James Rudoni: Focus on the mental health of male employees

In 2018, men accounted for three-quarters of the people who took their own lives in the UK, according to Suicides in the UK: 2018 registrations, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in September 2019.

These statistics highlight the need for increased awareness and understanding of mental ill-health, particularly in men.

While suicide itself is an incredibly complex issue, with any number of external factors playing a part, the workplace environment can take a pivotal role in prevention. Often, this comes down to communication.

We know that men struggle to express their emotions, but when employers create safe spaces to host these discussions, a conversation about mental health continues to be the most immediate and effective starting point for improving.

When workplaces start these conversations, they are breaking down the stigma that inhibits help-seeking behaviour. This also allows employers to help signpost individuals to where they can access further support.

Remember, it is about the way we think about, talk about and tackle mental health.

Every suicide is a preventable death, and the effect on those impacted is lasting. This should remain a priority issue overall, but there is also a need to focus on men in their late 40s, who remain the highest-risk group by age.

Mates in Mind is calling on businesses to actively manage the mental health of their staff; the best way to do this is by adopting a whole-organisation, systematic approach.

James Rudoni is managing director of Mates in Mind