FRIDAY 11 OCT 2019 10:35 AM

NINE IN TEN PR PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH, SURVEY SAYS

Almost everyone in PR is struggling with their mental wellbeing, according to research by the PRCA and Opinium published yesterday.

Some 89% of PR professionals have struggled with their mental wellbeing in the past 12 months, the study shows. The report reflects the findings of Opinium’s 2019 Mental Wellbeing Audit and makes grim reading for those in the communications industry.

The study, 'Opening the conversation: mental wellbeing in public relations', surveyed than more than 400 PR practitioners. Three in ten PR professionals found their jobs very stressful, while 59% believed their stress is caused by workload and workload is the main reason why they don't take time off to address their mental health.

The survey found that overall levels of mental wellbeing in PR are lower than the UK average, with a score of 44.6 points against 46.2 on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. However, PR pros are more willing to talk to colleagues about mental health than the national average on 44% and 40% respectively.

Francis Ingham, director general at PRCA, said, “The time for our industry to take action on mental health is now. 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 the issue but we now have an opportunity to take action and create meaningful change.”

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."

More details are available in the full report.

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