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Prioritising Men’s Mental Health in the Workplace: Breaking the Silence

For Employees, For Employers, Mental Health, Wellbeing & inclusive workplaces

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September 2023.  Startling statistics from the International Association for Suicide Prevention indicate that the global suicide rate among men is more than twice as high as that among women, serving as a poignant reminder that men’s mental health should always remain a top priority for employers.

Mental health is a spectrum that affects all individuals. We each have good and bad mental health days. Unfortunately, there is a perception that struggling with poor mental health is a sign of weakness, particularly when it intersects with societal expectations of “masculinity.” In today’s world, it is essential to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health. Regardless of gender, both men and women must feel empowered to seek support when needed.

Society places immense pressure on how we present ourselves in public, impacting how individuals feel comfortable expressing their emotions. Factors such as societal expectations, limited resources, and a lack of support can make men less likely to openly discuss their feelings.

But why should mental health matter to employers? Every year, businesses face costs of £1,300 per employee as a result of unaddressed mental health needs. So, what can employers do to address this issue effectively?

Employers should strive to cultivate an open culture in the workplace, where mental health can be openly and easily discussed. Leading by example, employers should encourage employees to check in on their colleagues and make mental well-being a priority. One starting point is to provide line managers with training on addressing concerns related to men’s mental health. Line managers are often employees’ first point of contact, so it is important for them to have a clear understanding of how to initiate conversations about mental health and where to seek additional support.

Support need not be limited to internal resources alone; companies can also signpost employees to external organizations that provide assistance. One such organization dedicated to supporting men’s mental health is AndyMan’s Club. In a conversation with the founder, we learned that open and regular discussions about mental health are of paramount importance.

However, a significant barrier preventing employees from opening up in the workplace is the fear of stigma associated with conversations around mental health. Employees worry that disclosing their struggles may hinder their career development or progression. By taking a proactive approach and removing this stigma, employers can create an environment that supports mental well-being, effectively reducing the fear of being perceived as weak or incapable.

Promoting self-care is another way for employers to support their employees. By encouraging and valuing self-care, employers send a clear message that taking time for oneself is crucial. Each individual’s self-care routine is personal and plays a vital role in understanding what is truly beneficial and fulfilling.

By supporting the mental health of their employees, employers can help break the silence surrounding men’s mental well-being, fostering an environment of open dialogue on the topic. Our hope is that through increased discussion, men will feel empowered to share their experiences, ultimately leading to improved support and understanding for all.

If you are an employer considering your approach to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, we can help. Get in touch via mailto:enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk.

Disclaimer

Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at which the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any actions. Please contact us if you have any questions on enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk.

This blog was prepared with assistance from Generative AI.

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