That doesn’t however mean that you can pack away your initiatives for another year, protecting men’s mental health is more important than it’s ever been with the external challenges we are all currently facing!
A large percentage of men do not feel supported in the workplace when it comes to their mental (and physical) health and wellbeing. One of the most obvious reasons for this is gender bias – men don’t need support, they are the ones who provide the support.
Management play a crucial role in supporting men’s health. In fact, 28% of men say a supportive manager is important for helping them to stay healthy! Just a couple of ideas of how managers can provide this critical support to their male peers:
- Regularly conducting ‘check-in chats’ where men are asked ‘how are you’, instead of just talking about KPI’s.
- Be aware of, and promote, all health-related employee benefits (i.e. Health cash plans, Employee Assistance Programmes, Gym discounts, Private Medical Insurance schemes); men are much more likely to utilise support services that their manager has suggested, as opposed to initiating the support request themselves.
- Know your team members on an individual basis, so you can easily spot any changes in their behaviour, which may indicate poor mental health. Early intervention can then take place which could be life-saving in some circumstances. Some symptoms of poor mental health which are more common in men than women to look out for include:
increased loss of control
- If the business allows, consider altering working hours to enable (and promote) men to exercise during the day.
- See if your Occupational Health provider offers a ‘health check service.’ A Simple finger-prick blood test can identify health concerns such as high cholesterol and diabetes, which can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease (men are more likely to develop heart disease than women and a reason for this could be that men are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, as opposed to talking about their problems!)
- As men tend to work less flexibly than women, ensure you support them in accessing healthcare support. 47% of men find it difficult to access their GP and as men are less likely to reach out for support, add the obstacle of not being easily able to do so due to work commitments and it’s no surprise that men leave it, and let things worsen. Take a look at all the benefits your Medical Insurance or Health Cash plan offers, you might be surprised to see virtual GP appointments on there, or perhaps you could upgrade your cover to include them if it doesn’t already?
To be happy, productive and have the best experience at work, men need to have positive mental and physical health and employers have a duty to support them in obtaining this!
Reach out for a deeper discussion and some ideas tailored to your business/industry.
? Connect with us on LinkedIn – Peach Law (HR & Employment Law Specialists)
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