So it’s #mentalhealthawarenessweek – I was reminded of this soon after my alarm went off this morning, my bleary eyes were scrolling through social media checking out today’s news agenda. The hashtag was appearing alongside the many (too many?) savvy brands who have chosen to be part of the conversation, journalists usefully directing people to support and friends sending out simple but positive messages; even the (young) Royal family are working hard to change the stigma around the mental health conversation.
Why does this topic matter enough to make it into the Orchard blog?
Well the recent CIPR State of PR 2019 reported ‘PR is facing a mental health epidemic’ highlighting that 21% of practitioners live with or have lived with a mental health condition, and more than half (53%) said their work contributes highly to their diagnosis.
Orchard’s team is fundamental to the creative and impactful PR campaigns we deliver for our clients and the health and wellbeing of that team is essential in making that happen. We sell ideas and people – and those ideas come from people whose workplace wellbeing is my responsibility. So yes this topic matters to me.
We’ve been working hard to put in place benefits for our team to help their work/life balance, we’ve not just dreamed these up but consulted them in a new annual staff survey and asked them what is a priority? We will keep asking this question.
Deliberately part of our survey explored non-financial benefits and as a result we are investing in technology to allow more flexible working (I’m writing this on my sofa because my son has a sick bug), we have introduced three ‘summer daze’ – closing the office at 1pm on a Friday so our hard working team can get out and enjoy beautiful Guernsey or use the time to get off the rock early and travel.
When we designed our offices a shower was a must, not everyone loves a lunchtime run but for others it’s really important, as are the breakout areas where our book-lovers can regularly be found taking time out from the fast-paced PR day.
Many might assume a successful communication agency is full of extroverts (who me?!) and extroverts all have top notch mental health and a jolly time all the time right? Wrong. It takes all kinds of people to make communication work, and all kinds of people have all kinds of mental health. A recent PR Week article called out our industry for not highly valuing introverts enough, and this was my favourite bit…
So as the needs and wants of today’s human capital evolves, I’m committed our agency will too and so for Orchard every week will be mental health awareness week.
#stateofPR #mentalhealthawarenessweek #PR
P.S I’m mental health first aider thanks to training from the fantastic Guernsey Mind – I highly recommend it!