PRCA & Opinium research – ‘9 out 10 practitioners struggle with mental wellbeing’

The PR and communications industry’s largest piece of research on mental health and wellbeing conducted by PRCA and Opinium reveals that 89% of industry practitioners have struggled with their mental wellbeing.

Launched on World Mental Health Day, Opening the Conversation: Mental Wellbeing in Public Relations shines a light on the pressures facing PR practitioners and highlights that overall levels of wellbeing in PR are comparatively lower than the UK average.

The report reflects the findings of this year’s Mental Wellbeing Audit, which gathered the views of more than 400 practitioners. The Audit incorporates The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, which is recognised as a best practice mechanism for gathering data on mental health and wellbeing. 

The key findings in the report are:

  • 89% of PR professionals surveyed say they have struggled with their mental wellbeing
  • The overall mental wellbeing score in the industry is lower than the UK average (44.6 vs. 46.2)
  • 31% of PR professionals say they find their job very stressful
  • 59% of PR workers say this stress is caused by their workload
  • Workload is also the main reason why PR professionals don’t take time off for their mental health (43%)
  • PR practitioners are more willing to talk to their colleagues and line managers about their mental health compared to the average UK worker. 

You can read the full report here.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA said: “The time for our industry to take action on mental health is now. And this is the latest in the PRCA’s concerted effort to do just that. While it’s encouraging to see more practitioners discussing mental health with colleagues, far too many of our colleagues are still suffering. For too long, our industry has tip-toed around this issue but we now have an opportunity to take action and create meaningful change. Attitudes are changing. Conversations are starting. Let’s now enact the recommendations of this report to create tangible change for the future of our workforce.”

James Endersby, CEO, Opinium said: “When three in ten PR professionals who struggle with their mental health tell us that they avoid telling people for fear it might jeopardise their career (versus a fifth of the general workforce), there is a serious problem. The PR industry needs urgent cultural change. And it needs it now. As you’ll see throughout the report, we’ve uncovered some of the key issues that employers need to address, as well as various initiatives that workplaces can implement along with their impact on mental wellbeing. Addressing mental wellbeing at work may seem like a mammoth task, but it’s a journey, and taking that first step in the right direction will kick start wider organisational change which will benefit everyone involved.”

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