This week is Men’s Health Awareness week and this year the focus is ‘together we can beat stress.’
Now, when we talk about men and health people often assume we’re talking about fitness; however fitness is only one aspect of health. Health includes elements of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Did you know?
- 10% of men are severely or extremely stressed
- 11% of men strongly agree that they constantly feel stressed or under pressure
- 12.5% of men suffer from common mental health disorders
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women)
- Men have lower access to the support of friends, relatives and community
4 in 5 suicides are men
So, how can we beat stress together?
First of all, we need to think about whether we are we asking the right questions. Men are less likely to consult a GP than women and are the minority of IAPT user (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) referrals. The stats imply that men are less likely to open up or seek advice and support. By asking the right questions we can create an open and honest conversation that may be the first step in the journey towards reducing any barriers around all aspects of men’s health.
How to offer support in the workplace:
Reduce stigma – Around half (48%) of people suffering from mental health conditions would feel too uncomfortable to talk to their employer about their experience. Increase awareness of mental health and have conversations about it to challenge the negative barriers created by certain aspects of masculinity! You don’t need to focus on the problems, take an education approach in order to create a safe and comfortable environment.
The Attitudes to Mental Illness Report 2014 shows that 76% of people are now willing to work alongside a colleague with a mental health problem. This is a step in the right direction; however the aim is for that statistic to be 100%.
Encourage wellbeing – whether you encourage employees to go for a walk at lunchtime, provide healthy food alternatives or encourage wellbeing activities such as mindfulness, they are each a positive step towards improving mental health in the workplace.
Implement support services that are:
- Available during work hours and out of hours
Support services such as Employee Assistance Programmes are great, however whatever support service you go for – it must be effectively communicated to all employees and managers should actively promote the use of such services!
A recent IBIS report on the EAP industry suggests the usage rate in certain industries could be as low as 5% – therefore communication is key!
If you want to start your personal journey from distress to de-stress click below to download our Free Stress Guide:
If you would like to discuss how to support your staff when it comes to mental health and stress, do get in touch with me!
Chief Innovation Officer