How often have you seen your male colleagues openly discuss their mental health at work? Probably, not very often. But does that mean they’re coping with it better? Absolutely not.
International Men's Day, celebrated on 19th November each year, provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on men's health issues, especially their mental health. While discussions around mental health have become more prevalent in recent years, the specific challenges faced by men, especially in the workplace, are often overlooked.
In the workplace, factors such as societal expectations, traditional gender roles and a stigma surrounding mental health can create a challenging environment for men to express their struggles openly. It is crucial for employers to recognise these issues and take proactive steps to foster a culture of openness and support.
According to global statistics, men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues compared to women. So, what can your business do to encourage male employees to speak up?
Ways to create a supportive work environment in the office and remotely:
Create a workplace culture that encourages open conversations about mental health. This can be achieved through regular check-ins, employee assistance programs and workshops.
Ensure that employees have access to mental health resources, including counselling services and helplines. Make information readily available and promote these resources regularly to normalise seeking help.
Recognise the importance of work-life balance. Offering flexible work hours, remote work options, and clear boundaries can contribute to reducing stress and improving mental health.
Encourage employees to take regular breaks, even when working remotely. Stepping away from the screen, going for a walk, or engaging in a brief mindfulness exercise can significantly impact mental wellbeing.
Provide training sessions on mental health awareness for both in-office and remote teams. Equip employees with the knowledge and skills to identify signs of mental health issues in themselves and their colleagues.
Ensure that employees working remotely have easy access to the same resources available to those in the office.
If you would like to find out more about how your business can support men’s mental health and wellbeing, download this guide: IMD Employer Guide