We launched the State of Us mental health network for marketing and comms professionals from across the sector. Our aim is to bring people together, to discuss the individual challenges we face in the high-pressured, reactive, always-on industry that we work in. Our next event on February 21st has a deeper focus and will look at male mental health in particular.
When it comes to male mental health, we can all do more. Suicide is still the biggest killer in men under 45 in the UK. It's a stat that has been highlighted many times in recent years. But let that sink in. Suicide is still the biggest killer in men under 45 in the UK.
When we think of male mental health, the first condition we think of is depression, but this is just one illness against a whole host of other factors that can contribute to poor mental wellbeing, like loneliness. A survey by the Movember Foundation found that one in four UK men are in contact with friends less than once a month, and one in ten can’t remember the last time they interacted with mates. The charity warns that isolation has serious consequences, which can lead to depression and anxiety, and at its worst can kill.
Even when we are in contact with friends, as men perhaps we aren’t very good at speaking about our feelings. I’m not just saying this from experience, the data backs this up too. Research commissioned by Priory found that 40% of men won’t discuss their mental health with close friends, family or even a medical professional. More worryingly, the same percentage said that it would take suicidal thoughts or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help.
As a gender group, if we won’t speak to close friends or family about our problems, then surely the chances of talking about our mental health in the workplace are even slimmer. So what can our industry do to change that? What initiatives can employers put in place to help open the conversation of male mental health?
At our next State of Us event, we’ll be hearing from industry leaders on the initiatives they’ve run to create a safe space and champion mental health for male colleagues and employees. We will explore what role organisations have in understanding male mental health, and discuss in groups the steps we can take to better support male mental health.
You can register for the free event here: Register on eventbrite