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Each day this Men’s Health Week, Triple M will put the spotlight on real issues facing men and give some real advice on how to make a difference. Today, lets talk workplace stress.
While most of Australia is back at work today after a long weekend, thousands will be taking extra time away from the office feeling stressed, depressed or mentally unhealthy.
That's the finding of a the latest State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia study by Beyond Blue. The report questioned 1000 people, learning as many as one in five Aussies have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they have felt stressed.
So what's to blame at work?
Experts say workplace stress predominantly stems from long working hours, and a lack of adequate work/life balance.
Psychologist Grant Brecht is the head of Insight Elite Performance, and says we need to make sure we take time out for ourselves, doing the things we really like to do.
"Make sure that you have good life integration, so that you're not burning yourself out at work, you're not working unreasonable hours throughout the day. Make sure every now and then that we reflect upon what the priorities are in life, and make sure that we're putting time into those, and give ourselves a bit of a pat on the back for it".
Who's there to help?
Interestingly, it's men who are more likely to have concerns about a colleague experiencing a mental health condition, but more than half of the males surveyed said they would not approach a colleague about it.
Brecht says, "if we struggle, ask for help from your mates. You don't have to do that in a wimpish manner, you can just say 'fellas you know I'm really struggling now'. Every now and then you may need to go off and see your doctor or talk to a psychologist about what is happening, just to get some more strength, strategies and techniques.
Mental health advocate Wayne Schwass echoes that message.
"If you're a colleague or a family member who starts to notice something, what's the simplest thing we can do? We can simply go to that person and offer the opportunity of a conversation. Not around a bar at a pub, but saying to the person you're concerned about 'I'm not sure what's wrong, I just want you to know that if you feel like you want someone to talk to, I'm prepared to sit down and listen".
Anyone in need of support can call beyondblue on 1300 224 636.