The vital role of men’s mental health in a company’s wellbeing strategy

31st July 2023

Lissa Davis

We’ve found a familiar trend when running wellbeing workshops with our clients, that men’s mental health is a frequently missed concept.  

Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of employee wellbeing as a key factor in overall engagement and success, and discussions about mental health have gained momentum. However, I believe there remains a significant gender disparity in addressing this crucial issue.

In this blog, I will explore the vital role of men’s mental health in a wellbeing strategy, highlighting the impact it has on the overall success and performance of organisations, to ensure wellbeing is inclusive for all.

Understanding the stigma

Although it’s improving slowly, the stigma around the topic remains. Society has long perpetuated the notion that men should be stoic, strong, and resilient, making it difficult for them to open up about their struggles.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, UK men are less likely than women to seek professional help for mental health concerns. 

This stigma has far-reaching consequences, as it discourages men from seeking help when they face mental health challenges, leading to potential long-term negative effects on their wellbeing, engagement and motivation and ultimately their work performance.

The impact on employee productivity

Untreated mental health issues can have a profound impact on an employee’s productivity and performance. Anyone who is grappling with mental health challenges may experience difficulties concentrating, making decisions, and managing stress effectively, but with the stigma that goes with men speaking out, that can be ever tougher.

By prioritising men’s mental health as part of your wellbeing strategy, you can foster an environment where employees feel supported and empowered to seek help when needed, leading to higher levels of motivation and improved output, and often reduced absenteeism.

Creating a supportive work culture

A wellbeing programme should go beyond offering the occasional mental health workshop or seminar. To make a real difference, it is crucial to cultivate a supportive work culture that encourages open conversations about mental health for everyone, regardless of gender.

This means fostering an atmosphere where employees feel safe to share their challenges without fear of judgment or retribution. Managers play a pivotal role in this process by being approachable and empathetic, leading by example, and proactively promoting mental health initiatives.

Breaking the silence

Encouraging men to speak openly about their mental health is a significant step towards breaking the silence surrounding the issue.

Providing anonymous helplines, support groups, or online platforms can facilitate confidential discussions where men can seek guidance and share their experiences without the fear of repercussions. By normalising conversations about men’s mental health, your organisation can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate work environment.

Training and awareness programs

Incorporating mental health training and awareness programs tailored specifically to address men’s needs can be instrumental in destigmatising the topic.

These programs should educate employees and managers about the signs of mental health struggles, how to support colleagues in distress, and where to seek professional help. Such initiatives foster a sense of responsibility and accountability, promoting a workplace where mental health is taken as seriously as physical health.

Partnering with mental health professionals

A robust wellbeing includes partnerships with mental health professionals or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).

These collaborations can offer employees access to expert guidance and counselling services, ensuring they receive the necessary support to navigate through challenging times. Having a reliable support system in place can lead to early intervention and prevent mental health issues from escalating, benefiting both your employees and your company as a whole.

To focus the mind, I’ll round up with a few statistics from the Priory Group research findings:

Following on from Men’s Health Week in June, now is a great time to recognise the vital role of men’s mental health in building a healthier, happier, and more successful working environment.

How we can help

For help and support with all aspects of your wellbeing strategy and implementation, please contact us for an initial chat.

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