[Editor’s Note: As May is Mental Health Month, we asked Infinite Global’s global COO Isabel Podda and VP Sophie Cikovsky to discuss the importance of mental health awareness in PR as communicators return to the office. Since PR traditionally is in the top 10 of most-stressful occupations, mental health awareness is critical. It’s more so in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.]
Over the last few years the PR industry has come to acknowledge and address the mental health challenges of being a communication professional. The job is undoubtedly stressful: tight deadlines, high client expectations and an unpredictable news cycle drive many to experience anxiety, depression and other serious mental health conditions.
Many companies have implemented changes to promote positive mental health among their teams. Employee Assistant Programs, Mental Health First Aid training, mindfulness activities and a more open dialogue around mental health can and have had a real impact on those who have suffered–too often in silence.
However, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced a whole new way of life on many industries, including PR. This turned PR’s usual mental health challenges into a crisis.
Pandemic Hurts PR Pros’ Mental Health
For example, in October 2020, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the UK reported that 82 percent of respondents to its Annual Mental Health survey felt the pandemic had negatively impacted their mental health.
Uncertainty and fear were at an all-time high and working in an unremittingly bleak news cycle escalated or introduced triggers for serious mental health conditions.
As the months dragged on, many of us were spending 24 hours a day in small, confined spaces that were at once our office, gym and bedroom.
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