Anyone who works in PR or communications knows that it can be a stressful profession. And the latest research confirms this. But help is at hand…
by Saranne Postans
A recent survey the PRCA and PR Week confirms what we’ve suspected and known for a while – that our industry is under pressure.
Perhaps most worrying is the fact that almost half of respondents (49%) reported feeling under more pressure now compared to 12 months ago, despite an increase in awareness around mental health and wellbeing issues in the workplace.
The good news is that many organisations have developed wellbeing strategies in recent years, with interventions from employee assistance programmes to Mental Health First Aiders trained and available.
Each of these measures is a step in the right direction, however they are focused on helping people when they are already in crisis. This seems a little short-sighted.
Perhaps the long-term solution, which in time, saves money through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity, is to invest in preventative measures, providing people with the tools and techniques they need to look after themselves.
Better to prevent than to cure…
This is where an organization called Fresh Air Fridays comes in and can help your organisation.
Fresh Air Fridays works with organisations, businesses and communities, taking people outside so they feel good on the inside. It sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true!
Through innovative 12-session programmes, facilitators work with groups, teaching the skills necessary for people to take care of their own mental and emotional wellbeing.
Each session takes place outside, whatever the weather, and covers one of 12 themes exploring different areas of life and enabling people to make changes if they choose to do so.
The feedback and results so far have been really positive:
75% of participants reported an increase in how relaxed they felt
70% of participants reported improvement in their clarity of thinking
62% of participants reported an increased ability to deal with their problems well
More than 99% of attendees saw an increase in their wellbeing scores
All participants who completed the programme said they would recommend it.
In addition to the quantitative data gathered to date there are many positive testimonials from people who have attended a programme. Here are just three:
“We decided to pilot fresh air coaching, The results were amazing! These are some of the most impressive results I have seen from a course in my career and I am confident that any business would benefit from fresh air coaching.”
“Fresh Air Fridays is a great experience. Learning to manage the stress of work and home life, looking at things from a different angle, understanding the importance of stopping and breathing, all whilst getting outdoors, bonding with others and improving your general positivity and outlook on life. Without a doubt I’d recommend it.”
“I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself, I’ve become more accepting of myself and to be as kind to ‘me’ as I am to others. I understand now that I couldn’t do anything to change what was happening but I can change the way I let it impact on my life now.”
The Fresh Air Fridays team is excited about helping all kinds of people in different types of business and organisation.
You’ll also find us at Comms Unplugged 2019 where you can see us in action helping colleagues take charge of their own stresses and concerns.
Saranne Postans is a senior communications professional and supports Fresh Air Fridays
Image via Miami Universities Library