We’ve all been through a lot these past couple of years. COVID has not gone away - not at all - but we, as a Nation, are beginning to live with it. However, to adjust with this new normal in our work and personal lives, we all need to continue in being more mindful of our health and wellbeing both physically and mentally.
As employers, nurturing the health and wellbeing of our employees is not only a great benefit for our people to feel content and reach their full potential, it can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and, increased outputs of performance and productivity.
Health and wellbeing needs to have a holistic approach and be incorporated into organisational goals and objectives with tangible outcomes, with these being measured and tracked to demonstrate the benefits being realised as a result. Consideration of how areas such as; reducing and preventing top sickness absence reasons (mental ill health remains the most common cause of long-term absence, followed by musculoskeletal injuries and stress), creating a positive working environment to openly support and raise awareness of health and wellbeing matters are great core enablers to delve deeper into initiatives of what really matters or should be supported to address the specific needs of the employed workforce.
What more can be done to raise awareness about men’s health and wellbeing so they, or their colleagues can take positive action? How can we encourage a positive change do something about it?
Men’s Health Week is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of what more can be done, and what needs to change, to specifically support and address the health issues that disproportionately affect men. A workforce initiative we could all delve deeper into…
“As a trained Mental Health Nurse by background, I have seen first hand through my 37 years of working in the NHS, the ramifications of neglecting self-help or the right care and support not being accessed when needed. Having been an advocate and supporting Men’s Health Week over the years, I have realised just how important it is for men to firstly look at themselves and become more aware that through making small changes in our behaviour and our outlook can help you feel better both physically and mentally. We as men don’t tend to look after ourselves very well, me included, so this year’s focus has inspired me to do something about it.”- Ian Mundy, You HR Consultancy and Strategy Director
While we’ve been focused on the pandemic, we’ve perhaps taken our eyes off other serious conditions:
32% of men are less likely to visit their GP (particularly during working age), according to a Men’s Health Forum paper issued in February 2022. Macmillan estimate that prostate cancer diagnoses were down 29% between 2019 and 2020. That's not because prostate cancer is getting rarer (it isn't), but because men weren't seeking support from their GPs to be diagnosed. Indeed, male GP visits fell more than female visits. Services are failing to reach men in time resulting in too many premature male deaths, before the age of 65 – the top 4 causes reported in 2020 were (percentages are male statistics); suicide (75%), heart disease (76%), alcohol related (66%), and COVID (63%)
It is vital that we talk more, open up and encourage our male members of the workforce to talk and receive the support the need.
According to a recent health and wellbeing at work survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD (April 2022)), that took place in December 2021 gathering insights from 804 HR professionals spanning the private (57%), public (27%) and voluntary (16%) sectors, it reported that 75% of responders had little or no provision to address men’s health issues within their organisation’s health and wellbeing activities over the last year!
Wellbeing, mental and physical health are topics that are often over-looked by men, they need to be encouraged to think about them more so they can begin to make changes to address health issues facing them. As employer’s it’s in our gift to champion this action and support what is required, leading the way to make a change for good.
“This word is not any more about fighting and always being the strongest, you will grow and improve when you reach out for help, and you can see you are heard by your employer, family and friends. Changing your perception would allow you to develop an understanding of yourself that would welcome new changes with a low-stress level.”- Jaime Garrido, Junior HR Consultant.
For Men’s Health Week, it’s time for men everywhere, to give themselves an MOT.
We relish in producing or working in collaboration with policy makers to enhance work life experience through supportive and guiding policies and processes. Our ability to create effective solutions to reduce and prevent mental health and wellbeing matters in the workplace demonstrate the benefits of how needs are measurably addressed. Through our analysis and production of meaningful reports and recommended plans of action, we are shaping how our client’s incorporate health and wellbeing as a core enabler into their strategies and objectives.
“Often, it can be challenging to open up about how you're feeling in your body or mind. I think encouraging that conversation is the most important change-particularly around mental health. Even signposting to anonymous external helplines such as the Samaritans could help someone struggling to reach out."- Calum Greenfield, Junior HR Consultant.
We’re here to help You! If you would like more information about men’s health and wellbeing, or wider support on the subject you can find out more about our Workplace Wellbeing service line here.