The Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA) today announced its support for Nikki da Costa’s new mental health initiative and fund for young people in Public Affairs and Lobbying.

The initiative – launching with an event at the Institute of Psychoanalysis on World Mental Health Day (Monday 10thOctober) with da Costa, Professor Josh Cohen, psychoanalyst and expert on burnout, and a panel of industry experts – will allow practitioners under the age of 35, listed either on the PRCA Public Affairs and Lobbying Register or the Association of Professional Political Consultants’ (APPC) counterpart, to receive help accessing mental health support.

Nikki da Costa’s initiative will see her commit 10% of her profits each year to cover the cost of psychoanalytic consultations. The fund will initially subsidise the cost of psychoanalytic consultations with the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis for up to 10 practitioners in need.

The London Clinic of Psychoanalysis is the clinical arm of the British Psychoanalytical Society and Institute of Psychoanalysis and as a charity since 1926 has been making it possible for many people to have access to psychoanalysis. Usually costing £120 and £80, the initial consultation sessions arranged by the Clinic will instead be offered at a reduced rate of £30 and £20.

The consultations offer a chance to talk about what has brought the individual to consider seeking support and to get an idea of what analytic treatment is like. At the end of the sessions, the individual and the consulting analyst will discuss next steps, bearing in mind the nature of the difficulties discussed, the practicalities of having treatment, and what is affordable. If psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy are an appropriate option, they would be referred to an analyst in private practice, or possibly a low-fee analysis in the Clinic.

If a different form of support would be more suitable, the Clinic will help direct the individual to a qualified and reputable organisation. Importantly, individuals will receive assistance navigating the maze of mental health provision.Nikki da Costa, mentor, trainer, and consultant, commented: “My hope is that you will also give your backing at the launch, and going forward help to raise awareness of how mental health can affect those in our industry, just as it can affect anyone, anywhere, and that there is now a source of support should they need it.

“Motivated by my own experiences, and of those around me, I wanted to do something to address this: to reduce the stigma and to help young practitioners access the best mental health provision possible, without ending up on a long NHS waiting list.”

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said: “Nikki da Costa’s new initiative means will make a great deal of difference to young people working in Public Affairs and Lobbying.

“We are delighted to be involved. Her pro-bono work represents clear, targeted actions and support, rather than just warm words, and we want to support her all we can.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Full details – including an explanation of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy – and an FAQ can be found here.