‘Macho culture’ in the workplace could be responsible for nearly a third of men suffering from poor mental health, according to new studies. Research by Mind has revealed that men are more than twice as likely to experience mental health in the office than they are socially, and are more than 50% more likely to be affected than women.
32% of men believe work and the workplace is the cause of their stresses, anxieties and other mental health issues, while one in seven men believe social situations outside of work are to blame. Conversely, women tend to identify work and outside life to have a fairly equal strain on their lives, with one in five women believing work was their main source of pressure and another fifth saying it was outside life.
“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,” said Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind. “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.”
The study also showed that men are less prepared to seek help or treatment, or even take time off for increased mental strain as women were found to be more able to discuss their troubles with colleagues. 43% of women felt comfortable taking time off to recover, but just 29% of men were comfortable doing the same thing. Mind is concerned that the reason for this is the prevailing macho culture that still encourages males to ‘man up’ instead of address their feelings.
“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,” continued Mamo. “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.”