With Movember in full swing, it’s an ideal time for men to discuss the subject of mental health. But research conducted earlier this year for Movember itself found that there are significant obstacles standing in the way of men who would like to be open about their mental health struggles.
A survey by Ipsos MORI of 1000 Australian men found that one in three feared their job would be at risk if they discussed their mental health at work. Furthermore, 40 per cent believed that discussing these issues could cause them to miss out on promotion, while a full 49 per cent worried that colleagues would make negative comments behind their back if they were open about their mental health.
This research suggests that for all the progress made in recent years, there is still some way to go when it comes to men feeling comfortable with talking about their own mental health. Movember is one of the campaigns that should be helping in this regard, but the fears revealed in the survey indicate that a shift in workplace culture should be considered by many organisations.
It’s difficult for men to get help if they won’t talk about their problems, and mental health issues are only likely to be exacerbated if sufferers are also living in fear of professional repercussions if their problems become known. Clearly, those of us working towards changing the mental health landscape need to keep it up.