SURVEY: The looming iceburg that’s facing public sector comms

Last week I blogged the data from 12-months of the pandemic on how public sector comms people have faced the pandemic.

No question that they have saved lives and there have been many positives. Working as a team scored well, for example.

But once I’d finished blogging the numbers one underlying trend remained.

Alarming rates of stress, mental health and physical health remain as a hangover from those months of hard work when people pushed themselves to the limit.

Almost 60 per cent say their mental health is worse and 52 per cent say physical health has suffered. These figures aren’t bouncing back. Why should they? People are not made of elastic.

Yet, mostly this looming iceburg has not cropped up with many organisations.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard of a ‘three month push to get ourselves back on track.’ People want business as usual on top of pandemic comms.

I’m hearing we’re past the point where something has got to break. Something is breaking and for some something has already broken.

I’ve distrusted mental health week since I heard the truth about the story of the organisation’s glowing case study. The manager praised in the puff piece actually acted against advice when he helped his team member.

This is a time for heads of comms to act, managers to act, chief executives to act and the CIPR and NUJ to show leadership.

I don’t know what the answer is because I’m not an expert in the field but it feels like meaningful support and understanding would be nice.

It’s time to put high sounding words about mental health you signed off into action.

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