Working in the comms business can be fascinating, enriching, satisfying and fun. It can also be exhausting, infuriating and have implications for work/life balance, identity and personal relationships.
So says Claire Murphy @clairedotmurphy, who is offering the first specialist counselling service for communicators. As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week #MHAW15, I thought I’d highlight the good work she’s doing.
Claire (pictured) created PR Week’s #PRWeekMentoring and is an experienced comms professional. She told me: “Agency life can present some unique challenges in terms of client-handling and management of teams, while the corporate world often offers a complex set of power structures.
“A recent survey by the CIPR found that over half of senior PR managers say they feel “very” or “extremely” stressed.
“PRCA research highlights how many PR people feel that they will be perceived as weak if they disclose mental health difficulties like depression or anxiety to colleagues or managers.”
Claire offers counselling and psychotherapy services for comms and PR professionals and is based at two locations in London – Bloomsbury and Kingston-Upon-Thames.
I recommend reading the article she wrote for PR Week in 2014 about The Dangers Of Being Always On, which looked at the potential implications of being “surgically attached” to your smartphone.
Further reading about mental wellbeing
What you can expect
Claire spent 25 years as a magazine journalist, writing about marketing communications.
She says: “My greatest interest was always in the people working within the sector, and how their professional choices reflected/impacted their sense of self. I set up a mentoring scheme to support women in PR.
“As a counsellor I now offer a specialist counselling/coaching service for this community. I offer an empathic and non-judgemental approach which allows clients to explore their feelings and gain clarity and insight about themselves and how they interact with others (in and out of the workplace).”
Worried about confidentiality?
Claire is bound by the ethical principles of her professional body, the BACP. Anything she hears in client sessions will remain confidential unless she feels you are in danger of harm.
Claire shares some anonymised client information with her supervisor, who is also bound by BACP ethical principles.
I hope you find this article helpful, you never know when it’s useful to have this information to hand.
I believe it’s time to talk about mental health in comms. The era of the stigma is over, and as communicators we can facilitate those conversations and discussions in our organisations (Tweet this).
Thank you as ever for stopping by,
Post author: Rachel Miller
First published on All Things IC website 12 May 2015.
Photo credit: Claire Murphy via Wix.