How to support men’s health in the workplace
The month of November marks men’s health month. This month we will be focusing on topics surrounding men’s health, including the biggest health risks to men in the UK. Men’s health month in the UK takes place in November and is a month used to observe the various facets of men’s physical and mental health. Whilst mental health support and research is important all year round, it’s important to observe how mental health affects men, the causes and what can be done to help men become healthier and happier. At The Doctors Clinic Group, our main goal is to empower you to take control of your team's health. So, let’s get into mental health in men and what can be done to help.
The overall objective of Men’s Health Month is to raise awareness of men’s health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of men’s health. After recent events like the last few years living through a pandemic and most recently, the cost-of-living crisis, it is to be expected that the mental health of your employees will be impacted. However, mental health has long been an issue before the pandemic and particularly in men. According to Men’s Health Forum, men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women with 3 out of 4 suicides being committed by men (76%) *. Therefore, it is more important than ever before to be aware of poor mental health amongst your team, especially your male team members.
How Mental Health has been affected in recent years
In the UK, many have struggled with mental health since the pandemic began in early 2020, with financial uncertainty and spiraling inflation, *in 2019 the number of adults aged over 18 experiencing psychological distress increased from 20.8% to 29.5% in April 2020. Out of this, *12.5% of UK men are suffering with some kind of mental health disorder.
Moreover, a study has found that *men (8.7%) are nearly three times more likely than women (3.3%) to become alcohol dependent as well as, men reporting significantly lower life satisfaction than women. So, this begs the question, what can be done for men’s mental health and what are the main culprits for the state of men’s mental health currently?
Mental health in men – what are the causes?
Poor mental health impacts your business as much as poor physical health does. After months of extreme stress, anxiety, and uncertainty it is essential that you support your team in the workplace and throughout any transition periods as they adjust to new ways of working whether it’s in the office, hybrid or remote. In order to do this, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of how and why poor mental health can come about and what to do about it.
There are many ways in which recent events will have impacted the mental health of your employees. The last few years has changed almost every aspect of our lives and of course that has a knock-on effect on our collective mental health. The main causes for poor mental health can be from external factors such as the ones listed above but this is not an exhaustive list by any means. Other external factors can also include, experiencing discrimination or workplace bullying, social disadvantages like poverty and debt or bereavement. All of these external factors have become much more common since the March 2020.
However, hereditary factors can also contribute as well, there is a small amount of evidence to suggest *that mental health issues can be passed down through generations in particular that of depression and schizophrenia. Whilst according to mind, in certain cases, using recreational drugs can lead to long-term mental health problems. This can also lead to addiction issues with drink or drugs, exacerbating the issue at hand.
Psychological factors can also play a part of poor mental health including, severe or long-term stress, loneliness and social isolation or trauma.
Suffice to say, mental health is extremely important and connected to physical health. If your employee’s mental health is suffering, it can manifest in their physical health and may look like, panic attacks, self-harm, fatigue, heart palpitations, weight loss or gain and more. Therefore, it is important to deal with any issues as soon as possible.
How to support men in your team with their mental health
There are many ways in which you can support the men in your team with their mental health. Here are just a few recommendations:
- Encourage care of physical health
- You can take this one step further by providing health assessments so that they can have the peace of mind that comes with understanding their health completely.
- Encourage regular exercise and healthy eating in the workplace
- Offer your employees free GP appointments with doctors who specialise in mental health services, such as the services at The Doctors Clinic Group.
- Even if your staff are not returning to the workplace full time, make sure that they are staying in connected and in contact with you and have some social interactions. This could be in the form of monthly team building or socials, and generally checking in with members of staff to see how they’re doing.
- Isolation can have an extremely negative impact on mental health, so organising a day or two per week where your staff can come into the office will work wonders for their mental health
- Regular breaks
- This is especially important if working from home. Without colleagues around to chat to or grab a coffee with, many employees have a tendency to work constantly throughout the day. This can lead to burn out which will eventually lead to absenteeism and sick leave. Make sure that your staff members who work hybrid or remotely are taking the breaks they need.
- At least one break per day should be taken out of the workspace. This could be a walk around the neighbourhood or simply grabbing a bite to eat away from the desk.
- Open communication
- Giving your male employees the opportunity to speak up about any big stressors in their work or life can resolve the issue at an early stage. Studies have shown that men are less likely than women to seek therapy or open up about their mental health and emotions. Create an environment where it is safe for your staff to do so.
- This also instils a sense of respect and care in your employees, which will only benefit their mental health and attitude towards work.
How The Doctors Clinic Group can help
If you don’t make time for wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for illness, this includes being mental illness too. By investing in your employee wellbeing strategy and providing your managers with adequate training to talk about mental health issues, you can reduce sickness absence and the impact it can have throughout your business.
As well as GP services, we can provide thorough mental health support with our private GPs and consultant specialists:
- Same day GP appointments – all GPs have professional mental health training
- Rapid referrals to our consultant psychiatrist and other specialists covered by all major PMI insurers
- Mental health wellbeing questionnaire for a company-wide benchmarking exercise
- Manager’s toolkit
- Mental health seminars
- Mental health first aid training
To learn more contact our team today who will be glad to assist you.