Third of men with poor mental health blame jobs, says Mind

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Women found home and work equally stressful

Men are more likely than women to suffer mental health problems brought on by work and less likely to seek help, the charity Mind has said.

Its survey of 15,000 employees found 1,763 had poor mental health. A third of men attributed that to their job, 14% said the source was outside work.

In contrast, women found their job and external problems equally stressful.

Men and women, workers and managers, should all be able to come forward and talk about any problems, Mind said.

It said men were less likely to feel they could talk about their jobs' impact on their wellbeing, or to have the tools to support people with mental health problems.

The charity asked employees at 30 companies signed up to its Workplace Wellbeing Index. They include large organisations like Deloitte, HMRC, the Environment Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and PepsiCo.

It also found:

  • Men were less likely to seek help or take time off - 29% had been absent for such problems, compared with 43% of women
  • Only a third of men felt their organisation's culture made it possible to speak about mental health issues; 38% of women felt this
  • Men were more inclined to try to deal with problems alone
  • Or to cope by watching TV, exercising, or drinking.

Andrew Ormerod told the BBC's Today programme how his problems spiralled at work.

"I was choosing to make myself more stressed. I was taking on more and more projects, working late, working at the weekend.

Media caption,
Andrew Ormerod says he has learned to tackle work in a more healthy way

"I was working in a way that wasn't sustainable. In the end, I had a breakdown and had to take a substantial amount of time off."

He said while his employer was supportive, he wasn't aware he could get in to such a pattern. Now, he finds part-time work keeps him on an "even keel".

And, a sick leave policy which explicitly states people can take time off for mental health reasons meant people could feel accepted, he said.

"I love working, I like doing a good job. One of the things I've had to learn is how to do that in a way that's healthy and sustainable."

Mind's Madeleine McGivern said: "Women feel more able to come forward. And women as line managers feel more equipped to support people with mental health problems.

"It's about trying to balance the playing field - we need all employers to encourage people at work to be having conversations about mental health, to normalise those conversations."

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