The following blog was written by #CommsHero Jules Loveland. Jules is a Comms professional who devotes her work to improving the mental health of others. Grab a cuppa (Yorkshire Tea of course!) and take 5 minutes out of your day to read this blog reminding us that if you’re struggling, there are good reasons for that and a reminder to always reach out for help.


The last 2 years have left all of us in some kind of traumatised state, one way or another. Whether the pandemic exacerbated what was already there, or brought it on, there are very few of us left unscathed by what we’ve all lived through. For some of us, we’ve experienced terrible loss, for others, we’ve been in fear for our lives. And others, the extra responsibilities we’ve had to carry have just broken us. At home, at work, it’s been an assault on our minds and our bodies.


Anxiety, stress, depression – these are all normal responses to having experienced or witnessed something difficult and painful. There’s no shame in admitting our mental health isn’t where it could be.


Mine definitely isn’t! I’ve always been known as a ‘high capacity’ person – even though I live with so little energy due to my ME/CFS. But when I started to feel overwhelmed at the thought of even having to carry out basic self care (like showering), I knew something was really wrong. After a series of traumatic circumstances, the pandemic just tipped me over the edge. Burn out had hit hard.


Knowing I wasn’t coping brought a lot of shame and guilt, especially when I considered the impact on my kids – who I was supposedly homeschooling. The first thing I did was find a therapist. I know enough about me to know I needed proper help. When I felt like I was failing, one of the first things my therapist said to me was “the numbers of calls for help are overwhelming. You are not alone. No one is coping. No-one is built to cope with this.”


And then there was work…

The communications ride and slide

As Communications Manager for a charity who works with very vulnerable people, when the pandemic hit we had to act fast. All our usual support services had to be re-configured. There was no way we were withdrawing from our beneficiaries at the time they needed us the most. We expanded and developed and changed – a lot – in a very short space of time. Suddenly ‘comms’ was thrust into overdrive, having always been somewhere in the background. Now more than ever we wanted to reach and engage and connect in ways we’d never done before.

Initially it was a buzz, long hours and flippin’ hard work but we’re all in it together, all working for the common good. The whole industry was changing the game. But over time, I got tired, we all got tired. The industry got tired. More than tired.

There have been several surveys done by the PRCA and CIPR on mental health in Comms/PR. At the time of writing, the PRCA and CIPR have just released some frankly alarming stats around the state of our mental health in the industry. I wasn’t surprised to discover I was one of the 90% of Communications professionals struggling with poor mental health. Nor was I shocked to read that PR professionals are 25% more likely to suffer from poor mental health compared to other UK workers.

Why? Because aside from the workload, communicators are carrying something the world so desperately needs, and we’ve been giving it out, over and over without recognising the personal cost. I’m talking about connection.

Saving the world one connection at a time

Connection heals trauma. A world that is traumatised is looking for healing, subconsciously it’s seeking the connection it needs to heal. Public relations has connection at its heart. As communicators, we are facilitators of connection. We’re building bridges for people to find their way back to themselves and others. Using our skill and expertise, we’re teaching society the skills it needs to be whole:

● Empathy

● Emotional intelligence

● Conflict resolution

● Clarity

● Authenticity

● Courage

We’re doing this all the time. “Just another campaign” is never just another campaign when you’re a communicator – it’s levels upon levels of emotional and mental processing and analysing and ‘giving away’. You’re not ‘just doing your job’, you’re equipping, educating, inspiring and facilitating belonging. You’re leading with the skills the world is looking for. That’s a big deal. Go you!! There’s a reason you’re called a CommsHero*!

Human Beings not human doings

But you know, even heroes need time to regroup and heal themselves. We’re not bottomless wells of resources for others. For some of us right now, all we have is burn out, exhaustion, anxiety and stress. It’s time to sit up and take note of where we’re at. Horrific industry stats have people behind them. That 90%, that’s you and me, and our colleagues. Now we know the state of the industry, we can’t ignore it. This isn’t sustainable and for the sake of you, and future generations coming into the industry, we have to act.

We’ve got to stop the busy, challenge the 24/7 always available culture, address workloads, workplace difficulties, crap leadership, reduced teams and whatever else. We’ve got to put humanity back into the industry. Collectively, it’s time to heal. We’re so much more productive and effective when our work comes from wholeness and is not driven by brokenness. It’s time to learn that sometimes we need to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’.


Of course, ‘being’ means slowing down, re-examining, and doing things differently. That can feel like a threat to our workplace but also ourselves. Sometimes the distraction of ‘keeping going’ helps us to avoid the reality of what’s really going on. It takes vulnerable courage to ‘be’. But let’s try. Because in the being, there isn’t just healing, but there is also innovation, creativity and joy – 3 things our industry needs in abundance!


So let’s take a pause. If ‘being’ is hard for you, because there’s too much ‘doing’ or because just ‘being’ has become scary, I want to let you know it’s OK. There’s help, support and a way through.


Step back. Take a breath. Tell someone. And learn to love yourself, because, hero, you just walked through a war and you won.


Get help. Don’t wait until the thought of cleaning your teeth gives you a panic attack.

British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. CIPR/PRCA resources for support.

*#commshero is a movement celebrating the everyday brilliance of people like you working in comms.

Jules Loveland (MCIPR)

Communications Manager at Dementia Adventure, certified #CommsHero