Blog & News 4 min read

Annapurna introduces: Men’s Health Month

As you may already know, November is Men’s Health Awareness Month, with International Men’s Day falling on November 19th.

Men’s Health Awareness Month is dedicated to bringing awareness to a wide range of men’s health issues, including mental health. According to mentalhealth.org, 1 in 8 men in England suffer from a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, OCD or panic disorder, but even more staggeringly, men are three more times to die by suicide than women. We can’t ignore that men tend to be more reluctant to seek help or treatment for their mental health struggles, as shown in a recent study by Chatmon in 2020 – Males and Mental Health Stigma.

For this episode of ‘introduces’, we had a chat with Jake, a well-known friendly face in the office, about the importance of promoting men’s mental health. After studying Criminology at University, Jake moved to London and started his recruitment journey with Annapurna. 4 and a half years later, he is now a manager of Technology and Product at Annapurna ERUPT.

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Jake with Jack at our annual Christmas party

“I found my feet easily at Annapurna. It helps that I have an outgoing personality, speak to lots of people around the office and I’m always there to help.”

Jake believes that the culture at Annapurna is more diverse than ever before. Annapurna also understands and accepts that people have different interests and things to contend with outside of work. “The different backgrounds, religions, and cultures make it easy for people to open up and express their own personalities without judgement.”

The Directors are also sat in an open space where you can openly go and have a chat with them. Jake said that it is important for leaders to show this vulnerable side and also be open to talking about these issues.

“I don’t believe men’s mental health is spoken about enough – Male suicide makes up 80% of all suicides and suicide is the top cause of male death under the age of 35”

This is still due to the stigma deeply rooted in history and the traditional ‘strong male’ stereotype which is still prevalent in our society – the idea that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness. There have been advances since covid and people have opened up more than they would have done a few years ago, but more needs to be done.

“I have struggled at times and it’s only natural to at some point in your life, whether it was the pandemic or recession, cost of living, work-life balance, pressures from the role or external pressures… there are always times when you feel you are in a dark place.”

“The important thing is to check in with your friends. Ask them twice if they’re okay as people rarely answer honestly the first time”

We asked Jake if recruitment is an industry which causes a lot of stress:

There will always be a certain amount of stress or pressure, no matter what industry you are in, it’s just about learning how to manage it and having coping mechanisms. “Regardless of where you work, you are always going to have to meet a deadline or complete a task, maybe even work later than normal.”

People often don’t realise if you are stressed or burning the candle at both ends so it is always important to have things to do as stress relievers. Jake discussed what helps him to destress and get himself on a better mental health path.

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Jake with Charlie on the golf course

“Going to the pub and drinking is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction, which is fine to do every once in a while. What I like to do if I’m feeling like I need a break is have a long weekend back home to Derby”

Jake says that exercise and fresh air are super important, and his love for golf helps him achieve both. Being in a position where you rely on social media and technology is not good as it can often exacerbate how you feel. “If your fallback is to go to Instagram for an hour, then you might struggle to get out of a bad headspace.”

“It’s best to go outside, speak to people, and see your family. Within those environments, you’re more likely to open up and have an honest chat about how you’re feeling.”

Annapurna also has a number of tools that allow people to express their own thoughts:

  • Engagement surveys every quarter allow people to express what they like within the company or what they would like to see change
  • The online whistleblowing tool where people can report anything anonymously
  • Plumm mental health therapy and webinars
  • Calm subscription

 

We asked Jake what he thinks companies can do to help men speak up:

He said that it is a cultural change that starts from the top. If leaders start to speak up about vulnerabilities and mistakes and maybe even times when they have struggled, then naturally, their employees feel that they can speak up too. Jake believes that it is about normalising processes that people don’t do enough: speaking to a counsellor or therapist. People should have someone to talk to, maybe even if they aren’t struggling or if they don’t think they are struggling.

“It is always about understanding and encouraging people, without forcing them. It is also about educating people on how to cope.”

“If people look stressed, take them out of the environment that they are in, and maybe for a coffee or a walk to destress. You should also be able to ask to take a day off if you feel burnt out.”

Thank you Jake for this special episode on a very important topic that needs to be spoken about more often. If you would like to read more information on this topic, please visit the following websites:

https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/mens-mental-health
https://info.peppyhealth.com/mens-health-support-toolkit
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Jake with James and Joseph at the Best Companies Awards

Please feel free to connect with Jake on Linkedin!

Please click here to check out the roles that we have on offer and the benefits and rewards at Annapurna.

Written by Jasmine Mitchell, Growth Marketing Executive – Annapurna Recruitment

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