19th November 2019 2 minute read
With research showing that men are more reluctant than women to discuss mental health issues, Capita is taking International Men’s Day as an opportunity to highlight that it’s OK to not be OK. Here, we share some ways in which you can recognise and support colleagues to be their best selves.
International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on 19th November as a day focusing on men’s mental health. In the UK, men accounted for three quarters of all suicides in 2018, and 12.5% of men suffer from a common mental health disorder – yet men are still less likely than women to seek psychological therapies.
Earlier this year, we highlighted the importance of discussing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Since then, we’ve been continuing to encourage and support all colleagues to feel they can come to work as their true selves.
The strapline for International Men’s Day is ‘men leading by example’. But in reality everyone, not just men, should feel they can follow this and know that they can be an ally, supporting colleagues where they can.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the ways in which people can show support to their co-workers.
If you’ve noticed a colleague who doesn’t seem like themselves, ask how they are doing. And then maybe ask again. It’s really easy for someone to give a flippant “I’m fine!” answer when asked, but this could be masking something that, if offered the genuine opportunity, they may want to talk about.
This month is also Movember, so it’s a timely reminder for men to check themselves for testicular cancer (as well as breast cancer, which is a lesser-known risk). And if you have a colleague growing a ‘tache, you could consider sponsoring them – all money raised for the cause goes towards tackling prostate and testicular cancer, as well as to suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
One simple but crucial act is to simply be open about your own wellbeing challenges in the workplace. Talking about having depression, anxiety or other mental health issues helps it to become more normal and accepted, which in turn can encourage others to speak up or seek help.
At Capita Customer Management, we’re also working with Andy’s Man Club, a Yorkshire-based organisation who run weekly support meetings for men across the UK.
However your business chooses to engage with International Men’s Day, we can all be allies to our friends, family and colleagues.