The results from the recent PRWeek and PRCA survey reveal that there’s still a huge need for the industry to prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health. More than half the industry has suffered from mental ill health, and it’s troubling that so many cannot talk to their employers about these issues. And worse – so many more believe the industry is not accepting of people with mental ill health.
This is clearly unacceptable. It is high time the industry took this matter seriously. PR and comms can be exciting, fast-paced and rewarding, which is why the industry attracts so many talented people. However, it can also be very stressful, which is negatively affecting the mental health of our employees.
We can start by de-stigmatising mental ill-health and talking about it more openly. More importantly, we must encourage employers to have the policies in place to help staff who are suffering.
However, I am encouraged by the progress the industry has made. In 2017 we launched the PRCA Mental Health Toolkit, which has now been viewed nearly 10,000 times. This issue clearly resonates within our industry. In this toolkit, we featured employers who are leading the way in addressing the issue. I am constantly impressed by agencies which understand that making the workplace more diverse and inclusive is not only the right thing to do, but can have a positive effect on growth.
Mischief implemented a coaching platform based on a holistic approach to what motivates their employees, allowing staff to look at what’s important to them outside work.This features in all one-to-one talks with line managers.
Forster Communications also prioritises its employees’ mental health, by ensuring they can work flexibly, achieve personal goals and focus on their physical as well as mental health. It was named Britain’s Healthiest Workplace.
These agencies understand mental health can’t be treated as a singular issue; it’s part of a wider mission to make the industry more diverse and inclusive. That’s why we launched the PRCA Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines, in which mental health features prominently.
Beyond the confines of our industry, this is an issue for everyone at every level, and needs to be a national priority. Collaboration is key. The PRCA has worked with organisations such as Mental Health First Aid and keenly supported and promoted the work of organisations such as MIND and Business and Community in this field.
Which is why I was keen to sign an open letter calling for the government to change the law to protect mental health in the workplace and make Mental Health First Aid Mandatory in all workplaces. The letter was signed by 50 other business leaders across several industries. To date, the petition has been signed by more than 200,000 people.
There is clearly an appetite to talk about mental health and changes to the law to protect people with mental ill health. I am calling on the industry to take action: follow the example of exemplary businesses, use the resources available to you and, above all, make your workplace a space where employees can openly talk about these issues.
Francis Ingham is PRCA director-general and ICCO executive director
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 2 day course – 22nd & 23rd January 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
- Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, 2 day course – 13th & 14th February 2019 in Lincoln. Click here to book
- Self Harm training, Level 2 (Intermediate), one day course – 11th March 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
- Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, half day course – 15th March 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
The funding round started on Sunday 28th October 2018 and from this date Co-op members can choose Harmless to give their 1% to when they spend on selected own-brand products and services.
The funding period will run for 12 months until the 26 October 2019.
Pop into local east midlands Co-op to support our life saving service
Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Friday 1st March 2019, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is: ‘our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes’.
£150 per delegate place*
2 delegate places for £200*
The theme of our conference is Our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes.
Harmless recognises that self harm affects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.
This exciting new event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.
Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:
- Collaborative partnership,
- Service user representation,
- Effective practice,
- Driving change &
- Overcoming stigma and discrimination.
Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.
Dr Nav Kapur
Dr Alys Cole-King
Prof. Siobhan O’Neill
Dr Sarah Cassidy
The New Year can be a great excuse to take stock and work out what to improve in the months ahead.
If you do decide to choose a New Year’s resolution, try and pick something manageable. Choosing to make small, positive changes can benefit your confidence as they’re easier to keep up. Plus, they enable you to focus on doing something rather than giving up.
We’ve come up with some small, practical ideas that can benefit your mental health over 2019…
- Try meditating
Meditation is a fantastic way to give your mind some time out and a chance to calm. Try to slot in one or two sessions a day – even if it’s only for five minutes.
- Start a gratitude diary
Each day try to write down 1-3 positive things that have happened. These could be as small as “I had a laugh with a colleague” or “I ate a nice meal”.
This is a great way of training yourself to look at the positives of each day, which will help your mental wellbeing.
- Try something new or develop an existing skill
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument? Or perhaps you want to work on your conversation skills?
Taking up a new hobby or making a pledge to improve a skill can be a great confidence-booster! It can also be a good way of meeting new people and giving you something to look forward to in the week.
However, it’s important to avoid putting pressure on yourself to be ‘perfect’ – remind yourself that no-one can master a skill straight away, learning takes time and making mistakes helps you improve.
- Make time to chill out
If you’ve fallen into the habit of staying late at work, you may decide to pledge to leave on time. This gives you the chance to recharge ready for the next day – being tired and run down won’t help your mind or your productivity.
Similarly, you could promise to block out some time each week for some “you” time. Do something that relaxes you, such as listening to music or having a soak in the bath.
- Get support if you need it
Why not commit to seeking support in the New Year?
Reaching out is not always the easiest thing to do, but we are here, and we want to help. You can refer in to us through a variety of different ways, you can call us on 0115 934 8445, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . Or ask your doctor to get in touch with us, ask a friend, message us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even if there’s someone you know who is struggling and you’d like to find out what support is available then please let us know.