Does your workplace have a ‘macho mentality’?

By HCA on Friday, 16 June 2017

Half of all Australian men will have a mental health problem at some point in their life and one in eight will experience depression.

However, men are far less likely to open up about what is affecting them than their female counterparts, according to AccessEAP.

With Men’s Health Week (June 12th-18th) promoting a healthy body and healthy mind, it’s important to recognise the mental health risks in some of the more male-orientated workplaces like construction sites and mines.

“Talking about what’s affecting them and taking action are proven ways for men to stay mentally healthy, but it’s still difficult to get men to take that all important first step,” said Sally Kirkright, CEO at AccessEAP.

“Often in male-dominated industries, the macho mentality still exists where men are afraid to show weakness, sadness or vulnerability. If men don’t feel like they can open up, it can have a detrimental effect on their mental health.”

Recent data from AccessEAP shows that anxiety (17%), relationship with partner (14%) and depression (14%) are the leading personal issues for which men seek assistance.

Moreover, workplace stress (15%), career concerns (10%), and fear of loss of job (8%), are the leading workplace issues.

The work impact of these issues is difficulties in concentrating, feeling less productive and 12% have even considered resigning.

According to AccessEAP, men’s priorities tend to change with age and with that come work commitments, longer hours and the possibility of family commitments.

It is often difficult to keep in touch with friends and invest time in hobbies, which can lead to a lack of social connection.

Without someone to talk to about the demands of a stressful job, long hours or family troubles, these everyday stresses can develop into something much more serious. Men’s Health Week is the perfect opportunity for managers and employees to educate themselves about the behaviours that may indicate a colleague is going through a tough time and ways to encourage them to seek help if you’re concerned for their welfare.

AccessEAP offers several tips to help men reach out in times of need;

• Seeking help is positive for your mental health. It is not a sign of weakness • The best health is achieved with looking after both your physical and mental health • Make self-care a priority and set goals for sleep, exercise and “me” time • Maintain social contact and keep in touch with friends and family • Equip yourself with the tools and strategies you need to cope with challenging life events. Start with your EAP and a confidential appointment

Source: Human Resources Director Australia

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