Focus On Men’s Mental Health In The Workplace

By November 19, 2020 No Comments
Title graphic for Mindful Partners blog about men's mental health in the workplace

For many mental health charities, November is a month to put the spotlight on men’s mental health. You may have seen Movember campaigns across your social media feeds in recent weeks.

And as today (19th November 2020) is International Men’s Day, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to focus on men’s mental health in the workplace.

Men’s Mental Health: The Statistics

Because so many people choose not to seek help for their mental ill-health, the statistics surrounding mental health don’t always represent reality. However, even with so many undiagnosed cases of poor mental health, the statistics are still startling:

  • 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem
  • only 36% of referrals to NHS mental health practices are men
  • 40% of men will not speak to someone about their mental health
  • 40% of men surveyed said it would take something as serious as self-harm or suicidal thoughts to provoke them to reach out
  • suicide rates are higher in men aged 40-49 than any other demographic in the UK
  • suicide is also the biggest cause of death in men under 35
  • Work, finance, and health are the three biggest pressures that affect men’s health
  • men are almost three times more likely to become dependant on alcohol to deal with their mental ill-health

Common mental health conditions in men include anxiety, depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Male hospital admissions for eating disorders have also risen significantly in recent years.

men don't speak up about their mental health

Men’s Mental Health In The Workplace

Work plays a huge role in men’s mental health. A survey carried out by Priory Group found that work-related pressures are the biggest cause of mental ill-health among men.

Similarly, a survey carried out by mental health charity Mind, found that every year in the UK, 200,000 men feel stressed, anxious or depressed because of work.

Studies have also found that men are less likely to speak to a colleague, manager or employer about their mental health due to feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

Why Don’t Men Speak Up?

The reason men don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health usually stems down to gender stereotypes and social expectations. Even though the world is moving on from the days of men being the “breadwinner” and main earner, most men still feel as if they should appear strong and in control.

When men were asked why they don’t talk about their mental health in a Priory Group survey, the most popular answers included:

“I learnt to deal with it”

“I didn’t want to burden anyone”

“I felt embarrassed”

“There is a negative stigma around it”

Other reasons why men don’t feel comfortable speaking up include fear of looking weak, not wanting to admit they need support and not having somebody to talk to. Some of the men were also concerned about “wasting GP’s time” with their mental health problems.

When it comes to mental health at work, men often don’t speak up about their mental health as they fear their manager or employer will view them and treat them differently in the workplace.

focusing on men's mental health in the workplace

What Can I Do To Help Men’s Mental Health In The Workplace?

Creating an open and honest workplace culture that is free of mental health stigma is key to helping men’s mental health in the workplace.

Your team members, particularly your managers, should receive training on how to spot signs of mental health in the workplace. They should also be trained on how to approach someone who may be struggling and understand how best to help them.

Warning signs to look out for include:

  • noticeable and often sudden changes in mood and/or energy level
  • acting out of character or highly emotional
  • anger, aggressiveness and irritability
  • appearing unkept or dishevelled
  • difficulty concentrating or showing little interest in their job
  • isolating themselves from colleagues
  • taking more time off work than usual

In addition, you could provide team training on mental health awareness and breaking down barriers surrounding mental health. A workplace free from stigma will encourage people to open up if they are struggling.

Finally, providing support to those who need it will encourage others to speak up if they are struggling with their mental health.

Get In Touch

Mindful Partners is a specialist recruitment agency that helps people recovering from poor mental health get back into the workplace. We also help companies create mentally healthy workplaces.

If you are an employer and would like to find out more about partnering with Mindful Partners, please get in touch. Alternatively, if you are recovering from mental ill-health and are looking to get back into work, please get in touch.

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