New survey reveals that mental health has become the 'pandemic hangover'

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A new survey of 13,000 people in 30 countries has found that 63 per cent of early adopters in Australia say they feel more anxious and stressed than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Havas said it classifies these early adopters, or people who influence trends and behaviours, as 'prosumers'. They are defined as the top 15 to 20 per cent of consumers who are first to market, forward-thinking, influential, proactive and socially conscious.

Globally, nearly nine in ten of the group consider mental health ‘one of the most concerning issues of our time’. In Australia, it was 93 per cent.

A key takeaway is that personal issues are having a greater impact than global concerns on an individual’s mental health, particularly as it relates to anxiety and depression, said Havas.

The company said it is making R U OK? Day on 12 September 14, a mental fitness and wellbeing day for its 400 Australian employees.

According to James Wright, Group CEO of Havas Creative Network Australia and chairman of mental fitness charity, Gotcha4Life, “Mental health concerns are becoming prevalent in every corner of our communities, workplaces and schools. Whilst it’s being better recognised and addressed there is much more we can do. We need to keep moving from an expectation of simply ‘being well’ as the bar for our health, to an expectation of ‘healthy wellbeing’. That means looking at our health, mental and physical, holistically, so we feel good about ourselves.

“Our survey found 83% of Aussie Prosumers believe having a healthy lifestyle – exercise, eating well, taking care of your body – is the best way to prevent mental health issues. But we should also be looking at ways to improve self-care and to support one another as we all tackle the 'pandemic hangover'."

“The challenge to employers and brands is how can we build meaningful opportunities for our people and customers to have authentic connections in real life beyond the screen," he said.