Industry Initiatives

14 Jul 2020

COVID stories

The Mentally Healthy Change Group has released a new story book in partnership with Heart On My Sleeve Movement to reduce stigma around mental health in the media, marketing and creative industry.

The story book features open and honest stories from 22 industry leaders and senior executives on the impact that COVID-19 and the lockdowns have had on their mental health.

The aim of the book is to open up the conversation around mental health and encourage others to speak up when they need help.

Nina Nyman, CMO at UnLtd and co-chair of the Mentally Healthy Change Group said:

“We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic one way or another but that impact is different to everyone and might not always be obvious or visible to others. We hope that the stories shared here help create empathy around what others might be experiencing and encourage everyone to be honest when things are not okay.”

The raw and real stories cover topics such as dealing with anxiety and depression, isolation, homeschooling and sick relatives as well as the positives of reconnecting with family and old friends. The contributors include leaders and senior executives from across the industry, including client-side, creative agencies, media agencies, tech vendors, industry bodies and media owners.

Pippa Chambers, member of the Mentally Healthy Change Group and lead on the book project said:

“The COVID-19 lockdown has brought about extreme levels of change in all facets of people’s personal and working lives, not least the impact it’s had on mental health. Hearing such raw, powerful and honest accounts of how industry peers have coped during this challenging time is both eye opening and inspiring so a big thank you to everyone who took part. Hopefully this book will act as a catalyst for people to open up, share their stories too or ask for help when needed.”

The book is part of the many projects aimed to reduce stigma around mental health across our industry that the volunteer-based Mentally Healthy Change Group is working on. The book is produced in partnership with the Heart On My Sleeve Movement, a global social movement empowering people to share stories of struggle and resilience.

Mitch Wallis, Founder & CEO of Heart on My Sleeve said:

“Stories have the power to unify us through tough times – because they are a potent reminder that we can cope together. When we see an industry speak up about hardships of ambiguity in a time like COVID, we are given the certainty that we aren’t alone.”

The 2020 book is available to view at:

The previous Heart On My Sleeve book from 2019 sharing Agency CEOs mental health stories is also available at:

Big thanks go to Pippa Chambers for leading the project and to Tribal for designing the book.

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

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