A new survey by Mind, the mental health charity, has uncovered that men are twice as likely to experience mental health difficulties related to work, rather than issues outside the office.
Mind surveyed 15,000 employees; 14% of men questioned revealed their mental health problems were related to problems outside of work, whereas 32% blamed their work environment as the root cause of poor mental health. Women who experience mental health difficulties place equal responsibility on their work life and wider lifestyle.
Mind is urging organisations to sign up to the Workplace Wellbeing Index 2017/8, which seeks to promote good practice regarding employee mental health. The index helps employers see the areas in which they are doing well, and those in which they could improve, to ensure the mental wellbeing of their staff.
The new research also provides insight into why more men might attribute poor mental health to the workplace: they are less likely to seek help and take time off. 38% of women surveyed felt that their work environment would be responsive to a request for support, whereas only 31% of men felt the same. Two in five women have taken time off from work due to mental health related issues, but only one in three men has done the same.
There are some positive findings from the survey also: the majority of managers surveyed said that they felt confident in supporting a staff member with mental health difficulties (74%), however these managers were more likely to be women than men.
Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, says: “Many men work in industries where a macho culture prevails or where a competitive environment may exist which prevents them from feeling able to be open. It is concerning that so many men find themselves unable to speak to their bosses about the impact that work is having on their wellbeing and even more worrying that they are then not asking to take time off when they need it.
“In the last few years, we’ve seen employers come on in leaps and bounds when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff, including those with a diagnosed mental health problem. However, there is more to do and employers do need to recognise the different approaches they may need to adopt in how they address mental health in the workplace.”
Employers can sign up to the Workplace Wellbeing Index 2017/18 by 18 September 2017