Men’s Health Week 2023 is a dedicated week from 12th-18th June that shines a spotlight on the unique health concerns impacting men. This year’s theme is ‘men’s health and the internet’, which empathies the impact of technology and social media on mental health and well-being and it serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing and managing health issues proactively.
Men’s Health Week encourages men to take charge of their well-being, make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices, and seek appropriate medical support when needed. Our latest article looks at how businesses can support Men’s mental health.
The topic of wellness is becoming a top priority of Human Resources professionals. In the post-pandemic world, people are more attentive to their physical and mental health. More than 45% of employees say that their work is suffering because of poor mental health, and 65% said stress is adversely impacting their work. These numbers have improved from the previous year, but still remain high.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 1-in-8 men have a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress, or depression. When left unattended, these problems can worsen and be detrimental to those affected. This is highlighted in current statistics: for example, in the UK, 3 out of 4 suicides are men. Furthermore, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. These statistics underline the importance of removing the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, helping men reach out, talk about their problems and seek treatment.
Educate and train
The first thing that HR departments should do to help employees struggling with their mental health is to educate themselves and the workforce at large. Most of the stigma around mental health exists because of misunderstandings, misrepresentation, and misinformation. This stigma makes it very difficult for people to ask for help. It’s important to properly train management in recognizing the signs of mental illness, excessive workplace stress, workplace bullying and fatigue. Moreover, managers should be trained to handle potentially difficult conversations with employees surrounding their mental health.
HR departments can provide the right resources to employees. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) can train management on the best approaches when it becomes clear that someone on their team is struggling with their mental health. They also give telephone consultations and referrals, and can help to start your employees off in the right direction.
Work-life balance, or a lack thereof, can affect an employee’s mental health. To help employees better balance their work and personal lives, employers across the country are embracing workplace flexibility. While this looks different at every company, workplace flexibility can include flexitime, telecommuting and unlimited paid time off (PTO) policies. Flexible schedules provide employees with job satisfaction, better health, increased work-life balance and less stress.
Integrate employee feedback
Companies looking to prioritise employee mental health should ensure that employee opinions and suggestions are heard, considered, and implemented when valid. HR departments can collect and assess employee feedback in a variety of ways. These methods can include:
- Suggestions boxes where employees can leave feedback anonymously
- Team meetings dedicated solely to employee opinions, impressions, and feedback
- Individual meetings between employees and HR department representatives, where employees are free to share thoughts in a private, non-judgmental setting
- Online portals or platforms dedicated to registering employee feedback
Clearly, mental health and wellness is related to employee engagement, and expectations in the post-pandemic era require HR leaders to provide support, empathy, and guidance for helping those who need it. For further information and advice on Men’s Health Week and support, please contact us here.