Our mental health journey continues with Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index

Will Cook

13 Jul 2023

Mental health is a personal journey but, we know that it can undoubtedly be influenced by work. At Harvard, we strive to be a workplace where mental health discussions are normalised and individuals feel supported and empowered in looking after themselves and their wellbeing.

Mental health is never ‘completed’ and will always involve ups and downs in our day-to-day lives. Today we’re really proud to be celebrating one of those ‘ups’, with Harvard being awarded Gold in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index 2022/23.

For us, it reflects the huge commitment and effort as a business that we’ve put into our mental health pillar over the last few years, which includes:

  • Making sure we have the right people and processes to support everyone across the agency
  • Working with our clients to ensure we create a healthy environment, while ensuring any reference to mental health is done from an educated and inclusive place
  • Creating an open culture through knowledge sharing and initiatives to support learning, self-education and sharing across the agency
  • Using the voice of the agency both internally and externally to create change in the industry

One of the things we are most proud of is our role in convening agencies across the industry to create State of Us, a mental health network that will educate, support and be a force for change in the marketing and communications industry.

Being part of Mind’s index was critical in helping us measure the impact of activities like this, and ensure we’re not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

But there is so much more to be done.

While it’s encouraging that a number of businesses are prioritising mental health post-pandemic, this will always be a journey with more road ahead. In our industry alone, half of PR marketing and communications professionals have experienced severe stress, anxiety or burnout in the last 12 months, three times more than average. In addition, almost eight in 10 who reported their mental health challenge to their employer went on to feel discriminated by colleagues. A stark reminder that much more still needs to be done.

While we can’t control all market forces, as a business we remain fully committed to our mental health journey both for our people and across the industry.

Already this year, we’ve launched Wednesday Wanders, following Men’s Mental Health Week, to support men’s mental health by providing a safe space to walk, talk and share. This is about destigmatising mental health and the barriers that prevent men from talking about their wellbeing – all while taking a stroll around St James Park.

We’re continuing to drive momentum across the industries with State of Us. And using the Mind Index, we’re putting in place a structure to gather regular feedback to improve our mental health programme to ensure it’s providing value.

When it comes to mental health, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We must continue to improve and evolve how we work and behave to ensure our health and wellbeing is always priority number one. Our journey continues…