[By Meenakshi Nowrattan]
According to a report by the Mental Health Commission, one out of five working Canadians lives with a mental illness. Out of the 18 million people who currently make up the Canadian workforce, an estimated 3.6 million are working with a mental health condition.
Mental illness does not discriminate, and PR professionals are not immune to its effects. Further, in a report by the Public Relations and Communications Association, mental illness in the PR industry is often ignored or dismissed as a performance issue.
Whether working in an agency or a corporate setting, PR professionals are often overwhelmed due to numerous projects and looming deadlines. As a result, it is difficult for PR professionals to master a reasonable work-life balance. So how can employers improve mental health wellness in the PR workplace? According to the #FuturePRoof report, researchers recommend:
- Making well-being and mental health a management issue
- Addressing company policies on allowing the use of sick days for mental health
- Exploring external resources if the resources don’t exist within the organization
- Removing the stigma by creating positive work environments to encourage employees to share their concerns
- Respecting the boundary between personal and professional life
It is also important to remember that even if you aren’t dealing with mental health personally, as a communicator you have the ability to speak up on behalf of those who can’t. It’s one of the toughest topics a communicator can address, but these can be some of the first steps in starting the conversation about mental health in your workplace.
(Photo by Wokandapix via Pixabay)