The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and TABS, The Advertising Benevolent Society have announced details of a new initiative called SMASH, the first wellbeing programme of its kind for the advertising industry in Ireland.
The programme will provide a variety of mental health supports and practical services, exclusively to IAPI’s two thousand members.
TABS traditionally supported marketers through personal finance difficulties, however with 47% of the advertising workforce under 30 and mental health challenges on the increase, both IAPI and TABS recognise the need to develop support services for the changing needs of the industry.
IAPI members through the SMASH programme will be able to avail of six professional consultation sessions on eight different concerns. The programme of up to 48 professional consultations will cover financial, legal, consumer, health, parenting and career advice as well as mediation and life coaching.
According to Allen Kiernan, Financial Director, BBDO Dublin and Board Member, TABS: “TABS has been working behind the scenes of the industry for over 60 years helping those who have fallen on hard times but we feel it is time to be relevant to a younger cohort of the workforce. We’re very happy to be funding this important initiative and are delighted with the support that IAPI is giving this programme. We believe it will be of huge benefit to IAPI’s members as they look to support and nurture the extraordinary talent in the industry.”
The SMASH programme is funded by TABS and is free to all IAPI members. The programme is managed by Spectrum.Life and support is available 24/7 to service users.
According to Charley Stoney, CEO of IAPI: “The advertising industry is one of the most vibrant and exciting industries but it is no secret that it can also be one of the most stressful environments to work in. In collaboration with TABS we recognise that instead of shying away from this fact, we need to face it head on and do something about it. Depression, anxiety and stress are the most common difficulties and we want to enable our members to talk in confidence about their mental wellbeing and as an industry break the taboo.”
An IAPI Wellbeing Working Group, made up of volunteers from seven agency members – PHD, Javelin, Publicis, Core, Ogilvy, Havas and Rothco – were involved in creating the branding, look and feel for the SMASH programme.