Public relations can inspire mental health change

Communications professionals are uniquely placed to spark conversations around mental health in the workplace. That was the message conveyed during last night's event on mental health, hosted by iprovision and the CIPR's Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

Keynote speakers Colin Minto, Founding Partner of APeopleBusiness and Alison Kerry, Head of Media, Mind, delivered upbeat appraisals of mental health to an audience of forty public relations practitioners at the CIPR's London office.

Drawing on more than twenty years of senior HR experience at G4S, Colin Minto warned that media organisations had a duty to be mindful of the language they use when referencing mental health in reports. "Negative language stops people talking about mental health. Casual links between terrorism and mental health for example, are unhelpful," said Colin. 

Colin, who also founded Mental Health in Business, explained that 'mental difference' is an opportunity and should be embraced by businesses. "Those living with mental health issues can bring a new and alternative approach to problem solving," he added.

Alison spoke of unprecedented societal interest in mental health and shared practical tips on managing employees with mental health issues."Be human, be supportive, arrange regular catch-ups and be flexible. Allowing employees to avoid commuting during rush hours can have a big impact."

A recording of the event is available below, along with a summary of tweets from the evening.