Pentagon have been advocates of wellbeing and selfcare for some time now, through different initiatives such as weekly free fruit supply we have encouraged our staff to look after their physical and mental wellbeing, but the pandemic has seen us elevate this initiative to new highs.
Utilising our factory based electronic notice boards we have actively raised awareness surrounding mental health through the pandemic and encouraged our employees to look after their physical wellbeing. Providing tips on self-care and openly looking at positive ways to look after their mental health through times of challenge.
It is no secret that manufacturing is still a heavily male dominant industry, and it is a well-known fact that men are less likely to talk openly about their mental health and wellbeing.
Men aged 45-59 are now the highest at-risk group for suicide(Source: MHFA England) and according to the ONS men accounted for about ¾ of suicide deaths registered in 2019, 4,303 compared with 1,388 women (Source: The Guardian).
It is thought that in the UK, men are only half as likely as women to access psychological therapies and are less likely to speak to friends or family about mental health issues. Further studies have found that male suicide is most common in men under 50. (Source: BMI Healthcare).
These statistics highlight the difference in how men and women approach the subject of mental health. The social pressures on men often mean that it is harder for them to open-up and discuss feelings or ask for help, by highlighting the benefits of both physical and mental wellbeing in the work place we are actively working to break down stigmas associated with Mental Health for all genders.
The level of awareness around mental health has risen greatly over more recent times and as an employer within the manufacturing sector we have encouraged our employees to become more aware of their own headspace. And to further support our employees, we now have a qualified mental health first aider within the senior leadership team.
Our staff are the beating heart of our business and adding this additional layer of support has been invaluable. Offering a safe and confidential platform for staff to be able to talk freely about their mental health over these last months has been a true asset. Through the training delivered by MHFA England we have the tools to better support people through difficult times and anyone needing to source professional help.
As we take steps to travel out of the pandemic, we will continue to advocate Mental and Physical Health within our workplace. New employees to the company will receive Mental Health Awareness training as part of the standard induction process and we will continue to provide our employees with ‘Time to Talk’ sessions as and when they are required.
Some employers may question the need to invest in this level of employee support, but if you value a reduction of sickness absence, improved employee retention, open and honest employee relations and an increase in employee engagement and productivity, this really is something to seriously consider.