This is the month of Movember – named because men around Australia are encouraged to grow moustaches to draw awareness to and raise funds for men’s mental health, suicide prevention, as well as their physical health. Over the years Movember has become a leading charity helping to change the approach to men’s wellbeing. Their aim is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.
Awareness around Men’s health needs improvement. In Australia, men under 75 are twice as likely as women to die from preventable causes (Falster & Jorm, 2017), and in 2019 men accounted for more than 75% of all suicide deaths (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020). At AccessEAP we have over many years cultivated a culture of acceptance, openness and welcoming of vulnerability for all our staff, and, in this month of November, I am proud to see this reflected in the attitudes and interactions I observe in the men who work here. We are aware that there is much still to be done to encourage men in organisations we work with to reach out for assistance, especially mental health support.
How can you help the men you work or live with to focus on their wellbeing? Positive Psychology has some answers. You can encourage all staff to complete the free PERMAH survey. This will result in your people receiving a set of results that highlight their strengths. Research supports that working with our strengths, rather than focusing on improving weaknesses, can be a an effective way to improve wellbeing and effectiveness. And at an organisational level, we can help you work with the PERMAH results. Also effective is encouraging and having conversations around mental health and wellbeing, particularly men’s wellbeing during November. Leading by example, leaders who are more open about their feelings and who don’t need to always be seen to have the answers, or be right, are seen as authentic and encourages others to be more open.
As I consider, our culture at AccessEAP, I see every day the benefits for all staff of bringing a strengths-based approach to work and life. I also see how a culture of inclusivity of diversity enriches our workplace in so many ways. It helps us all think more broadly, more creatively, and act more compassionately. It helps us challenge assumptions, include differences of opinion, and highlights our value proposition of “making a difference”.
I am proud to be a part of this organisation and proud of the work we do to support your people to be the best they can be in life and work. For more information and tips to help men reach out in times of need, click here.