Men’s Health Week: Occupational Mental Health in the Workplace
Every year, from the 11th to 17th June, the International community recognises Men’s Health Week as a time to bring to light and challenge the diseases that disproportionately affect men, and depression is one of those things.
This men’s health week, people are showing suicide to be the highest killer of men under 40 and in many countries, there is a culture of ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘getting on with it’.
At Kays Medical we recognise the importance of a positive office environment on mental health, as well as simple measures employers can take to create safety nets for mental health.
That’s why our Head of Occupational Health, Lisa Collier, has weighed in with some simple advice to make sure you as an employer or employee know what’s available to you and how you can help – or seek help – in a given situation.
The Government’s Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives.
A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study highlighted the impact that mental ill health can have on organisations. The study found that:
- 37% of sufferers are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues
- 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
- 80% find it difficult to concentrate
- 62% take longer to do tasks
- 50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients.
The study also found that, for the first time, stress is the major cause of long-term absence in manual and non-manual workers.
Advice from the Experts for Men’s Health Week
Lisa Collier, Head of Occupational Health, says “workplaces now offer health and wellbeing as standard, starting with an overarching policy and measurable objectives, work is good for health and companies are now being more proactive towards the health of the workplace as opposed to reactive interventions.”
But are there any simple preventive measures employers can take?
“Look after the workforce and offer advice and education on common health issues.”
And what avenues are available to someone who appears to be exhibiting signs of mental ill-health in the office?
“Start by having a robust mental health policy, training for managers and individuals to recognise the signs and symptoms, day one referral into Occupational Health to ensure early, appropriate intervention.”
Finally, with this increased mental health awareness then male suicide will be reduced, or are we just tackling the symptoms of the problem rather than the underlying cause?
“Raising awareness is vital to ensure individuals get early access to the appropriate Care pathways; employers can help by getting managers trained or get training for mental health first aid.”
“The importance here is to get employers thinking about what they currently have in the form of policies and procedures; what are the gaps and what do I need to do in order to protect both the employer and employee.”
“Employees need to feel valued at work whilst working within a safe environment and know what is in place should the employee require any help at any time.”
Kays Medical offer simple and trustworthy advice for Occupational Mental Health, and what you can do as an employer in terms of training. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you help your employees, contact a member of our team today.