Business in the Community calls on men to open up about mental health at work

This Men's Health Week, Business in the Community is calling on men of all ages across the UK to share their experiences of mental health in the workplace, as part of its National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey http://www.thewellbeingsurvey.org.uk.

 

The theme of Men’s Health Week 2016 (13-19 June) is ‘How do you beat stress?’. Although one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue, less than half of those affected by mental ill health feel confident to talk about their condition with their employer. This particularly impacts men, as Business in the Community analysis shows:

  • Men tend to recognise the symptoms of mental health issues at ‘crisis point’ and are less likely to spot warning signs than women. They are also less likely to seek support from friends, relatives or professional services.
  • Workplace stress remains a major problem, with mental health issues for men more likely to be driven by high-pressure workplaces and work burnout.
  • The male suicide rate is three times higher than that of women, with the most at-risk groups being working-class middle-aged men and men working in male-dominated sectors such as manual work, farming and the military.
  • 83% of men who say stress interferes with their work feel it also carries over to their personal life, compared to 72% of women.

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Campaign Director at Business in the Community, said: “It’s worrying that men ignore the signs of mental health issues until crisis point. This shows work environments need to be set up to support line managers to spot the signs of mental health issues in all their employees, particularly men, and direct them to the right support. High pressure work also contributes to men’s mental health issues and managers also need support to manage their own mental health issues. That’s why we want to hear the experiences of men – and women – from across the UK, at all levels and in all sectors, in our National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey, so we can get a true picture of men’s mental health in the workplace and help employers take action to end the culture of silence.”

The National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey is open to all UK employees working in any sector and at any level, and will run until 29th July 2016. The free and confidential survey aims to be the largest ever survey of mental wellbeing at work and to transform how employers approach mental health in their workplaces. To take part visit www.thewellbeingsurvey.org.uk

Below are Business in the Community’s top tips for employers to drive workplace mental wellbeing forward:

  • Sign up to the Time to Change organisational pledge, showing leaders take workplace mental health seriously.
  • Introduce Mental Health First Aid training for line managers to help spot the signs of mental health issues and direct employees to appropriate support.
  • Promote and communicate throughout the organisation that wellbeing is integral to productivity.
  • Make employee wellbeing a core part of line manager job responsibilities, and provide line managers with the training to support their staff, develop interpersonal skills and maintain their own wellbeing.

The survey is supported by sponsors Anglian Water Group, National Grid and Procter & Gamble, and partners CIPD, the Institute of Leadership and Management, Maudsley Learning at Work, Mental Health First Aid, MIND and The Work Foundation, along with a number of leading businesses. Find out more here: http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/wellbeingsurvey.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

About Business in the Community 

Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. Our members work together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future. Responsible business is about how a business makes its money not just how it spends its profit. It is about managing growth responsibly while reducing dependency on natural resources. It is about how the business operates as an employer, supplier and customer and how as a neighbour it helps to create vibrant communities where people can flourish. 

We are a business-led, issue focused charity with more than 30 years’ experience of mobilising business. We engage thousands of businesses through our programmes driven by our core membership of over 800 organisations from small enterprises to global corporations.

The wellbeing campaign at Business in the Community supports employers in ensuring employee wellbeing is a strategic boardroom issue. Our members are committed to promoting good physical and mental wellbeing to enhance engagement and productivity. We work to provide members with tailored and practical advice to achieve this. http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/