Mental health has been high on the news agenda this week, with the NHS ten year plan aiming to invest £2.3 billion in support for young people and adults suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Naturally, these headlines made me stop and think about my own wellbeing as well as my industry as a whole. Working in a creative PR agency offers a lot of opportunity for progression, but there is no denying that there can be times of high-stress for both PR consultants and our clients.
While technology – especially its rapid development – is often considered the root cause for us being ‘always-on’, it can also offer a solution. Immersive technologies such as VR and AI are therapeutically powerful and engaging for employees. Big data analysis could also provide the powerful insights needed to tackle mental health issues in the workplace once and for all.
AI start-up Humu, for example, uses AI-driven software to monitor employee data – this insight is used to personalise communications with workers, reminding them to take small actions that improve their happiness every day. Another great example is Hatch Analytics. Using their workplace data analysis capabilities, the company worked with a global law firm to develop a scheme in which senior partners hold seminars where they share their experience with mental health issues – taking a ‘top down approach’ to create open discussions.
I for one am optimistic about how we can leverage tech to tackle mental health and improve workplace welling – who’s with me?
With mental health rising rapidly up the political and cultural agenda, it is no surprise that PR agencies are now focusing more intently on the psychological wellbeing of their employees.