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The nature of PR work contributes directly to poor mental health, claims CIPR study

There is a mental health epidemic in the PR profession according to findings of the CIPR’s State of the Profession 2019 report, with around a quarter (23%) of practitioners saying they took sickness absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression.

Key findings

  • Just over one fifth (21%) of respondents live with, or have previously lived with, a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • Based on the Office of National Statistics UK PR population data, this percentage equates to more than 16,000 PR professionals.
  • More than half (53%) of respondents said their work contributes highly to their diagnosis.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) rated the stressfulness of their job at 7 out of 10 or above.

Discussing how PR can be bad for your mental health, Koray Camgoz, public relations manager at CIPR says: “The nature of PR work contributes directly to poor mental health amongst practitioners, according to the report. More than a fifth said they had a diagnosed mental health condition and over half said work contributed highly to their diagnosis, with unrealistic deadlines and unsociable hours cited as common causes.”

Camgoz highlights how PR employers are failing to support their staff: “Worryingly, the report reveals a significant number of line-managers fail to address mental health concerns amongst employees. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents who discussed concerns about their mental health with a manager said that nothing happened as a result of those conversations.”

Last year, PRmoment called for more help from employers to support the mental health of their employees and offered suggestions. You can read about this here. It seems there is still a long way to go.


Research company Chalkstream surveyed 1,503 respondents between 9 November and 14 December 2018. Download the report here.

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