‘attract the best talent’; help retain and nurture staff; and look after wellbeing by focusing on and supporting initiatives that promote positive mental health.

Krichefski said: “We don’t have factories, trucks, manufactured goods. Our people are everything. It’s their brilliance and imagination which is what makes us who and what we are. And that’s why we have to look after them. Let’s take the steps needed to create the most inclusive workplaces imaginable. And let’s support a resilient, thriving and mentally healthy workforce and empower them to write the future of advertising.”

As part of his focus on mental health, Krichefski will make available a ‘three-point framework’ to advertising agency businesses. The framework will include, among other recommendations for companies: a focus on supplying relevant training; listening to staff to identify workplace stressors; implementing evidence-based interventions; and monitoring and evaluating interventions.

Krichefski said: “Prioritising mental health in the workplace not only benefits workers, but employers through increased productivity, retention, and innovation, and society as a whole through improved family and community wellbeing, social cohesion, and economic performance.

“Yet mental health is widely misunderstood and under-resourced by employers. Even those that want to support mental health can lack knowledge of best practices or resources to implement them, while others lack confidence in the utility of workplace interventions to produce positive returns.”