PR, media and marketing suffering from a mental illness epidemic, according to CIPR

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30th June 2016 12:14 - Media and PR

A recent discussion hosted by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has revealed that mental illness is at epidemic-level within the PR, media and marketing industry. As well as this, employers are not equipped to provide their workers with the support they need whilst suffering from mental health issues.PR, media and marketing suffering from a mental illness epidemic, according to CIPR

The symptoms cited by those who took part in the discussion were anger, absentmindedness, poor sleep, distress and simple errors. These issues are usually managed as performance issues, rather than receiving the care they need.

It is widely acknowledged that mental health issues at work is not generally talked about in the workplace, despite the figures suggesting that a lot of employees are suffering.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ State of Profession Survey revealed that 30 per cent of individuals described their wellbeing at work as ‘extremely unhappy’ or ‘unhappy’.

Despite happiness being a relative emotion, the data from the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) revealed that 34 per cent of individuals had suffered from mental health issues in the past.

Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, published a report in 2014 which revealed that 70 million working days are lost to mental health problems in the United Kingdom, which costs the economy between £70bn and £100bn.

One individual, named Paul Sutton, spoke at a Chartered Institute of Public Relations event about how he had suffered from and managed his depression throughout the last 10 years. In the end, Sutton quit his agency job and decided to set up his own business.

Sutton spoke about how one particular agency terminated his employment at 12 months when the company bosses were made aware of his mental illness. Another manager at an agency dealt with Sutton’s mental health problems by putting him on a performance appraisal.

Despite there being no single solution to tackling mental illness at work, some workplaces do help to combat poor mental health by holding mindfulness and wellbeing schemes.

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