Last week, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, the PRCA and Opinium published research into mental health in our industry. The study found that 89% of PR and comms practitioners have struggled with their mental wellbeing and that overall levels of wellbeing in PR are lower than the UK average.
There are many ways to contribute to better mental health in the workplace, from buddy systems and mental health first aiders to no-evening-email policies and encouraging digital switch offs.
These generally focus on two of the biggest problem areas: not being able to open up, which ultimately leads to more pressure and stress, and the stress of workload creating a bad work/life balance.
The PRCA and Opinium research, Opening the Conversation: Mental Wellbeing in Public Relations, helps to define these main areas with three takeaways for employers to help their employees thrive:
- Recognising the impact of workload on mental health and introducing effective workload management techniques
- Offer mental wellbeing initiatives that enhance mental wellbeing and encourage their usage
- Embrace mental wellbeing throughout the whole organisation
All three foster company cultures that promote positive mental wellbeing and help to create a space where employees and colleagues feel comfortable to talk about their mental health.
What is clear is that more needs to be done to help improve mental health in the industry and give it a bigger focus. Studies like this help to shine a light on issues and provide practical advice but ultimately, it’s up to the agencies and in-house teams to adopt these for the benefit of all.