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Mental health and wellbeing in PR: What the research tells us

In the final episode of this special Smoke Signal series on mental health and wellbeing in the PR sector, Sophie Holland shares the latest research and insight coming out of the UK.

Sophie heads up the mental health research team at UK-based insight agency Opinium. Having studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, Sophie is dedicated to giving people greater understanding on the topic of mental health so we can more effectively take a preventative rather than a reactive approach.

Opinium recently released a report titled Opening the Conversation: Mental Wellbeing at Work and in a survey of 400 PR professionals in the UK to be released this month, Opinium found:

  • 89% have struggled with their mental health in the last 12 months (that includes stress, anxiety, feeling low / down, panic attacks, exhaustion/ burnout, stress, other mental health problems), versus 62% in wider worker population
  • Only 31% of those who struggled took any time off work for their mental health (vs. 36% wider worker population). Compared to 63% for physical health (vs. 59% wider worker population).

 Top stresses in PR:

  • Workload (59%)
  • Impending deadline/ targets (45%)
  • Not feeling good at their job (41%)
  • Demands from clients (41%)
  • Poor work-life balance (40%)

Promisingly 53% think their employer takes the mental health and wellbeing of their employees seriously (vs 44% in wider worker population).

To help employers address mental health and wellbeing of their employees, Opinium has launched a workplace audit that is academically robust and gives a tailored approach to give both actionable insights and a benchmark to assess and compare mental health wellbeing.

We continue hearing the #threewishes from PR leaders from around the world with this episode featuring Mark Worthington from Klareco in Singapore; Kornelia Spodzeieja from  Charles Barker in Germany; Sarah Matthew, Founder of Vibrant Company in the UK; and Michael Pooley, Founder Map Collective.

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