Promoting Men’s Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace: Expert Advice for Organisations From International SOS. To mark these key calendar dates, International SOS shares guidance on how organisations can increase awareness of physical and mental health issues among men and encourage early detection and treatment of disease.
Globally, life expectancy among men is lower than that of women1 and attitudes towards healthcare and how people perceive preventive measures to be effective can differ by sex. For instance, on average, men (75.9%) were found to be less likely than women (84.2%) to believe that COVID-19 measures including social distancing and mask-wearing were effective for preventing the spread of the virus. When facing the same disease, men are less likely to take a proactive approach to seeking healthcare than women2.
Dr Rodrigo-Rodriguez Fernandez, Global Health Advisor, Wellness & Mental Health, EMEA Practice, Consulting & Solutions at International SOS, said “Common health conditions affecting men include heart disease, diabetes, lung and prostate cancer. In fact, more than 1.4 million men worldwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year3. Many factors can contribute to these conditions including lifestyle choices, diet and cardiovascular fitness. Regular health check-ups can help detect some medical issues in the early stages and promote positive lifestyle changes to improve wellbeing.”
Dr Rodrigo-Rodriguez Fernandez continued “The notions and stereotypes of masculinity may also be harmful to men’s health. The stigma attached to illnesses and men perceiving illness as a weakness are often the reasons why men are not vocal about their health concerns. Given these traditional societal pressures and stigma, there is a crucial need for continued focus on men’s health and wellbeing across organisations and workplaces. Employers should create healthy and equitable work environments and facilitate access to medical and counselling support that is gender sensitive.”
While both men and women can experience their share of mental health challenges, in general, men are less likely to disclose their mental health issues to family members or friends4. With a high number of the working population likely to be experiencing such issues, employers are ideally placed to drive change and empower men to seek the support and treatment they need.
Employers can provide expert counselling with high level of anonymity, training for team leads to recognise signs of mental ill-health and create a safe space for conversation. This type of support can help to improve the lives of the many men quietly struggling with mental health. A simple act such as being involved in, and showing support for, awareness events such as Movember and International Men’s Day also helps organisations create a workplace culture in which conversations about mental health issues are encouraged and supported.
Top tips for organisations to support men’s health and wellbeing in the workplace:Encourage regular health screening to help detect some medical issues in the early stages.Provide employees with anonymous access to mental health and wellbeing support that is gender sensitive.Create safe spaces for employees to have conversation around men’s mental health issues and talk about their mental health.Make employee wellbeing a core part of line manager job responsibilities and provide appropriate time, resources and training for them to recognise early signs and symptoms of mental-ill health.Be involved in global events such as International Men’s Day and Movember and highlight the focus on improving men’s health and wellbeing.
About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.
Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by 9,500 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500 as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. 13,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand by you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.
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