Firm’s charity campaign tackles career stress and stigma

One of the adverts for Fifteens #FAOStress campaign for Derby charity Stress Aid
One of the adverts for Fifteens #FAOStress campaign for Derby charity Stress Aid

Ilkeston’s award-winning digital agency Fifteen is aiming to bring calm to the workplace in a new initiative for April’s national Stress Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness week, May 8-14.

The company has teamed up with Derby charity Stress Aid on the digital campaign #FAOStress, highlighting mental health awareness at work and ways to deal with career anxieties.

Fifteen managing director Ollie Piddubriwnyj

Fifteen managing director Ollie Piddubriwnyj

The partnership began earlier this year after Fifteen took a company-wide resolution to improve mental health in the workplace.

After seeing an improved sense of wellbeing as a result of Fifteen’s own company policies, managing director Ollie Piddubriwnyj was keen to spread the idea to other businesses.

Ollie said: “Staff welfare is an absolute priority at Fifteen. It’s a resolution that we decided we were going to take seriously and that reflected our company and values.

“Having a company-wide resolution is a great way of bringing the team together and getting everyone involved.”

He added: “Our staff morale has gone through the roof since we began our year-of-wellbeing incentive. We’re like a family here and it’s great to know that it’s made a difference in the team’s daily work lives.”

A recent survey by the Institute of Directors found that more than half of British employers have experienced mental health problems in staff. However just 14 per-cent have a formal mental health policy in place.

The issue has been rising up the national agenda, with Prime Minister Theresa May and Princes William and Harry making announcements on mental health in work and schools amid an ongoing crisis in NHS provision.

Fifteen has been providing Stress Aid with voluntary digital services throughout the year to help spread its message through SEO, website and design work.

Run by Derby Counselling Centre, the charity offers affordable counselling, especially to people who are experiencing financial hardship.

The charity’s director Tim Almy said: “There’s a common misconception that you should only seek counselling for something grief-related, or a huge event in your life.

“People often hesitate before coming to us about something work-related, which they worry may be seen as trivial or just part-and-parcel of the job. We want to change that view and get out the message that there really is no issue too small to seek counselling from.”

The campaign aims to educate employers on ways to improve mental wellbeing for their employees and provides them with resources to help reach out to any staff who may benefit from counselling, in the form of a free downloadable brochure.

Fifteen has also created a series of adverts to accompany the campaign to raise awareness of struggles in a workplace, showing the secret stress that staff may be experiencing.

Tim added: “We want to give employers an opportunity to embrace this vision of positive workplace mentality.

“By raising awareness to this issue and providing them with the necessary supporting resources, we hope that many local businesses will join our pledge.”

Ollie added: “The fact that we can take this idea and use it to help Stress Aid and the wider community is even more fulfilling.”

The #FAOStress campaign will run on social media during April, with free packs available to anyone interested. To request yours, email stressaid@hotmail.co.uk or call 01332 366863.

For more details, see www.derbycounsellingcentre.org or the charity’s Facebook page.

To learn more about Fifteen’s work on the campaign, go to http://bit.ly/2olhYxV.