THURSDAY 11 MAY 2017 10:53 AM


“Mental health has far too long been in the shadows,” said Alison Kerry, head of media at Mind, during the CIPR’s Mental Health Awareness Week event ‘Championing Mental Difference.’ She said it is no longer something that companies can ignore, particularly because at least 25% of people are affected – themselves or through family – by mental illness.

She and Colin Minto, founding partner of APeopleBusiness, spoke about the need for change in the PR industry. As a job with high levels of stress and one of the top 10 most stressful industries, PR should be more open to conversations about mental health, they say. Additionally, companies should foster more open cultures enabling employees to discuss mental health without fear.

In Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index, 60% of the 15,000 employees surveyed say their mental health was good. But, 80% of the remaining amount say work is a contributing factor to their poor mental health. “It’s the responsibility of the company to tackle the culture and change the culture so staff feel supported,” Kerry said.

Minto then shared his journey to combatting OCD and working with businesses to ensure recruitment practices are conducive to hiring people with mental difference. Within workplaces, Kerry added that managers can do simple things like have regular catch ups with employees about their mental health, offer flexible options for the management of mental illness at work and creating action plans to mitigate the triggers.