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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Spotlight on men’s mental health in the workplace

    Spotlight on men’s mental health in the workplace

    Posted on October 12th, 2021

    Did you know, the biggest killer of men aged 18-45 in the UK is suicide. It’s a shocking statistic and one that we all have a part to play in tackling. A key place to start is the workplace. A recent survey of 15,000 employees across 30 organisations conducted by Mind shows that men are twice as likely to have mental health problems due to their job, compared to problems outside of work. In fact, 32 per cent of those asked attributed poor mental health to their job. The Occupational Healthcare experts at YourGP discuss the factors that can impact men’s mental health in the workplace and what we can all do to help.

     

    Tackling the stereotypically ‘macho’ work culture

    Research has shown that work issues more commonly affect the mental health of men in comparison to women, but more than this – men are less likely than women to speak up, seek help, and take time off work to address these problems.

    This may be due, in part, to the stereotypical ‘macho culture’ of some workplaces and the harmful perception that employees should ‘man up’ and not talk about their emotions. Some men may feel pressure to be the traditional breadwinner and may assume that by talking openly about their mental health it could be interpreted as a sign of weakness or a lack of resilience in coping, and they may be passed over for promotion.

    In addition, research has shown that compared to women, men are less likely to talk to friends and family about their mental health, less likely to access psychological therapies, and more likely to use potentially harmful coping methods such as drugs or alcohol.

     

    Factors that can contribute to poor mental health at work

    • Lack of clarity about job role and responsibilities
    • Inadequate resources, tools, and training
    • Work overload and pressure to meet targets
    • Job insecurity
    • Long working hours
    • Bullying
    • Poor communication with colleagues and management
    • Lack of control and exclusion from decision-making

     

    Promoting positive mental health in the workplace

    A workplace where all staff members are supported, communication is open, help is accessible, and positive mental health is actively promoted is a happier and more productive one. The alternative is a workplace where problems are ignored and vulnerable individuals are in danger of spiralling into anxiety and depression.

    To help your team get the best out of their job and the best out of life, here are five simple things you can start to action today:

    1. Challenge outdated and damaging stereotypes about the male role in the workplace.
    2. Regularly check in with all team members, make sure their workload is manageable and that they have access to all the necessary tools and training to fulfil their role.
    3. Talk openly about mental health, include it in team training and wellness programmes.
    4. Be accessible, listen to employees if and when they feel comfortable talking about problems, and give appropriate support.
    5. Understand that not everyone can ‘leave their baggage at the door’. Events in a staff member’s personal life can have an impact on their work life. Offer them the flexibility to respond to these events if and when needed.

     

    Find out more

    If you would like to discuss further ways you can support the men’s mental health in your workplace, get in touch with YourGP’s team of Occupational Health specialists on 0131 225 5656 or email occhealth@your.gp to book your appointment.

     

    I just want to thank you for listening to me. When you are visiting the UK it can be worrying when you are unwell. You put me at ease and gave me the medical attention I needed.

    Trudy – USA

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | hcis.clinicregulation@nhs.net