One of the most important topics right now in the corporate world, and specifically in public relations, is mental health. In fact, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, from 8 to 15 May. Employers are questioning how to best help their employees stay healthy and happy and more productive.
This attention to the issue of mental health is part of a trend that has been picking up in terms of knowledge, facts, and awareness. More and more information is being spread so that mental illness is treated as a legitimate problem, not as something that is invisible and therefore can be ignored.
For example, there are some pretty good comics out there that can be good places to start if you want to see what I’m talking about, like the ones from this BBC article. Basically mental health needs to recognized and not belittled as someone else’s problem.
So what can the PR industry to do to help those struggling with mental health? It’s already made moves to make flexible working a thing, which helps with those who can’t as easily get to the office because they’re dealing with anxiety, for example.
Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA hosted a #PRCAChat about Mental Health Awareness Week on Twitter today, and tweeted an announcement that “Later this year, we will launch a toolkit and full action programme to address MH in PR. All ideas on content etc v welcome
#PRCAChat“. Other users noted it was just a great start to even get the conversation going about mental health, and that it is a relief to not have to hide issues from supervisors.
Having struggled with anxiety myself, it’s really great to see my industry speaking out about it. Self-care is really important, so I exercise regularly, eat well, and remember to breathe so I can deal with stress in a healthy way. PR is a people-centered industry–we have to take care of our people.