[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:

  1. Making well-being and mental health a management issue
  2. Addressing company policies on allowing the use of sick days for mental health
  3. Exploring external resources if the resources don’t exist within the organization
  4. Removing the stigma by creating positive work environments to encourage employees to share their concerns
  5. Respecting the boundary between personal and professional life

The Canadian Mental Health Association also has some fantastic online resources regarding mental health in the workplace and the Mental Health Commission.

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)