NABS prioritises active listening with community consultation

Following the results of the All In Census the industry charity is launching a community consultation to better understand and support mental health

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


How we work is not working. 33% of respondents to the All In Census are affected by stress and anxiety. 32% of Black talent are likely to leave the industry because of a lack of inclusion and 14% of Black talent are experiencing discrimination.

A poor work-life balance is the second main reason people are looking to leave their company in the next 12 months (below better salaries and opportunities at 71%). Over half of respondents (54%) are caring for a parent or grandparent. Mental Health Awareness Week is more than a marketing moment, it is an opportunity to take a long hard look at company culture.

NABS has long been on the front foot of addressing the creative industry’s mounting mental health crisis through practical advice and support. A commitment that it is increasing this week with the launch of its community consultation programme. 

The name of the consultation is ‘All Ears’. This is designed to build upon ‘All In’ the Advertising Association’s census which measures progress on all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion for the industry. 

The ‘All Ears’ approach is designed to dive deeper into the conversation about the state of mental wellness in the industry. It aims to identify, prioritise and accelerate what today’s advertising, marketing and media community needs most from NABS, as well as testing out some of NABS’ newest thinking around the future of mental wellness. 

NABS will gather information, insight and inspiration from voices from across all corners of the industry, ensuring it hears from a diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. The charity will consult in various formats to take a deep dive into how its current support can go even further in 2024 and beyond. 

At the end of the consultation, NABS will produce a full report detailing what it has learned, and how this insight will help to shape its strategic plan and charity and commercial offers, as well as provide guidance for organisations and other bodies who can influence systemic change in the industry.

All Ears will build on NABS’ ongoing work advancing the mental wellness of the industry, much of which has been supporting people who work in advertising for many years. Mental wellness support is the consistent thread running throughout NABS’ offer and is the foundation for all its services.

NABS’ Q1 statistics recently revealed the number one reason for calling its support team in 2022 and in Q1 2023 was for emotional support – with two thirds of these calls specifically relating to mental health challenges. This was validated in last week’s All In census findings, which showed a consistent picture, with a third of respondents affected by stress and anxiety,

Sue Todd, CEO, NABS and chair of the All In action group on mental health, spoke at last week’s summit, focusing on the importance of working together to help support workers at all levels. She explained: “NABS is a huge believer in the power of community when it comes to advancing mental wellness, and we need to work together with the people we serve to make sure that NABS continues to provide effective support and insight in this space. We’re really looking forward to hearing as many views as possible via the consultation which we’ll be conducting in new and interesting ways - from discussion groups and webinars to surveys and challenge groups.”

As leaders and employees alike face a volatile and uncertain world, active listening has never been a more important tool for businesses. 

To take part in the All Ears consultation click here.

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Mental Health