This year’s international men’s day theme is ‘better health for men and boys.’ It has been a difficult year for overall health and wellness however, the pandemic and current lockdown has had a huge impact in particularly on our mental health.
According to statistics, Men struggle more so with mental health issues. In fact, 80% of suicides in Ireland are men and 56% of men would not want friends to find out about their mental health problems. Workplace related mental health problems are also prevalent among men. 57% of men believe that talking about mental health in the workplace could have a negative effect on their career. 1 in 3 blame work for causing mental health issues and men are less likely to take time off for their mental health.
How FRS Recruitment promotes good mental health in the workplace
In October 2019, we launched our EAP (employee assistance programme) in conjunction with world mental health day. This is a confidential service that is free for our staff and we urge them to avail of the EAP Programme if they feel they need for additional supports. The EAP provides counselling sessions on the telephone and 1-1 counselling sessions.
In addition to this we run a wellness month where we engage with staff on a daily basis encouraging and supporting mental health initiatives.
We run step challenges, staff events and hold talks with professionals on topics around Mental Health. Last month, for world mental health day, we had a positive mental health webinar with Donna Breen, Counsellor & Psychotherapist. Read more HERE.
We also have an occupational health specialists should staff need additional support and we operate a sick pay scheme.
We increased the awareness for good mental health since all staff started working remotely
We have increased the number of webinars held with professional speakers. We circulate monthly newsletters from VHI and encourage and remind staff of the EAP on a regular basis. We host online team events to ensure our staff are feeling connected and engaged.
We have a dedicated social committee in FRS Recruitment that help promote positive mental health by encouraging employee engagement. They host internal challenges such as most walked km in a month, best views in 2km, guess the baby competition, best baked goods etc. Since the second lockdown, they have been hosting weekly challenges such as a Halloween, nutrition, reading, 70 seconds of home, community and environment and FRS got talent challenges.
We are also lucky enough to have an in-house fitness trainer/ Recruiter Matt who hosts free fitness classes every Friday for the entire FRS Network.
Why is employee mental health important for employers?
Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff. This includes placing a key focus on workplace wellbeing and FRS are hugely committed to this. We place emphasis on mental health, physical health and healthy eating. We also recently ran a webinar on nutrition for busy professionals as well as our positive mental health webinar to celebrate world mental health day. As an employer, we embrace equality and inclusion and the overall wellbeing of our staff. A team who has an employer who cares for them tend to achieve a higher performance and have reduced absenteeism.
How can employers promote positive mental health?
Advice I would give employers is to constantly place emphasis on wellbeing in the workplace. It should be a reoccurring item on the strategic plan of any organisation. Managers should be educated on how to help any of their staff who may be having difficulties. Its key for managers to recognise signs that may indicate an issue and that they are approached in appropriate and sensitive way and not just ignored.
How can men look after their mental health?
I would advise Male staff to avail of any support services should they be struggling with their mental health. A staff member can always talk to HR in confidence who can gave them guidance and support through any difficulties they may be having. It’s key to talk to someone about your worries so that you can get help. If you are not comfortable talking to a particular person, go to a person who you are comfortable with.
If you are seeking support for your mental health, please visit aware.ie.
If you are an employee of FRS Network, please check out our dedicated EAP service.