A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 21 - Mental health and wellbeing in PR: Why workplaces are so important
October 09, 2019
For the past six years I have had the privilege of working closely with the Margo Lydon, CEO of Superfriend – a not for profit workplace mental health and wellbeing organisation that was established by the Superannuation industry.
Margo has been in and around the industry for the past 20 years and when it comes to raising awareness of mental health and wellness I have never met anyone more passionate than Margo.
In this special episode to mark World Mental Health Day this week, Margo shares her insights into why the workplace, all workplaces, are so important in supporting individual’s mental health.
Here are a few of her pearls of wisdom:
- The sense of belonging that a workplace gives is a really important antidote for mental illness and suicide
- It is important for mental health to have that connected-ness, and the workplace provides an amazing setting for that to happen
- Workplaces who invest in creating mentally healthy environments for their people generally experience increased productivity, through increased discretionary effort, engagement and creativity. There is also a direct cost reduction – worker absenteeism, staff turnover and reduced workers compensation among others
- It is not just about the fruit bowl or the yoga. It is not just a tick a box exercise. Do a stock take, what could we do better and take it from a positive lens – what makes this a great workplace and build on what you already have in place
- Employers need to understand that investing in this will not just help my business – and there is a genuine business imperative here – it will also absolutely help your people be happy, healthy and thriving – and who wouldn’t want that?
To raise awareness and provoke discussion of this topic in PR, I have asked senior PR leaders from around the world to share their three wishes when it comes to mental health and wellness. In this episode we hear from: Chris Savage, James Wright from Red Havas, Angela Scaffidi from Senate SHJ and Robyn Sefiani.
Margo’s #threewishes are:
- Be kind to yourself and be kind to others – it is not hard
- We have a greater respect for renewal, weekends, downtime, doing nothing and being mindful – the benefit of that is it strengthens your mental health
- As society we lean into people who are experiencing a mental illness