International Men’s Day is celebrated on 19th November every year in around 80 countries around the world. It’s an event that highlights the importance of addressing the challenges faced by men and boys around a wide range of subjects.
International Men’s Day encourages men to priorities their physical and mental health by seeking advice and support where needed. Most men understand that if they physically feel unwell, they can contact their GP for support, however when it came to mental health support, men often stated they didn’t know what support was available to them. So what support is out there for companies to provide their male employees around mental health?
In a survey undertaken by mind.org in 2020, it confirmed that men would be more likely to seek mental health support if help was made available online or via apps providing them with complete anonymity and was made available at convenient times of the day. This highlights the importance of companies offering their staff access to an Employees Assistance Programme (EAP).
An EAP is a confidential service accessible by employees of company that offers them access to specialist helplines to assist them with any concerns or troubles in their life. An EAP is confidential to use, available 24/7, 365 days a year and can assist with anything from counselling, CBT, legal advice, finance management, physical and mental health assessment tools as well as a wide range of other support services.
EAP’s can be purchased at company level as a stand-alone product or can be included with other benefits such as Group Life, Income Protection or even via a Private Medical or Cash Plan scheme. Often companies have access to these services already without knowing at all, this is where advo can assist with identifying the hidden extras within current insurance policies. Some of the extras may also include other resources that aren’t an EAP, but offer mental health access and support to staff much quicker than the average 8-12 week wait on the NHS.
Coming off the back of September’s Suicide Awareness Week and ahead of International Men’s Day, mind.org confirmed that 10% of men, (when feeling worried or low) have suicidal thoughts. Samaritans confirmed that in the UK last year 115 people die by suicide every week with 75% of those deaths being male. Having an EAP as an early intervention tool that staff can access before troubles and worries spiral out of control could really be the difference between life and death.
If you’re a decision maker within your organisation and would like to know how advo can help assist with your company’s wellbeing strategy ahead of International Men’s Day please do get in touch. Whether that is to review current schemes in place or to build a new benefits package from scratch, we are happy to assist.