Working together to support mental health
APM is working with BAE Systems, the Department for Education, the Financial Conduct Authority, Sellafield Ltd and Turner & Townsend to help tackle mental health issues affecting project professionals in the early stages of their career.
The organisations have come together to find ways of promoting wellbeing, signposting support and helping project professionals build successful careers in what has historically been characterised as a frenetic, fast-paced and dynamic environment.
New research sponsored by APM and conducted by Dr Clara Cheung, Lecturer in Project Management at the University of Manchester, has found that found that strain on project professionals’ psychological health is a high-risk area. It also found that the work-life balance of project professionals is worse than the general working population, due to excessive travel time, work interfering with home/personal life and long hours.
At an initial meeting, hosted by Sellafield Ltd in Cumbria, it was agreed that all the organisations, together with mental health charity, Mind, would work together as a group to find solutions to these issues and others, so that project managers and the communities they serve can benefit from positive working environments.
At a subsequent workshop in London, project management professionals – including apprentices and people relatively new to the profession – looked at how employers and line managers can continue to help people at the start of their project careers, and how individuals experiencing mental health issues can be encouraged to seek support.
Debbie Dore, chief executive at APM, said:
“With mental health awareness increasing, it is important that we, as a professional body, take a closer look at what steps can be taken to make improvements in this area. We’re proud to be working with a group of organisations that represents the broad spectrum of project management, as this will help us deliver benefits for the whole profession.”
Mind is also a partner in Time to Change, a campaign to end the stigma and discrimination that can be faced by people who experience mental health problems. You can find more information about Time to Change here.
You can read the findings of the new research in the report The Wellbeing of Project Professionals here.