This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about mental health within the PR industry.
Although a very fulfilling and ideal career path for many, working in PR can be fast-paced and the pressures and strains can be a lot to cope with. In fact, public relations executive has been listed as one of the top 10 most stressful jobs of 2017.
The impact that stress can have on mental health is no secret, and although PRs love nothing more than a good chinwag, it can be difficult to speak out about any concerns. This is why raising awareness around mental health is so very important.
A study by the Mental Health Foundation has revealed that two in three adults experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Younger adults are the most vulnerable, with 70% of 18 to 34 year olds experiencing issues such as depression, anxiety or OCD in their lifetimes.
Recent reports have indicated that the industry as a whole just doesn’t know how to tackle the issues of mental health. Due to the stigma surrounding it, reports have found that around 57% of PRs said they would feel ‘uncomfortable’ to discuss their mental health in the workplace.
Fortunately, there are many organisations campaigning to implement programs to improve the wellbeing of workers in PR. Employees are being encouraged to come forward, talk about their problems and take steps to prevent such issues through increasing exercise, managing diets and taking time off when needed.
Here at JAM, we’re a close-knit team, and we’re proud to say we do all we can to look after our team’s wellbeing. Encouraging people to speak up if they’re experiencing personal issues or problems with workload is important to us, and we try our very best to help each other out and share workloads when necessary.
We encourage one another to take a full hour-long break for lunch, whether that’s sat in a café, going for a walk or just having a chat in the office. We also recognise the importance of flexible working hours and encourage colleagues to take regular time off. All in all, creating a relaxed, sociable working environment is crucial, and can help to keep colleagues happy and healthy. And we can’t forget our office mascot, Maurice the Frenchie, who always gives us reason to smile!
The main message that should be taken from this week is that people suffering are not alone, and they shouldn’t fear repercussions when asking for support. Whilst mental health awareness has improved dramatically in the last couple of years, work still needs to be done.
With increasing numbers of people coming forward, now’s the time for businesses to improve their approach to employee wellbeing. This could be just what the industry needs to bring these issues out in the open and take appropriate action to deal with them in the right way. Hopefully, with the campaigns and awareness initiatives now in operation, people will be able to get all the help and support they need.