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Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

General Business
Managing People
Employment & HR

Men's Mental Health at Work

Primed Team
10 June 2024 3 minutes

Mental health can plague us all, it doesn't discriminate against race, age or gender. We will outline mental health at work from the male perspective. Highlighting issues with society, workplace pressures and more traditional male ideals.

International Men’s Health Focus is encouraging organisations to explore how they support men’s mental health in the workplace. According to the Men’s Health Forum, over 190,000 men a year report stress, depression, or anxiety that is attributed to work.

‘Men don’t cry’ is a cliché that immediately comes to mind and it’s still common for boys to be taught to ‘man up’. This area is changing as mental health awareness increases, but we are fighting against generations of stereotypes. Burying these gender stereotypes is necessary to cultivate a balanced and inclusive environment. Traditional ideals can cause a sense of isolation and prevent a man from seeking help from others.

80% of suicides are men— Spring Health. This is a concerningly high statistic that perfectly highlights why awareness in the workplace is critical. Every little step in a positive direction helps; what seems insignificant can have a big impact.

Here are some behaviours to be mindful of, suggested by Harvard Business Review. Remember these when engaging in conversations at work:

  1. Distraction: Missing deadlines, excessive device interaction, diminished performance and decreased concentration.
  2. Withdrawal: Increase in social isolation and high increase in sick days.
  3. Escaping: More frequent and heavy drinking, binge eating and more involvement in indulgent activities.
  4. Externalisation: High irritability, snapping at colleagues, noticeably angry.

Ways to help men at your workplace:

  • Building a safe space where men feel able to show vulnerability is key. This is even more pressing, as they are fighting many factors to open up. Try using your own vulnerability when opening up to a male colleague; use the opportunity to normalise this kind of interaction.
  • Casual ‘water cooler’ conversations or passing corridor chats are also great ways to check in with people in a less formal manner and can be more appropriate in some cases than formal meetings.
  • Offer schemes or services at work. Striking up deals with local amenities like sports centres creates opportunities for post-work activities. Consider schemes which offer a wide range of benefits, discounts, and activities. Members could have access to a 24/7 Mental Health Helpline, an excellent option for someone who values privacy and struggles to talk to people they know.

Mental health issues and stress fuel each other. Stress can be seen as a more short term issue that stops if a situation changes. Burnout occurs over a much longer period.

MindTools suggests to watch out for these signs:

  • Having a negative outlook at work.
  • Dreading going into work.
  • Trouble sleeping and low energy.
  • Being irritated easily.
  • Emotional detachment.

Working with purpose is an effective strategy for preventing burnout. Having clear goals and a solid understanding of them provides that. It will then be easier to focus on only the essentials and delegate tasks that stand in the way. With a new burst of productivity, your contributions to work and colleagues will feel more substantial. This surge could leave you with a feeling of control over your day, particularly when tasks are actively scheduled. Incorporating exercise is highly recommended for promoting health, why not try an activity purely for enjoyment? Shift the goal from health to fun, a fun sport will be much more engaging and the health benefits will take care of themselves. Take time to explore stress management. How do you know if you’re stressed? Many people don’t recognise when they are stressed, so exploring ideas and strategies to reduce your own stress is essential.

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