10 Sep 2020

Mental Health First Aid Course for CEOs launches

The Mentally Healthy Change Group has launched a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course specifically for senior leaders and CEOs in the media, marketing and creative industry.

The Mentally Healthy 2020 study conducted by Everymind, Never Not Creative and UnLtd earlier this year highlighted the need for educated and empathetic leaders who lead by example, as a key driver for improving mental health in the workplace.

The virtual course across two days will equip leaders with the knowledge and practical skills to recognise signs of mental ill-health, help colleagues and friends experiencing mental ill-health and to actively reduce stigma around mental health in their workplace.

The launch coincides with R U OK Day on 10 September and its 2020 theme of ‘there’s more to say after R U OK’. Nina Nyman, CMO at UnLtd and Co-Chair of the Mentally Healthy Change Group said:

“Many of us avoid asking others how they are for the fear of the response and not being able to say or do the right thing. The MHFA course will help give leaders the confidence to have those conversations and to know what to say if someone is not okay. Just like the standard first aid courses, it gives you the skills and knowledge to potentially save someone’s life.”

The course will be delivered online by Chloe Hooper, Head of Growth and Marketing, Regional Lead at PHD and member of the Mentally Healthy Change Group who is a qualified mental health first aid trainer and has already trained over 130 people across the industry in mental health first aid.

Chloe Hooper said:

“When we launched the first training courses last year, we were overwhelmed by the response – the courses filled up in a day! It’s fantastic that we can bring this course to our senior leaders this year to help create positive ripple effects across many organisations, especially at such a challenging time. Doing the course in small groups of other senior leaders will also give the participants a chance to openly share and learn from each other’s’ experiences.”

Participants already confirmed for the course include Adrian Farouk, CEO of Digitas ANZ; Andrew Little, CEO of DDB Group; Chiquita King, Managing Director of Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder; Chris Freel, CEO of UnLtd; Laura Aldington, CEO of Host/Havas; Jack Byrne, Managing Director of Hatched Media; James Bayes, General Manager ANZ of The Trade Desk; Jim Gall, CEO of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Group & CEO of Clemenger Group New Zealand; Louie Skinner, Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness; Margie Reid, CEO of Thinkerbell; Mark Jarrett, CEO of PHD; Melinda Geertz, CEO of Leo Burnett; Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative; Paul Sigaloff, Managing Director ANZ of Verizon Media; Peter Butler, Managing Director of Spark Foundry; Skye Lambley, Group Managing Director of HerdMSL; Stephen McArdle, CEO of BMF and Simone Gupta, CEO of One Green Bean.

Jim Gall, CEO of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Group and CEO of Clemenger Group New Zealand said:

“We lost a colleague last year in NZ to suicide and it was one of the most difficult, yet profound experiences I have ever been through as a leader.In these challenging times, mental health is not just a hygiene factor, it must be seen as an absolute business priority in balancing performance with empathy and cultural competency.”

The course requirements include 10 hours of online self-study, 2 x 2.5 hour Zoom training sessions and a final online exam. The course will run twice – Group 1 on 29 & 30 Oct and Group 2 on 5 & 6 Nov. There is an admin fee of $55 and participants who successfully pass their online exam will receive an official Mental Health First Aid certification.

Mark Jarrett, CEO of PHD commented:

Given the times we’re living in, being able to recognise signs of mental illness and to offer the right support is more important than ever. This is a great practical way for the leaders in our industry to come together to tackle mental illness in our industry. I’m looking forward to learning more about the topic and I hope to see many of my fellow leaders on the course.”

Places are limited, to book your spot, please visit:

Group 1 (29 Oct & 30 Oct):

Group 2 (5 & 6 Nov):

If you or someone you care about needs support, please contact:

Lifeline 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Get involved

UnLtd offers various ways for individuals, teams and corporations to give back.


UnLtd events bring the industry together to raise funds for great causes whilst also having fun.

Charity Experiences

Our charities can offer sessions that motivate and inspire whilst also helping young people at risk.

CSR Programs

We create purposeful partnerships that generate shared value for our corporate partners and charity partners.