There is a strong stigma around the mental health of men and boys that is hard to break. It tells men that they do not need mental health care if they are truly strong and masculine.
Any man that seeks professional care is considered weak. As a result, men are encouraged to bottle up their emotions and discouraged from having open discussions about their concerns and well-being.
Men and boys need mental health care just as much as other genders. They deserve support and empathy as they navigate life’s challenges just like anyone else. But how do we challenge the stigma against them so that they can feel safe to care for their mental health?
One place that can help in the workplace. Businesses can create environments, schedules, and resources that encourage the discussion and treatment of mental health conditions.
This is critical to men, who often feel that they need to be the most masculine and least emotional while at work. Read on to learn about the mental health challenges that men and boys face and how workplaces can support their male employees.
What Mental Health Challenges Do Men Face?
Before making any changes to your business or work environment, it’s important to understand the exact mental health challenges that men experience.
Below you will learn more about the stigma that prevents men from seeking help with their mental health as well as the common mental health disorders that men live with.
1. The Stigma Of Toxic Masculinity
The current stigma upheld by society discourages men from discussing their problems or caring for their mental health. Men are less likely to seek a mental health diagnosis and even less likely to seek any treatment. They are often pressured to just “deal with” their problems instead of seeking professional care.
This has dire consequences for the mental health of men. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, more than twice more likely to use alcohol, and about three times more likely to use drugs.
It’s obvious that the men in our society need help but are afraid to seek it out of fear of looking weak. Instead, they choose behaviors that can hurt themselves and others, and may even be fatal.
**If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7.**
2. Common Mental Health Conditions
Like other genders, many men live with various mental health conditions that can affect their work performance and overall quality of life.
And though they don’t talk about their conditions as often as other genders, the truth is that they are still experiencing incredible emotional pain. The top five mental health conditions that men live with are:
- Substance Use
- Bipolar Disorder
These disorders not only cause them great pain but can affect their work performance and interactions with colleagues. Therefore, supporting the mental health of your employees not only helps them but will be beneficial for your company in the long run.
To learn more about the particular challenges and stigma men and boys face, you can continue reading by clicking here. Now, let’s move on to how workplaces and businesses can support the mental health of their male employees.
How Workplaces Can Support The Mental Health Of Male Employees
Men and boys need more support for their mental health. The best ways to do this are by creating a supportive environment and battling the stigma against men’s mental health. Below are a few ways that your business can do these.
Ensure Employees Know About Mental Health Services Provided By The Company
It’s not always enough to just inform employees during orientation about the mental health services provided by the company. Ensure the information is available at all times so employees can use those services when they need them most.
Post the information and telephone number to your business’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in a place where everyone can find it.
If you have a counselor or psychologist on-site, make sure everyone knows that they are available and what services they provide. Finally, ensure that information about mental health coverage is clearly indicated in any paperwork about benefits or medical insurance.
1. Allow For Ample Breaks
Everyone needs a break from work now and then to maintain their mental health. Companies that discourage brief breaks often struggle with constant burnout in their employees, which leads to decreased productivity and morale.
Chronic burnout can also lead to or worsen symptoms of various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or chronic stress.
Therefore, break times should be encouraged, as long as they are not excessive or hindering overall productivity. Even a quick five or ten-minute break can help a male employee mentally reset for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Avoid Overworking Employees
Furthermore, your business should avoid overworking employees on a consistent basis. Though some stress is normal and there will always be time crunches, constantly being overworked can quickly deplete a male employee’s mental health.
If you find your employees are taking on too much, it may be time to hire more staff or delegate the workload better. Have honest discussions with your employees about their workload and find solutions so that they are not consistently overwhelmed.
3. Encourage Stress-Relieving Activities
Teams work best when they have opportunities to have fun with each other. Not only does this increase morale and teamwork, but it is beneficial to the mental health of your employees too.
Team building activities give your employees a much-needed break, and the positive socialization prevents them from experiencing burnout and loneliness.
Men need our support when it comes to mental health. Society pressured them to bottle up their emotions and handle their conditions alone for too long. Men deserve to be in safe environments where they can express themselves and access resources that will improve their mental well-being.
Businesses and workplaces can support their male employees by understanding the stigma against them and providing resources to help their mental health at work.
By providing professional mental health services and creating an environment that supports stress relief and self-care, companies can ensure that the mental health of men and boys is fully supported while working the 9 to 5.
Arnab is a passionate blogger. He shares sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. To get more of his contributions, follow Smart Business Daily.