State of PRToday is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 #MHAW15, so I thought I’d share some resources to help you think through how to communicate mental wellbeing.

It’s time to talk about mental health. The era of the stigma is over, and as communicators we can facilitate those conversations and discussions in our organisations (Tweet this)

What’s it like in our industry?
40 per cent of PR professionals experience dangerously high levels of work-related stress according to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) State of PR report I wrote about in February.

The public relations industry is widely known for its fast-paced, high energy working culture. The 24-hour news cycle and the ‘always on’ environment places growing pressure on professionals.

The research shows dangerously high levels of workplace stress are common for those in senior management, with 51% of senior managers in PR saying they are “extremely stressed” or “very stressed” in their roles. However, 63% of PR professionals enjoy their job. (Tweet this)

Free event tomorrow

With these results in mind, the CIPR’s Diversity Working Group is hosting a free Equal Access Network event at 6pm tomorrow, Tuesday 12 May.

It will explore the relationship between PR and mental health and is at CIPR HQ in London. The event features Jonathan Naess from UK-based mental health charity Stand to Reason @standtoreason.

What are Equal Access Networks?
Equal Access Networks are a place where people studying or working in PR, who are affected by or are interested in issues relating to diversity and equality in employment and representation, can meet and establish lasting and useful links with fellow practitioners.

Improving diversity and equality within PR is an important issue for the future of our profession and the CIPR says it wants to bring together people who want to make a difference.

MHAW15

Who’s involved in Mental Health Awareness Week 2015

This week is supported and championed by the Mental Health Foundation and you can follow conversations about what companies are doing via Twitter #MHAW15.

Avon and Somerset Police force has written an article about why they are involved in MHAW15 and how they support their employees. They say:

2Mental health is an important matter for the communities that we serve. One in four people will experience a mental health problem this year. Mental illness may bring people into contact with the police and it may also make them vulnerable. 

“Our call handlers, who are often the public’s first point of call when they contact us, are given specific training to make sure that they can effectively and helpfully assist members of the public who may have mental health problems.

Over 110 officers and staff have qualified in Level 2 NCFE in Mental Health Awareness, a nationally recognised qualification which provides them with skills to help them spot the signs of mental illness and adapt their behaviour to minimise stress. Their training will give them a better understanding of how mental health conditions can affect people and provide them with the knowledge to refer them to relevant support agencies if needed. 

In recognition of the stressful roles that our officers and staff undertake, we’ve pledged our support to Mind’s Blue Light programme which offers advice and support to emergency service staff and volunteers.”

Mental-wellbeing-infographicFacts and figures on mental health
The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest employers in the world, and @NHSEmployers has released an infographic highlighting key areas to consider and some top tips.

It sets out in an easy-to-digest format, the seriousness of the issue and what action can be taken to prevent common mental health problems.

Get involved
If you’d like your company to get involved in supporting Mental Health Awareness Week or would like to read more, see the resources page of the Mental Health Foundation website.

Further reading on my blog

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC website 11 May 2015.

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