This week, we’re launching our first annual campaign, to coincide with Men’s Health Awareness month. The #KeepTalking campaign aims to help tackle the stigma men face when seeking support and encourage men to speak openly about their experiences.
New data on men in engineering
89% of people working in engineering and technology are men. However, their specific set of challenges with mental and physical health is not often addressed directly. Recent research from Equal Engineers reveals that almost one in five engineers has lost a colleague to suicide, while more than a fifth have had to take time off work because of a mental health issue.
The report also found that over 89% of engineers with disabilities have one that is invisible to others, potentially making it even more difficult to ask for support in the workplace. This, combined with societal expectations and pressure for men to behave in certain ways, creates difficulty asking for help with mental and physical health issues.
Tackling stigma on men’s health
Foothold’s Trustee Richard Spalding said: “So many men find it so difficult to talk about their own health problems. Is it because we are worried how our boss might react, or what our partner might think of us? Or that we’ll be wasting the doctor’s time? Problems rarely go away on their own, and the worse they get, the harder they are to deal with. The more men start opening up, the more society will become used to it. Then we’ll all get the right help sooner.”
The #KeepTalking campaign will use support stories and testimonials from men in engineering to help tackle the stigma of asking for support. The campaign will emphasise the importance of opening the conversations around men’s health. Particularly some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.