Today is World Mental Health Day. And here are few pertinent facts for those working in the communications industry to consider:
- 34% of PR professionals have been diagnosed with or experienced some form of mental ill health (PRCA)
- 30% of PR professionals say they are ‘somewhat unhappy’ or ‘not at all happy’ when indicating their level of workplace wellbeing (CIPR)
- 60% of PR professionals report that they are ‘stressed’ or ‘very stressed’ at work (Comms2Point0)
- Public relations has been listed as the sixth most stressful career you can have (CareerCast)
I could go on. And on. And on.
But the point is clear. Stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues are rife within the communications industry. It’s safe to assume that if you’re working in an office of 20 people, at least a couple are suffering with poor mental health right now. Today.
I wrote about the reasons for this in the book #FuturePRoof: Edition Two, and you can now read that entire chapter in full and for free here.
But today I’m going to look beyond the causes. Depression, stress and anxiety can seriously impact an individual’s ability to work and, consequently, their productivity and effectiveness. The OECD states that mental health issues cost the UK £70 billion per year, while the World Health Organisation says that if we don’t act urgently, depression will be the leading illness worldwide by 2030.
So I’m going to suggest a few ways in which organisations can minimise the impact of the inherent stress in PR for the benefit of all concerned.