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MAAG reveals Festival of Happiness line-up to address mental health and wellbeing in the marketing industry

MAAG’s Festival of Happiness brings on board charity partners and industry leaders to change the way that marketing agencies deal with mental health.

Marketing Agencies Action Group (MAAG), the UK body that represents independent marketing agencies, today announces the final line up for its Festival of Happiness during Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

MAAG is committed to raising mental health awareness in the industry, changing people’s perceptions and arming organisations with the tools to support their employees properly, regardless of size. Festival of Happiness is a key part of this, bringing together industry leaders and charities to deliver a one-day event that empowers, educates and inspires the marketing community.

The event is sponsored by Fill recruitment, Opia Risk and Feedr and hosted at MAAG’s Venue Partner, The Collective in Fitzrovia. The day’s programme will be split 3 spaces.

  • The Terrace will host a Mental Health First Aid course run by Mental Health First Aid instructor, mental wellbeing speaker and facilitator, Emma Saccomani
  • The Boardroom’s line-up will explore how CEO’s can adapt to a changing workforce, with Guest speaker Petra Velzeboer, a mental health consultant, who will lead a conversation on the changing world of work
  • There will be a talent focussed session run by the Bipolar Businessman, exploring the benefits of hiring someone with mental health issues and explore the simple things that help organisations better manage the mental wellbeing of their staff without a big budget
  • The Den will offer a day jam-packed with laughing yoga and meditation and inspirational and informative talks from expert partners and sponsors including: CALM, NABS, The Mix, Miss Nutritionist, The Bipolar Businessman, The Drum, The Naked Professor, F45 Training and Oystercatchers. Michelle Morgan, Co-founder Livity, will also be telling her story and how Pjoys was created.

The Drum network, in association with Opinium research and University of Warwick, will also be releasing findings from this year’s agency mental health and wellbeing audit.

Jo Chappell, Director of Communications at MAAG said: “MAAG is committed to changing the landscape around mental health in the marketing industry. Whilst the topic is being talked about more and more, there are still barriers to making the changes needed. Festival of Happiness originated from MAAG’s ‘Future Leader’s group’ who identified mental health as a pressing issue within the marketing industry. As MAAG represents the interests of Independent Marketing Agencies, we felt we needed to create a solid programme to support this important issue for our Members and the Industry as a whole.  This one-day event aims to bring the community together with our charity partners and committed sponsors and will give agencies of all sizes the tools, ideas, they need to help address this. Festival of Happiness is just one way that MAAG is striving to improve mental health awareness – our debate about client-agency relationships is taking place in the House of Commons the subsequent week which will be followed by a code of practice for Clients and Agencies, amongst other initiatives in this space.”

Chris Martin, CEO, at The Mix said, “Poor mental health in the workplace has never been more relevant. Aside from the human misery it can cause, stress, anxiety and depression are estimated to cost UK employers some £35 billion every year. The Mix is delighted to see MAAG leading the way in recognising the importance of good mental health in the agency world. We are excited to be joining MAAG’s Festival of Happiness to shine a light on the pressures on young staff as part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.”

Petra Velzeboer, Mental Health Consultant for MAAG’s Festival of Happiness said: “I’m excited to be involved in MAAG’s Festival of Happiness, including facilitating a conversation at the CEO breakfast on the topic of mental health at work.  I believe we can all play a part in creating mentally healthy workplaces by taking the first step in being brave and sharing our stories. This is the best way to kick start a mental health strategy and people are amazed at the connection and team bond this can foster which ultimately enhances productivity and talent retention.”        

 Andrew Brown, Director of Corporate Partnership, CALM adds: “For UK men, job satisfaction and security is the most important influencing factor on a positive mindset, both in and out of work. CALM works with companies and social groups to improve individual happiness on a daily basis, along with agencies and brands to build issue awareness and drive cultural change. It’s crucial that men’s mental health is represented in the marketing industry and we’re delighted that MAAG’s Festival of Happiness is leading the way with this.”

Joanne Bolger, Senior Partnerships Manager at NABS said “Mental health is one of the cornerstones of wellbeing – and as the support organisation for the advertising and media industry, we know how vital wellbeing is in the workplace. MAAG’s Festival of Happiness provides a great forum for us to explore ways to help people thrive at work by discussing what can be done to support their mental health, and as such we’re delighted to be involved.

MAAG’s Festival of Happiness will take place on 15th May 2019, between 8.30am and 8pm, at The Collective, 14 Bedford Square, Fitzrovia, London, WC1B 3JA. Tickets are available now.