It has been a long held belief that men do not always find it difficult to talk about mental health issues, however new figures from health and wellbeing consultancy, Health Assured, suggest that this is changing.

The consultancy found that 79 percent of the managers they interviewed reported an increase in the number of male employees citing stress and anxiety as reasons for absence from work. A further percent of the male employees interviewed said that they had been reduced to tears due to stress and anxiety prompted by their work.

David Price, managing director of Health Assured, commented on the findings: “Mental health, particularly in the workplace, has had a long standing stigma attached to it, but now it seems that men are starting to be more open and honest about how they are feeling at work.”

Despite the new spirit of openness discovered by the poll, the results also highlighted the insecurities some employers have about tackling male mental health issues. The study found that 77 percent of employers felt unsure about how to approach the issue when confronted with it.

“If employees feel uncomfortable talking with their management about health issues, the company should provide access to a telephone advice service for all employees to seek confidential and professional guidance on any issues they are facing including mental health concerns,” the managing director continued.

Despite the misgivings of sections of management, the study found that of the men that did opt to speak up, 71 percent wished they had done so sooner after they had taken the step.

“As more and more men are starting to raise issues of mental health with their management, now is the time to take action and prevent male employees from reverting back into their shell and internalising any problems they are experiencing,” Price concluded.