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PRCA’s New Report Aims to Promote Mental Wellbeing in the Communications Industry in MENA

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PRCA’s New Report Aims to Promote Mental Wellbeing in the Communications Industry in MENA

92% of  MENA PR professionals believe that mental health and wellbeing are important to their overall quality of life. This was one of the key findings in the mental health reported that was jointly curated by PRCA MENA, the largest and most influential PR and communications membership body and international internet-based market research and data analytics firm, YouGov.  The report surveyed a total of 1,923 PR and communications professionals across the MENA region between 15th July and 4th August 2020. Communicate highlights the key findings below –

  • Less than 0.5% of respondents cited mental health and wellbeing was ‘not very important’ or ‘not at all important’
  • There is also a clear understanding that the workplace – whether the office or the home office – has a substantial influence on mental health.
  • Nearly all survey respondents say they face one or more potential mental health triggers at work.
  • 39% of respondents cited that lack of recognition at work as one of the key triggers for mental uneasiness.
  • One in 12 (8%) of respondents say they have had a mental health illness in the past.

  • There are many symptoms or indicators of mental ill-health troubling the region’s PR and communications professionals.
  • The majority (85%) had experienced at least one – on average, these people chose three different problems. These issues are all seen as serious problems by the majority of respondents.

  • The pandemic has worsened many respondents’ mental health. For others, it has improved their mental wellbeing. This may be due to factors such as reduced commuting or an opportunity to spend more time with family.

  • Three in five (60%) agree with the statement ‘I am very well-informed and educated about mental health’, with only 10% disagreeing, and the rest saying they neither agree nor disagree.
  • Respondents also say they would feel comfortable speaking to colleagues about their own mental health issues.
  • The report cites that there is a gap between the idea seeking support is the right thing to do, and people feeling confident enough to take that action in practice. There is also a small but concerning number of practitioners who believe problems do not need resolving or should be resolved by the person without needing help from others.

  • It is not unique to the Middle East that many people are reluctant to speak to medical professionals about their mental health – this is a problem across the world.
  • The majority (61%) of respondents said they would be willing to talk to someone at their work about a future mental health issue.
  • 68% of respondents who have faced one or more mental health issues in the past year have shared it with their colleagues.
  • Only 23% of respondents are very likely to convey their mental health problems at the workplace.
  • Many reasons are stated for this reticence – the top being privacy. Staff are not obliged to discuss matters they consider private – but a good workplace creates an environment in which they feel supported and able to be open and honest.

Organizational Performance

  • The Middle East’s PR and communications professionals would like their workplaces to welcome more concrete measures around mental health.
  • Data from the report highlight that employers are rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’ at ensuring there is a corporate culture of trust, respect, civility, and empathy. However, despite that generally supportive culture, when it comes to specifics around tackling mental health, those figures drop – not enormously, but noticeably.
  • While the majority of Middle East PR employers have communicated to their staff about mental health in the past year, it is not a large majority.
  • 44% of respondents have not heard any communication from their company on mental health in the last 12 months – a figure that drops, but only slightly, to 40% among companies with 250+ staff.
  • This does not mean that this percentage of companies do not care about their employers – most respondents say their workplace has organized some mental health activities or initiatives.
  • Only 16% of respondents say that they feel ‘completely supported’ by their organization with regards to support for their mental health.
  • These answers are similar for companies of all sizes – being a larger organization does not guarantee the right mental health support mechanisms, nor does being a similar organization automatically mean the culture is more personable.

 

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