COVID has caused unprecedented turbulence and disruption to all of our lives. In order to assess what are the mental health challenges for communications professionals in India, PRCAI and YouGov conducted a survey on 'Mental Health and the role of EQ in communication' during the pandemic.
The survey was conducted among PR firm management (51 respondents), PR firm employees (586 respondents) and corporate communication professionals (106 respondents.) Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge was work-life balance with professionals reporting higher than ever work hours:
Issues like depression and sleeplessness are on the rise pointing towards mental health challenges. Issues such as irritability have also risen sharply, while pre-COVID 40% of professionals admitted to being irritable, it now 51%. The biggest change is in the ability to sleep. While pre-Covid 33% had issues with falling asleep, post COVID this rose sharply to 45%.
Levels of seeking help for mental health are very low
In spite of being satisfied with communication at work, 60% were not aware of the mental health policies of the organisation.
Additionally, few wished to seek outside help for mental health issues:
Prmoment India partnered with PRCAI and YouGov to discuss the findings of the survey and to look at solutions for better EQ management at the workplace.
The main speakers were:
1) Sangeeta Chandran, Global Head- TCS Cares Lead
2) Nitin Mantri, president PRCAI and ICCO, group CEO, Avian WE
3) Deepa Bhatia, GM-India, YouGov
4) Archana Muthappa, head of corporate communication-Bengaluru International Airport and mental health advocate
5) Dr. Neha Bhardawaj, clinical psychologist and director, Mind Solace
6) Pratishtha Kaura, senior manager, Archetype and a Godrej PRmoment Adfactors 30 under 30 winner
Watch PRCAI's Nitin Mantri and YouGov's Deepa Bhatia take you through the detailed findings of the survey here:
Kindness, discussing mental health at work helps remove stigma
Sangeeta Chandran who leads the TCS cares function globally shared that regular communication, conveying the message that, "It's OK not to be OK", is what matters the most while creating a conducive environment for mental well being. Chandran said that at TCS there is 70% awareness of TCS Cares ( the role covers emotional and mental well being as well as safety) and a 35% year-on-year uptake of mental health services offered by TCS.
Archana Muthappa head of corporate communication-Bengaluru International Airport and mental health advocate, shared why mental health matters and her own effort in conducting a mental health survey in 2019 which found that 93% of PR professionals respondents in India work more than 45 hours a week, with over 28% working more than 45 hours. The outcome lack of sleep which ties in with the 2020 PRCAI -YouGov Survey.
Pratishtha Kaura, senior manager, Archetype and a Godrej PRmoment Adfactors 30 under 30 winner, who has recovered from COVID this summer, said that being kind and non-judgemental is the biggest tip she has for handling tough times. She told Prmoment India, "The only mantra that kept me going through the quarantine when I was tested COVID-19 positive. The virus might have made me physically weak, but mentally it made me emerge stronger."
Dr. Neha Bhardawaj, clinical psychologist and director, Mind Solace shared that emotions are central to being human and accepting our emotions is the first step towards dealing with them. She felt that managing emotions comes much later, first we must accept them in ourselves. Bhardawaj also advised that seeking perfection at work and in life stops us from being happy and causes a lot of stress.
In conclusion Nitin Mantri, president PRCAI and ICCO, group CEO, Avian WE said that getting baseline data on this issue was very important and PRCAI will continue to focus on mental well beings going forward.
Deepa Bhatia, GM, YouGov India said its important to conduct this survey every year in order to get a deeper analysis of various mental health trends which can then be effectively handled with the right policies.
Watch the full discussion for key tips on creating EQ and RQ at work (Resilience Quotient):
What the Webinar Audience said
We asked the audience their opinion on what kind of mental health policies they would like at home. This is what they said:
Additionally, when asked what kind of EQ training they would like at work, this is what they shared: