Men are more likely to blame their mental health problems on stress at work than women, according to a new study.
According to a survey of 15,000 people across the UK, 32% of men with mental health issues said that their job was responsible for their health problems compared to just 14% of women.
The survey, conducted by mental health charity Mind also found that although men are more likely to attribute their poor mental health to work, they’re less likely to take time off from their jobs due to mental health issues. Only 29% had taken time off for stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological issues compared to 43% of women.
38% of women believe that the organisations they work for encourage them to speak openly about mental health problems, compared to just 31% of men.
This supports the long-held belief that men are less likely to acknowledge and discuss mental health problems. It’s believed that men often worry that opening up about their problems could result in judgement from others, while women tend to be more willing to talk about their mental health with friends and relatives.
Previous Mind research suggests men often look for ways to deal with their problems independently such as watching TV, exercising or self-medicating by drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK and 75% of all suicides are by men.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind said: “Our research shows that work is the main factor causing men poor mental health, above problems outside work. Many men work in industries where a macho culture prevails or where a competitive environment may exist which prevents them from feeling able to be open.
“It is concerning that so many men find themselves unable to speak to their bosses about the impact that work is having on their wellbeing and even more worrying that they are then not asking to take time off when they need it. Our research shows that the majority of managers feel confident in supporting employees with mental health problems, but they can only offer extra support if they’re aware there is a problem.”