As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Advance TRS are exploring male mental health and raising awareness of the importance of talking about your mental wellbeing.

In England, around one in eight men has a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s hard to ignore the statistics, with suicide being a leading cause of death for men up to the age of forty. Three times as many men as women die by suicide.

So why do men struggle to open up about their mental health? Society’s expectations and gender roles may play a part in the difficulty to discuss or seek help for their troubles. Men were often encouraged to appear “manly” or not show their emotions, in control and a provider for the home. This stigma can cause men to suppress their emotions for fear of how they will be received.

It is also thought that men may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and unable to process the way they are feeling. Many might find themselves engaging in risky activities, picking fights and substance misuse to cope.

It is clear that more needs to be done to improve the reality that men are facing. So what can we do to support and encourage change? Several campaigns have recently emerged, encouraging men to talk about their mental health. To help break the stigma, be sure to check in on your colleagues, employees, friends, and family. Regularly ask how they are to show they have your support. As a result, this will open up the conversation for you to both discuss worries if necessary.

What is the industry doing to support mental health?

More than 25,000 railway staff have now been trained to identify and help vulnerable people, inside and outside of the rail network, thanks to a Samaritans’ partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry.

The charity also runs a Small Talk Saves Lives campaign in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police. The campaign aims to encourage the public to use the skills they already have by simply starting a conversation if they see someone who needs help. A little small talk and simple question can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and help start them on the journey to recovery.

More and more construction businesses are also starting to see their staff’s mental health as a priority. Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity raising awareness and addressing poor mental health across industries, focusing on construction, as well as related sectors. They work in partnership with industry-leading organisations with the aim to break the silence surrounding mental ill-health.

Helpful resources

Charity Movember has a variety of great tools on how to have a conversation with someone you believe is struggling.

If you need someone to talk to then Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7. They are there to talk to, listen and they won’t judge or tell you what to do.

C.A.L.M is a National helpline for men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58 (UK). They are available from 5pm-midnight 365 days a year.

When you’re experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change your life. Mind mental health charity believes no one should have to face this alone. Infoline: 0300 123 3393.

For support when you’re struggling to cope, Text Shout to 85258. If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support.

The Construction Industry Helpline provides a 24/7 safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. Call their helpline on 0345 605 1956 (UK) or text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK). They also offer a free Helpline App, offering advice on a variety of conditions or issues, self- assessment tools, coping strategies and referral pathways to access expert advice and support.

Advance TRS

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals for the built environment. 

We have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders to provide a first point of contact for our staff if needed. We also offer our a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time.

From the very beginning our Group Managing Director Andy has nurtured a close family feel office culture, where colleagues work together, socialise and look out for each other.

We are always looking for new talented and ambitious people to join our team, across our offices and in sales, management or business services.

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