McCann Worldgroup Chairman Bill Kolb Joins Leading Mental Health Tech Non-Profit Project Healthy Minds Board of Directors
New York, April 4, 2023 — Project Healthy Minds, a millennial / Gen Z-driven mental health non-profit, announced today that it has appointed pioneering marketing and communications executive and mental health advocate Bill Kolb to its Board of Directors. Kolb is Chairman and former CEO of McCann Worldgroup, one of the world’s preeminent creative agencies. Kolb’s decades of leadership in marketing, innovation, health, and data analytics will expand Project Healthy Minds’ interdisciplinary approach to confronting one of the defining issues of our generation: the growing mental health crisis.
“Stigma is the front door issue to addressing the mental health crisis. To create a more supportive world, we must change attitudes and lower the barriers that prevent millions of Americans from asking for and seeking help” said Phillip Schermer, Founder & CEO of Project Healthy Minds. “Corporate America needs to also join the fight and make employee well-being a top priority. Bill is a world-class marketing and business leader who walks the walk on mental health. I am so grateful that he has joined the Project Healthy Minds Board of Directors.”
Project Healthy Minds’ work focuses on three key pillars:
- Expanding access to critical services by building the world’s first digital mental health marketplace
- Designing multi-platform anti-stigma campaigns featuring culture-makers and influencers; and
- Engaging the business community to expand mental health support for employees
Kolb’s long and successful career within McCann Worldgroup spans over two decades, where he worked across regions and agencies, including Momentum, MRM and McCann, holding many top-level roles from CFO to CEO. He has worked with both large and entrepreneurial companies, and with multinational clients including GM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Merck and Anheuser-Busch.
During the pandemic, Kolb quickly elevated employee well-being to be a top corporate priority and overhauled McCann’s mental health strategy. After personally calling the company’s employee assistance program (EAP) hotline to test its capabilities, he was kept on hold for 12 minutes. Shortly thereafter, he spearheaded the creation of McCann Worldgroup’s first enterprise-wide employee mental health strategy, including hiring Project Healthy Minds to launch an executive training program (developed in conjunction with the National Network of Depression Centers) to upskill its executive board and senior executives on mental health.
Said Kolb, “When our mental health is strong, we enjoy a sense of purpose and direction and feel that we can cope with whatever life throws at us. Conversely, when we are struggling with mental health issues without the ability to navigate them, we can often feel helpless and unable to achieve our personal and professional goals. Fluctuating mental health is a part of everyone’s journey – the key is to have access to the resources needed to navigate those tough times and be able to move forward productively and positively. That’s where Project Healthy Minds plays such a crucial role in removing the barriers to the care we all need at various points in our lives and helping us recenter, tap into our best and healthiest selves and enjoy life.”
The growing mental health crisis, which was already at epidemic levels pre-pandemic, is now a center stage issue. Mental health has replaced COVID as the top health concern among Americans, according to a recent IPSOS survey. Teen girls are experiencing record levels of sadness and suicide risk according to the CDC. Mental health is also costing businesses. Mental health costs the U.S. economy $47.6 billion annually in lost productivity, according to new research from Gallup.
About Project Healthy Minds
Project Healthy Minds is a next generation mental health tech non-profit startup. Project Healthy Minds is democratizing access to mental health services by building the world’s first digital mental health marketplace, destigmatizing mental health by partnering with culture-makers, and improving access and affordability by advocating for innovative workplace investments in employee mental health. The non-profit is focused on closing the treatment gap in America by attacking these primary barriers to care: stigma, discoverability, and affordability. Project Healthy Minds’ programmatic initiatives serve more than 200,000 people annually.
To learn more, please visit: www.projecthealthyminds.com