When it comes to overall health worries, men are less likely than women to ask for help. It means they are also less likely to be treated early and this can have an impact on the outcomes, particularly when it comes to cancer and mental health – sadly, suicide remains the most common cause of death for men under 35. The pandemic has also exacerbated concerns about job and financial security, while reduced social interaction has had a negative impact on men’s mental health. As a result, employers need to consider their ability to deliver awareness and wellbeing initiatives that resonate with male employees and encourage them to invest time in their health.
Considering men’s lack of engagement with healthcare, sharing relevant information about the support and services available can go a long way, but it needs to be done in a manner that is sensitive to their privacy. Providing benefits such as online portals and on-demand GP helplines can encourage men to access confidential information at their own pace and regular webinars and education can help promote engagement with such tools.
Beyond this, offering access to regular medical screening gives male staff an assessment of their individual risks according to personal medical history and family history and can help to encourage a more preventive approach to health. Workplace benefits such as these can have a significant impact on the health of the individual and the workforce.
De-stigmatising mental health
It’s not just physical health that deserves attention. Stigma around mental health persists. Men are less likely than women to engage with psychological therapies, yet, sadly, are at far more risk of suicide.
But there are simple and effective solutions which employers can put in place to help address the stigma and issue of men’s mental health. Providing easy access to professional support, as well as training and tailored wellbeing strategies based on employee’s individual needs can help bring mental health to the fore.
Taking part in specific awareness campaigns, such as Men’s Health Week, are also clever ways to indirectly capture the interest of employees, especially men. Sports events, fundraising and charity initiatives that bring a sense of competition can bring health awareness in a more subtle way whilst fostering workplace interaction. Regardless of the preferred method, a proactive strategy based on prevention and information is always the best route.
Proactivity is key
People generally spend around one third of their life at work, so it’s crucial that employers understand how their support towards men’s health can benefit their staff and ensure that this support is effectively delivered.
Employers have everything to gain from having a proactive wellbeing strategy that encourages men to take better care of their health.
Identifying cases and issues early on can help to avoid a great deal of distress and, in some cases, save lives.
Implementing preventive measures and supporting male staff throughout their health journey is not only vital in making sure employees are happy and healthy, but will allow for a more productive workforce, a better workplace culture and improved relationships and dynamism at work.