Stress levels triple as PR pros warn of poor mental health during lockdown - MEPRA study

Poor mental health has ‘often’ impacted the performance of nearly half (45 per cent) of Middle East PR professionals with common anxieties over the coronavirus and job security, a new MEPRA survey has revealed.


The COVID-19 Mental health Impact Survey, which polled 108 professionals, revealed the three most common challenges faced by respondents were feelings of anxiety and panic (51 per cent), financial stress (42 per cent) and depression (28 per cent). 

Alarmingly, the number of respondents who said they felt ‘very stressed’ has tripled from before the lockdown to now (up from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of respondents).

The top three reasons why respondents feel stressed include uncertainty about when living restrictions as a result of COVID-19 will end (61 per cent); job insecurity (38 per cent); and financial issues (35 per cent).

Four in ten respondents said their organisations never check on their mental wellbeing and 38 per cent don’t feel well supported with their health and wellbeing at work.

The mental wellness programmes that respondents would like to see include training for management and leadership on mental health; stress management programmes; and meditation programmes.

“The survey results clearly show COVID-19 has impacted not only the physical health of individuals, but their mental health as well, with employees currently experiencing more fear and anxiety than usual,” MEPRA executive director Sabrina De Palma said. “The uncertainty about when pandemic will end, financial issues and jobs insecurity are causing employees to feel heightened levels of stress.”

On the back of these results, MEPRA has released a Workplace Wellness Programme, which includes a toolkit for managers to help identify and support employees with mental health issues; a free webinar series including support for managers and employees on mental wellbeing; and a free support service for anyone suffering from mental health issues.

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