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August 29 2018Read more
It is no secret that a stigma exists regarding men’s mental health, and sadly some men still feel uncomfortable about discussing their problems openly. While the topic is becoming more prevalent with more awareness campaigns being run, for example Movember, there is still work to be done to help men feel comfortable enough to speak out about mental health. We aim to give businesses the guidance they need to help reduce this male mental health stigma. Read on for a guide on encouraging men to speak out:
Encouraging men to talk about their workplace wellbeing is a great way to reduce stress and ensure that they are not trying to cope alone. Bottling up emotions can lead to further serious issues. This is why it is important to offer a method of guidance and support to those that need it. Here at Health Assured, we have studied male mental health and have found that 77% of corporate management are unsure about how to approach the subject or offer help.
An open workplace atmosphere where communication around important issues is welcomed can also help to reduce male mental health stigma. A great way to encourage this supportive workplace atmosphere is to offer an employee wellbeing service. Implementing this will give male staff the opportunity to seek guidance from professionals in a supportive and confidential environment. This means that if they feel apprehensive about discussing emotions with their peers, friends or family, then they have another option: discuss their mental wellbeing with a third party. For example, we provide EAP services to a council of over 7,000 employees, a majority of whom are in the local Fire and Rescue Service. The staff at the fire service face traumatic situations including violence and fatalities, yet the culture is to “grin and bear it” instead of seeking support. To combat this, promotion of the wellbeing services was essential, as it helps to educate staff on what help is available and the benefits of using it. Therefore, we delivered an on-site presentation to occupational health and HR representatives to ensure effective referrals to the service. We also provide posters and other marketing materials which can serve as a gentle reminder that the service is available. This can be useful if the service is not of interest to an individual at first, but circumstances arise where they could use support.
A great way to build an open workplace is to encourage staff to join in with supportive men’s movements. Examples of these are Men’s Health Week and Movember, a charity fundraising event held every November. This raises the importance of early detection of testicular cancer and increased awareness of good health and wellbeing. Showing that your workplace supports these causes will indicate that it is an environment that cares about male wellbeing, and will also help to build trust between colleagues, making it easier to discuss any issues they may be facing.
This kind of support is incredibly important as male mental health statistics can tell us. We have found that 71% of men struggling with mental health wished they had come forward sooner. Incorporating our workplace health services will provide a way to work together to end the stigma around men’s mental wellbeing and ensure that everyone has the help they deserve. For more information on using our services, and how we can fit into your workplace, contact us for a free consultation today.
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