The theme for World Mental Health Day this year is workplace well-being. Held on 10 October 2017 the day was created by mental health charity Mind and aims to bring awareness to mental health issues, encouraging people to speak up and listen to others.
Recently 20,000 workers aged 16 to 64 were surveyed by charity Business In The Community (BITC), in partnership with YouGov. The survey found that more that than three quarters had experienced symptoms of poor mental health, with two thirds feeling work was a factor.
In the PR industry, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) State of the Profession Survey from last year found that 30% of respondents answered ‘somewhat unhappy’ or ‘not at all happy’ in their jobs.
A PRCA #FuturePRoof report from February 2017 looked further into some of the attributing factors to poor mental health in the PR industry.
One of the main factors included the ‘always on’ culture that many PR professions feel obliged to follow.
Whether responding to messages while on holiday or checking emails in bed each evening, PR professionals struggle to switch off.
With multiple tasks running at once, numerous impending deadlines, clients to keep happy, journalist relationships to maintain and teams to manage – it’s easy to see how stress levels can rise.
In an industry of communicators, are PR professionals speaking up enough about mental health?
Xenia Kingsley, Senior Account Manager at Magenta Associates shares how PR employers can support staff with their mental wellbeing.
“As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, working for an employer who is supportive of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is really important to me.
“Magenta is one of those companies, offering weekly Pilates classes, subsidised massages and one-to-one mentoring as well as providing a healthy breakfast for everyone every day, allowing dogs in the workplace (something my dog Kipper is very pleased about!), and mental health and wellbeing workshops at every company away day. Our last one focused on managing stress and personal impact.
“But it’s not just these benefits that make this a supportive place to work, it’s knowing that it’s ok to talk about issues openly and without stigma.”