To mark World Mental Health Day, the PRCA has launched a Mental Health Toolkit to raise awareness about the issue and to give PR and communications practitioners the tools to manage their mental health.
Throughout the toolkit there are resources from leading mental health organisations such as Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, Mind, and Business in the Community. There are case studies from organisations in the industry that are implementing policies to help their employees manage their mental health; and industry-specific research carried out by the PRCA, PRWeek, and #FutureProof. To access the toolkit, click here.
The PR and Communications Council identified mental health as one of the key campaigning objectives for the PRCA. The Mental Health Toolkit responds to the calls that the Council made to give the industry a greater understanding of mental health issues and to work towards removing the stigma surrounding mental ill health.
Francis Ingham MPRCA, PRCA Director General said: “As an industry, we must tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. We can no longer ignore the issue and expect people to suffer in silence. Our research has shown that the demanding nature of our industry can have an impact on practitioners’ mental health, yet many are reluctant to discuss the issue. Similarly, many organisations in the industry do not have the right policies in place to manage the mental health of their employees.
“This is why we launched this toolkit to give employees and employers a greater understanding of how to support their employees and colleagues. We hope people find this resource useful and are able to facilitate a conversation about mental health in their workplace.
“Ensuring the wellbeing of our employees is crucial and the industry must recognise this. Our campaigning on employee wellbeing does not end here, there is a lot more we can and will do. I urge you to get involved in our campaigning and help us normalise the conversation around mental health.”
The PRCA is also announcing on World Mental Health Day that it is partnering with MHFA England to offer free training courses. The PRCA is offering 16 places for PR professionals to train as Mental Health First Aiders.
MHFA teaches people how to identify, understand, and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. The course will teach attendees to listen, reassure, and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening. It will help delegates to recognise the warning signs of mental ill health, and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone.
Eleanor Miller, Director of Marketing and Communications, MHFA England, said: “Talking about mental health openly is a great first step in creating a mentally healthy organisation. But to better support employees, transform industry practices and truly embed a whole organisational approach to workplace wellbeing, employers need to offer mental health training. Which is why we’re delighted to partner with the PRCA to train Mental Health First Aiders in our industry.”
To apply for a place on this course, please contact Neha.Khatwani@prca.org.uk.
The PRCA launched research with PRWeek in May 2017, which revealed that 59% of PR and communications practitioners have suffered from mental ill health. However, 61% of employees said they had never spoken to their managers about this subject.
The recent #FuturePRoof project revealed that “mental health in public relations is frequently ignored or managed as a performance issue”. The report explored mental health within the business of communication and public relations on behalf of the PRCA.