Today (10th October) is World Mental Health Day.
For many years, now, industry research has consistently shown that the pressures faced by those working in communications, and in fact, public sector communications in particular, have a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Back in 2017, I created an event and community called Comms Unplugged, working with the brilliant Darren Caveney and unstoppable Sally Northeast (Director of Communications and Engagement at Dorset HealthCare). The mantra behind Comms Unplugged is “if you’re not well you can’t work”. To support this, our agenda always features a combination of professional development activities and wellbeing sessions, and takes place entirely offline, eliminating the temptation (and pressure) to be ‘always on’ the work emails and social platforms. I’m proud to have been amongst the first in the industry to have taken meaningful action in this area.
Now, sector bodies like LGcomms and others are equally committed to improving wellbeing as well as skills amongst the communication profession. I’m delighted that I’ll be running a wellbeing workshop at next month’s Comms Academy in Sheffield alongside my dear friend, talented head of comms and Original Unpluggers from 2017, Helena Hornby. During our session, we will look at your own personal circle of influence and impacts on your wider mental health and create individual wellbeing maps based around the five steps to wellbeing. I really hope to see some of you there.
Georgia Turner worked in local government communications for 25 years, including as Director of Communications and Marketing at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. She now works as an independent consultant and adviser to public sector organisations across the UK. You can contact her via www.georgiaturnercommunications.co.uk or on LinkedIn.