London,
11
May
2017

59% of PR and communications practitioners have suffered from mental ill health

The findings of a joint PRCA and PRWeek survey, published during Mental Health Awareness Week have revealed that 59% of PR and communications practitioners have suffered from mental ill health. 

A majority of employees who reported suffering from mental ill health listed anxiety, depression, and stress as factors. Unsurprisingly, 50% of employees said they felt under more stress currently than 12 months ago.

When employers were asked how their organisations managed the issue, 89% of employers said they encouraged employees to talk about their mental health with employees. 78% of respondents stated that an employee had discussed their mental health with them.

However, 37% of employees said they would not feel very comfortable discussing their mental health with their line managers. More importantly, 61% of employees said they had never spoken to their managers about their mental health.

Employees were more likely to talk to their colleagues about their mental health than their line managers. Around 44% of employees said they would feel fairly comfortable discussing their mental health with a colleague. Similarly, 54% respondents stated that they had spoken to a colleague about their mental health.

When asked whether the PR and communications Industry was accepting of people suffering from mental ill health, 48% of employers and employees said the industry was not very accepting. In contrast, both felt that their organisation was more supportive. Around 44% of employees said their organisation was fairly supportive of people suffering from mental ill health, whereas 64% of employers expressed the same view.

Alarmingly 90% of employers said their organisation did not have a formal mental health policy.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, PRCA Director General said:

“It has been over two years since we last surveyed the industry on mental health and the results will and should shock the industry. Stress and anxiety levels are high, which has clearly had a negative impact on our employees’ mental health.

“We know that managing mental health and employee wellbeing is a key business issue but it is also a clear moral issue. More organisations should treat employee wellbeing as a business priority.

“That being said, we have made important strides as an industry. It is encouraging to see that more people are talking about mental health and making efforts to destigmatise it. There are also several organisations in the industry which are implementing the right policies to help their employees manage their mental health and wellbeing.

“We have had an entire week dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, which will be a key campaigning priority for the PRCA, and we encourage the industry to get involved in our work.”

As part of the PRCA’s ongoing campaigning work on mental health, it will be launching a mental health toolkit later in the year to act as a guide for the industry on how to address the issue in the workplace. Mental health and employee wellbeing will also feature in the PRCA’s Communications Management Standard (CMS) offering, the hallmark of PR and communication excellence.

If you are interested in getting involved in our campaign, please contact Neha.Khatwani@prca.org.uk.

ENDS

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About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a UK-based PR and communications membership body, operating in 49 countries around the world. We represent in excess of 20,000 people across the whole range of the PR and communications industry. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

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Matt Cartmell
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