September 9th, 2019

Be a Man of More Words in the Workplace

New research shows ongoing stigma around talking about mental health at work
Mental Health
1 MIN READ

 

In the US, 34% of men fear their job could be at risk if they discussed their mental health at work, according to new research by Movember.
 
Figures released by Movember to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day have revealed that despite growing awareness of the male mental health crisis, 30% of men said they would be reluctant to open up about their problems in case it had a negative impact on their career.
 
The poll of 1,000 American men aged between 18 and 75 commissioned by Movember and carried out by Ipsos MORI, also found that 46% of men would be worried about colleagues making negative comments behind their backs if they discussed mental health issues at work.
 
A further 36% of men think they could be held back from promotion at work if they mentioned a problem they were finding it difficult to cope with.
 
Around half (53%) of employed men said they would be able to take time off work, if they were struggling with their mental health or other personal issues.
 
The research shows that stigma surrounding mental health is still preventing men from talking about their problems and seeking help when they need it.
 
Brendan Maher, Movember’s Global Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Director, said “Although we’ve made great progress in starting to talk openly about how we are feeling, there are many men worried that a personal mental health challenge might be revealed, especially in the workplace. We need to find effective ways of tackling that stigma so that men aren’t discouraged from getting the help they need. In the workplace, this can start with leaders encouraging conversations about the tough stuff and reminding staff that they won’t be marked down and will be supported if they are struggling.”
 
Movember is committed to tackling the crisis in men’s mental health through its investment in mental health programs. Risk factors that increase a man’s vulnerability to poor mental health and suicide include a relationship breakdown, acute stress, persistent low mood and social isolation.

Daphne C. Watkins, PhD and Member of Movember's Global Men's Health Action Committee said ​"Suicide is a preventable cause of death for men in the US and around the globe. To know that this generation of researchers, practitioners, and activists are well-positioned to prevent the high rates of suicide among men is both encouraging and empowering. It is our responsibility to support suicide prevention efforts because they not only benefit our families and communities today, but also the families and communities of tomorrow.”
 
To coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, Movember’s Man of More Words campaign is focused on encouraging men to talk more when they are going through a tough time. Through a series of videos and social media posts, the charity is sharing the stories of men who have benefited from speaking up. 



Movember’s research also shows that over three quarters of men (77%) polled believe that talking openly is an effective way of tackling problems. 

Brendan Maher added “We’re asking everyone be a ‘Man of More Words’. We know it can be sometimes difficult to have those conversations but it’s crucial that people reach out to someone when they are facing a tough time. It could also mean reaching out to a friend who you think might be having a tough time - and taking the time to stop and really listen to him.”