Today marks International Men’s Day – a day to celebrate male role models in all their diversity and raise awareness of the issues facing men today. As with International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day aims to promote equality, work against damaging gender stereotypes and give people the confidence to speak out.
When it comes to mental health, it is no secret that many men suffer in silence. According to emotional support charity Samaritans, men in the UK are three times more likely to die from suicide than women. International Men’s Day aims to tackle the toxic stereotypes surrounding masculinity and to get people talking about the pressures faced by men in society.
According to Mental Health Foundation, in England currently around 1 in 8 men suffer from common mental health problems, yet men have been found less likely to access psychological therapies than women (making up only 36% of referrals). They are also less likely to tell family and friends about their concerns and are more likely to use potentially harmful coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol. However, according to further research, men are willing to ask for help if the support is readily available, engaging, and meets their preferences.
Whilst the dialogue surrounding masculinity is definitely changing for the better, with many male public figures now speaking out about the pressures of fitting into the traditional masculine mould, the statistics show that much more needs to be done as many men still don’t feel confident talking about their mental health. International Men’s Day hopes to change this, by showing that expressing your feelings and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of immense strength which will inevitably help save lives.
At JBP, we are extremely lucky in that we love to talk and are passionate about the power of shared knowledge – after all, a problem shared is a problem halved. We are also under no illusion that work can be stressful, and therefore encourage each other to speak openly about our mental health. Therefore, this International Men’s Day, we asked our brilliant male employees to share their tips about how they cope when the going gets tough…
“The best remedy for me to deal with stress is to talk about it and listen when others are stressed too. Having someone in the office you can speak to is extremely powerful, and we’re lucky to be in a position where there are lots of these people around!”
“I can’t go a day without either a walk or some sort of movement involved. My favourite days are when I can fit in a gym session at lunch, I forget about any stresses and clear my head, plus I’m back in the office feeling more energised after a morning at my desk.
“Just a minute spent concentrated on deep breathing can help your body’s rhythm calm from stress, or just keep your mind from running away with too many thoughts leading to feeling overwhelmed. I do this on the train during my commute.”
“Air-conditioned offices and multiple cups of caffeine can cook up a perfectly dehydrated storm. I find myself sharper on the days I keep myself hydrated.”
Leaving work at work:
“Although I do check emails outside of office hours to allow me to prepare for when I’m next in, to stop me from working for too long, when possible I leave my laptop at the office. So even if I wanted to work, I can’t. As a creative, it really helps to allow time to develop ideas rather than simply reacting to a brief and produce substandard results for the sake of a quick turnaround.”
Take Regular Breaks:
“I find it beneficial to get away from the desk at regular intervals, giving my brain a short rest and allowing me to re-approach work with fresh eyes and perspective. Getting your blood flowing is also really good for your body!”
Break of Routine:
“When working in an office environment, it’s very easy to fall into a monotonous routine week after week. I personally find it extremely refreshing to give myself different things to do at lunch times – whether it be making the journey out for lunch, socialising, or just going on a longer walk – as you feel like you’ve done something that’s solely for your own wellbeing.”