Mary Whenman – WPR President
Mental health is one of the PR profession’s dirty, little secrets. Very few people talk about it and I cannot think of a single mental health role model or advocate within our industry.
Those of us who have been in the industry for some time, have probably worked with colleagues who have experienced mental illness, including depression, anxiety and work-related stress, or indeed experienced mental ill health ourselves.
There is such a stigma attached to poor mental health that often colleagues suffer in silence and their problems are seemingly invisible. A new report released today shows mental illness is too often treated as a performance related issue. For this reason the #FuturePRoof report published by the PRCA which explores the mental health of the public relations profession should be applauded.
The #FuturePRoof report shows 57% of people would feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health in the workplace with colleagues. At Women in PR, we think mental health is something we need to get more comfortable talking about, which is why we have invited Bryony Gordon, columnist, author and mental health campaigner, to speak at our next Spring Media Lunch on 23 March.
Bryony is one of The Telegraph’s best loved feature writers and columnists. Her much loved column ‘How the Other Half Lives’ for the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine, is a staple for any Sunday morning reader as she takes a street-smart, thirtysomething view of the irritations, absurdities and occasional epiphanies of modern life. Bryony’s first book The Wrong Knickers was published in 2014 to critical acclaim and her second book Mad Girl, published in June 2016, became a Sunday Times Bestseller. Most recently, Bryony set up Mental Health Mates a safe place to walk and talk about mental health without fear of judgement.
We’re joining the #FuturePRoof conversation about mental health and we hope you join us and Bryony too.