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Spotlight on Men's Health

Wellness

Posted on: Wednesday June 15, 2022

by Liam McGrath

The days of grinning and bearing it are thankfully fading. Historically, this unfortunate expectation has primarily affected men more than women. In honour of Men's Health Week, we're looking at the key health challenges facing men. 

Physical health 

Men are typically less inclined to visit the doctor at the first sign of health problems.[1] This is an issue that must be addressed as in the case of most illnesses, early detection is vital to improving recovery chances. With all staff it’s important that employers emphasise the value they place on their staff’s overall health and wellbeing. Providing proactive health and wellness benefits helps stop problems before they become larger or debilitating. This will lead staff to have fewer sick days off by dealing with problems before they worsen. When people feel well in themselves, they perform better at work and at home.  

Both heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death for men and women. However, males generally have higher death rates for these conditions. [2] Cortisol, a hormone closely related to stress, can increase the risk of serious health conditions such as strokes or heart attacks. [3] As employers it’s important we’re steadfastly aware of the role that stress plays in these conditions with the view of doing our part to support staff that need it most.  

For more on this, read: 3 top benefits for reducing employee stress 

Social and Mental health  

Social and mental health are closely related especially for men. Research has shown that men are more at risk of isolation. [4] One of the reasons is that they tend to make friends less easily than women. Isolation is dangerous as it can lead to individuals being left without proper support channels. Mental health-related struggles are one of the main challenges men face. Tragically, on average males are 3.1x more likely to die by suicide in England than females. [5] There are an infinite number of reasons why someone may end up feeling suicidal but feeling isolated and unable to talk through what’s wrong will certainly be a contributing factor in many cases.  

Workplace Support 

Using this knowledge there are measures that employers can take to make sure that their workforce is receiving the support they need. This can be introduced in a few forms such as reward and recognition programs that thank staff for their hard work. Understanding your staff and the challenges they face is critical for introducing solutions that will have the positive impact you’re seeking. Employee benefits are essential for keeping your people on board and engaged. 

  1. An Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) is valuable to offer staff services such as: 
    - Free counselling sessions to discuss what’s worrying them most. 
    - 24/7 access to a free confidential helpline where staff can speak to a trained advisor and get actionable advice on issues like loneliness, relationships, and stress.   
    - An online resource library to help improve their overall wellbeing.  

  2. An Online GP service allows staff flexible access to GPs around the clock. They are especially useful for staff whose work means typical GP surgery office hours don’t work with them.   

Our team of employee benefit specialists would be happy to help you formulate the right solution for your organisation. Contact us to get started.  

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[1] https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/mens-health/are-men-less-likely-to-visit-their-gp-than-women/#:~:text=On%20average%2C%20men%20visit%20their,a%20year%20that%20women%20go 
[2] High Stress Levels Can Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke Even With Normal Blood Pressure | Everyday Health 
[4] Research shows men are more lonely than women - Voluntary Action Sheffield (vas.org.uk) 
[3] + [5] Chapter 2: major causes of death and how they have changed - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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