Content warning: This story discusses suicide.
November marks Men’s Health Awareness Month in Canada and a new study finds workplace factors are contributing to poor mental health for men.
A survey by the website HeadsUpGuys found that nearly half of Canadian men score above the threshold for probable major depression.
Founder of HeadsUpGuys, and UBC Psychiatry professor, Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, says the findings point to a “crisis” in the workplace.
“We see that suicide is actually the second-leading cause of death for men under 50. It’s truly shocking,” he told CityNews.
“I think that it really represents a serious public health crisis and we’re really not talking about it that much at all.”
Ogrodniczuk says the disproportionate number of men who die by suicide is what inspired his resource.
“HeadsUp Guys is a place where they can go become informed, learn about important self-help strategies which is really important but also learn about different ways to connect with others who can provide valuable support and guidance in their journey to recovery,” he said.
The survey found one in three participants report thoughts of suicide or self-injury “at least a few times a week” and 55 per cent being lonely, which the report says is a risk factor for suicide.
“It really behooves us to really try doing things differently to connect with men in a different kind of way,” Ogrodniczuk noted.
With the survey focused on men in the workplace, Ogrodniczuk says it points to the need for better support by employers to ensure men’s mental health is addressed properly.