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Men’s Mental Health

The NHS ‘Every Mind Matters’ website identifies that the Covid-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted on people’s mental health in a variety of different ways, such as worrying about health and that of loved ones, being anxious about finances, and struggling with boredom, frustration and loneliness.  As such, here at View HR we have been working closely with employers who are working harder than ever to look after the wellbeing of all their employees and themselves.

As November is also the month of Movember, we wanted to highlight the work of the Movember movement on men’s mental health (they aren’t just about moustaches!).  The mental health of all employees is of course important, however they define their gender.  However, men’s mental health is an important topic, as 2019 data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) shows that the suicide rate for men in England and Wales was the highest for two decades.  The data also shows that:

“men accounted for about three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2019, 4,303 compared with 1,388 women.”

The Samaritans have conducted research into why men are disproportionately affected, and have identified factors such as opportunities to help them at critical points before they reached crisis were missed.

And so what signs should you look out for in yourself or others to identify if help may be needed?  The Samaritans and Rethink Mental Illness set out examples such as:

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired/exhausted
  • Being anxious or irritable
  • Finding it hard to concentrate or experiencing ‘brain fog’
  • Tearfulness or wanting to cry
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Changes in mood
  • Not wanting to do things that are usually enjoyed
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things and tasks

If you are concerned about the mental health of a colleague, the Movember movement suggest using the ALEC model to provide them with support, which stands for Ask, Listen, Encourage Action and Check-In.  More information about the ALEC model, setting out the steps clearly, can be found here:

Also, both the Movember movement and Time To Change encourage us to ask twice if somebody is ok.  After all, it can be almost habit to reply “fine, thanks” when somebody asks how you are, without even thinking about the answer.

Here at View HR we want to help employers to support their employees with their mental health and wellbeing.  This Friday (27th November 2020) Heidi Roper, our HR Consultant, is leading a free online coffee and conversation on the topic of mental health in the workplace.  If you are interested in finding out more, please check out the event details here.

Further Resources: