Kuala Lumpur, Nov 14: In recognition of Men’s Health Awareness Month, International SOS, a global leader in health and security risk services, underscores the crucial need for a supportive workplace environment promoting men’s health and mental well-being.
Men’s health concerns persist, marked by disparities in life expectancy, mortality rates, and disease-related metrics when compared to women.
The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) claim a significant portion of male lives each year, emphasizing the imperative to address men’s health comprehensively within workplaces.
WHO data reveals that men, across all socioeconomic groups, exhibit riskier health behaviors, including smoking, unhealthy diets, elevated alcohol consumption, and higher injury rates compared to women. The higher prevalence of tobacco use among men underlines the urgency to focus on men’s health improvement, with organizations playing a pivotal role in fostering healthier workplaces.
Notably, men are less likely than women to seek preventive care, leading to undiagnosed conditions. Additionally, there’s a disparity in men receiving mental health treatment, attributed to the stigma surrounding illness and the perception of vulnerability.
Dr. Anthony Renshaw, Regional Medical Director at International SOS, emphasizes the significance of Men’s Health Awareness Month as an opportunity for organizations to reassess their approach to supporting male employees.
He stresses the need to prioritize mental health alongside physical well-being, recognizing its direct impact on overall productivity and workplace satisfaction.
Employers are urged to facilitate open discussions, reduce stigma, and cultivate a supportive environment for men seeking assistance.
International SOS introduces the ‘H-O-P-E’ approach, offering guidelines tailored to men’s health and well-being in the workplace:
- Hold Workplace Men’s Forum: Establish a safe space for open discussions, enabling a supportive environment for addressing health concerns.
- Offer Male-Specific Confidential Support: Provide access to confidential support from mental health professionals.
- Provide Team Leads Training: Equip team leaders with training to recognize early signs of poor physical and mental health, guiding them to appropriate resources.
- Encourage Regular Health Check-ups: Promote routine health assessments, including screenings for early detection and treatment of NCDs, along with mental health assessments if needed.
Through these initiatives, International SOS aims to contribute to a healthier, more supportive work environment, emphasizing the holistic well-being of male employees.
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