Work is main cause of poor mental health among men, says charity

Work is the 'main factor' causing poor mental health among men, a charity has said.

Mental health patients across the UK are waiting for years to be discharged, it has been reported. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Mental health patients across the UK are waiting for years to be discharged, it has been reported. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Many men work in industries where a “macho culture” exists which may prevent them from opening up about their feelings, mental health charity Mind said.

It raised concerns that many men do not feel able to speak to their bosses about the impact their job is having on their wellbeing.

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The comments follow the results of a survey of 15,000 employees – 1,763 of whom said they are experiencing poor mental health – who took part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index.

Thirty organisations, including Deloitte, HMRC, the 
Environment Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and PepsiCo, were involved.

The poll found that one in three men (32 per cent) attribute poor mental health to their job, compared with 14 per cent who say it is to do with problems outside work.

Women said their job and problems outside the workplace are equal contributing factors.

The survey also found men are less likely to seek help or take time off work – 43 per cent of women said they have taken time off for poor mental health at some point in their career, 
compared with 29 per cent of men.

Thirty-one per cent of men said the culture in their organisation makes it possible to speak openly about their mental health problems, compared with 38 per cent of 
women.

The charity said men often try to deal with problems on their own, rather than 
sharing them.

Instead of talking about their problems, some men prefer to watch TV, exercise or turn to drink, the charity said.

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The charity encourages men to open up and seek help 
earlier to avoid reaching a 
crisis point.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: “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.

“Our research shows that the majority of managers feels confident in supporting employees with mental health problems but they can only offer extra support if they’re aware there is a problem.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen employers come on 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.”