Women are more likely to seek therapy but men are suffering from workplace depression at high rates.
A recent study shows that men are suffering from major depression more than some my think, and the findings of the study identify workplace discontent and other factors that are contributing to this crisis. Women may be twice as likely to attend therapy than men, but that doesn’t mean men don’t need help too.
Major depression is not to be taken lightly. In fact, depression is one of the main risk factors for suicide, which is the second leading cause of death for men under 50. In Canada, men account for 75% of deaths by suicide. This landmark study found that one in three working Canadian men reported experiencing thoughts of self-injury or suicide at least a few times a week. In addition to workplace discontent, 55% of these men reported feeling lonely. One alarming trend is that 1 in 4 of those men surveyed admitted that they were currently experiencing intolerable psychological pain.
This survey and report were led by HeadsUpGuys, a program of UBC, in partnership with Community Savings Credit Union. The goal was to address workplace discontent and other issues that are contributing to depression. Nearly 19% of U.S. workers would rate their mental health as either fair or poor and this is causing employers billions of dollars per year due to lost productivity Male workers reported approximately four times more absences due to their mental health.
“Mental health in the workplace is an integral part of worker well-being. While many workplaces have embraced physical health and safety measures – think hard hats and steel toed boots, or even ergonomic desk set-ups – the same attention has not been paid to mental health,” said Mike Schilling, President and CEO of Community Savings Credit Union.
These findings highlight the fact as to why we need more mental health resources in the workplace. Many employees are unaware of whether their employers offer these. There has been an increase in global unhappiness, and nearly four in 10 adults say they suffer from significant depression and/or anxiety or have a family member or close friend who suffers from these mental health issues. Yet, in a poll by Gallop 24% of those surveyed feel as if their employer does not provide easily accessible mental health support services.
Dr. John Ogrdniczuk, founder of HeadsUpGuys, said, “It’s time to take the issue of male suicide out of the shadows and into the spotlight. This is a serious public health crisis – we need to talk about it and start taking action. The findings of this survey reveal shockingly high levels of suicidal ideation by men in the workplace. The workplace provides organizational infrastructure and frameworks that can be used to support mental health and well-being strategies, shaping workplace norms that reduce stigma and facilitate help-seeking, issues that have been well-documented as factors that impact men’s access to mental health services.”
This study identified several actions that employers can start doing that will help with this global crisis. Some actions are as follows: “Promote mental health resources; Training for supervisors and managers; Integrate mental health checks into regular employee check-ins.”
Many therapists have had full caseloads since the onset of the pandemic. It’s important for employers to do their part in helping to minimize the crisis.