One third of PR practitioners have suffered from mental ill health

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New research from the PRCA and PRWeek has revealed that one third of the PR industry has suffered from, or been diagnosed with, mental ill health.

The research, as part of an in-depth analysis into the PR industry’s attitudes towards mental health, revealed that 34% of PR practitioners have experienced some form of mental ill health.

Respondents listed stress, pressure from clients, levels of support from management, workload and career progression as issues which have impacted on their mental health. Some of the frequently-listed mental health issues that have been experienced by respondents include bulimia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The survey also revealed that 46% would not be very comfortable with talking about the state of their mental health with their colleagues or line manager – and 51% suggested that the PR industry is not very accepting of people suffering from mental ill health.

45% of PR practitioners feel under more stress than they did 12 months ago, while 30% said that they feel under the same amount of stress.

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA said: “There has not been enough cross-industry work done to address this issue. PR continued to grow during the recession but that was down to a major effort by the industry to deliver more and prove value. There's a cost to that – pressure and long hours. For that reason, stress levels have been rising, with a resultant increase in stress-related mental health issues.”

Francis has proposed to engage the PRCA’s PR Council on the issue of mental health. The PR Council provides a formal mechanism to consult with the industry's most senior practitioners on the issues PR faces and produces best-practice guidance for the industry.

Full Results

1.Have you ever suffered from, or been diagnosed with, mental ill health?

Response

%

Yes

33.96%

No

62.76%

Don’t know

3.28%

2.How comfortable would you feel about talking about the state of your mental health with your colleagues / line manager?

Response

%

Very comfortable

8.19%

Fairly comfortable

31.08%

Not very comfortable

46.27%

Very uncomfortable

14.46%

3.How accepting do you feel the PR industry is of people suffering from mental

ill health?

Response

%

Very accepting

2.22%

Fairly Accepting

37.44%

Not very accepting

51.23%

Very unaccepting

9.11%

4.Do you feel under more or less stress currently than you did 12 months ago?

Response

%

More

44.64%

Less

22.44%

The same

30.42%

Not sure

2.49%

5.Has a colleague ever discussed their own mental health illness with you?

Response

%

Yes

42.75%

No

57.25%

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Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the largest PR association in Europe, representing 12,000 people in agencies, in-house communications teams, and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal 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.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 350 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 150 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

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