With more than a third of PR professionals saying they have experienced, or been diagnosed with, mental illness, Amanda Powell Smith, CEO of Forster Communications, believes there is no excuse for the industry not to tackle this growing issue.
At Forster, we have been working with Business in the Community and Public Health England to develop a new free toolkit for employers to act on mental health – and now we want it to change they way the PR industry promotes mental health in its own workplaces.
With one in six employees currently experiencing problems, mental health is an essential business concern. If that isn’t enough of a reason to act, there is also a strong relationship between levels of employee wellbeing, their performance and company productivity.
The Mental Health Toolkit for Employers will help organisations of all sizes to take positive action to build a culture that champions good mental health and supports those who have mental health problems. The interactive resource is free to use and has been designed to help employers know how to promote wellness and support those who become unwell.
Over two decades, we have been at the forefront of mental health communications, working on programmes including the Government’s Mind Out for Mental Health campaign and with organisations including Time to Change, Mind, Anna Freud Centre, Young Minds, the Department of Health and MQ.
As a PR agency focused on social change, we have used these insights to take a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing amongst our own employees. We are a signatory of the Time to Change Employer Pledge and were named a PR Week’s Best Place to Work in 2015. Our actions also helped us to become a founding UK BCorps.
Last year, a survey carried out for PR Week by the PRCA revealed that more than a third of people working in PR and communications have experienced or been diagnosed with mental ill health, and that a majority would not feel comfortable talking to their boss about it.
With statistics like that and resources such as this toolkit now available, there is no excuse for PR businesses of all sizes to break the stigma around mental health and start supporting their most valuable assets – their employees.
To use the free tool, visit: http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/all-resources/toolkits/mental-health-employers