Issue - meetings

Discussion Paper - Mens Health

Meeting: 14/12/2022 - Joint Staff Consultative Committee (Item 51)


To receive a discussion paper on Men’s Health.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the Strategic Discussion Paper on Supporting Men’s Health and Mental Health in the Workplace.



Audio recording – 14 minutes 08 seconds


The following Members and representatives took part in the discussion


·         Councillor Raj Bhakar

·         Councillor Claire Strong

·         Rebecca Webb


Points raised in the discussion included:


·         The suicide rate for men in the UK was staggering, which showed a clear need to create conversation on physical and mental health for men.

·         Annual events such as Movember created needed discussion and awareness of common health problems for men, including mental health problems, but there was still a clear need for more to be done.

·         Within the Council, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered support and counselling on a wide range of issues which may contribute to an employee’s poor mental wellbeing.

·         However, evidence suggests that men are less likely to want to speak to someone in person or over the phone about their mental health, so a webchat or text-based service is being explored as an expansion of the EAP.

·         Designated Mental Health First Aiders are also available to employees. These are trained members of staff who volunteer to receive calls and messages from employees who need support or advice. These Mental Health First Aiders are contactable over email or Microsoft Teams chats. Additionally, there should be some further emphasis to outline that employees can send these Mental Health First Aiders a message or an email instead if they would prefer.

·         There was now also a page on the staff intranet dedicated to Men’s Health specifically. This page is similar to the Women’s Health page on the intranet, both respectively signposting a range of specific support.

·         Previously, support for employees regarding pregnancy loss and infertility had been targeted more towards women, but there is now an understanding that men are also just as affected by these issues. Pages on the intranet regarding fertility and pregnancy loss now use more inclusive language and link the pages to both women’s health and men’s health.


In response to questions, Rebecca Webb advised:


·         The statistics included in this discussion paper record the most common cancers in men in the UK, being prostate cancer and testicular cancer. It seemed that there was less information on testicular cancer and other health issues in men, which indicates that there may also be a lack of knowledge about these other health problems.

·         More signposting on screening programs and health checks for men can be shared on the intranet. Additionally, by sharing information and signposting support, these health issues may become less taboo which will encourage men to have conversations about their health.

·         It has been noted that the formation of a Men’s Health Forum may also be a helpful scheme to give male employees a safe and confidential space to discuss their health and their problems.


It was:


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the Strategic Discussion Paper on Supporting Men’s Health and Mental Health in the Workplace.