With mental health a particular focus in November – thanks to the men’s health initiative ‘Movember’ – CEO and senior executive leadership organisation The Executive Connection (TEC) asked its members about the barriers men experienced in seeking help for depression.
Of the executives surveyed, 64 per cent said being unable to recognise the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses was one of the biggest barriers men faced. Nearly a quarter of respondents noted that pride also played a role in preventing men from diagnosing and treating their depression.
Overwhelmingly, 93 per cent of TEC members agreed that men find it difficult to discuss their problems and feelings with others.
Jerry Kleeman, Regional TEC Chair, South Australia, called for business leaders to overcome the taboo of talking about mental health and depression within the workplace.
“According to Beyond Blue and the National Depression Initiative, depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability in Australia. Each year, undiagnosed depression in the workplace costs Australian business $4.3 billion in lost productivity” Mr. Kleeman said.
“Regardless of your role or pay packet, it’s important to have access to a peer support network where you can talk openly about issues affecting you. Avoiding a mental health issue in the workplace can have devastating consequences, for the individual, their network of friends and family, and for the business itself,” Mr. Kleeman said.
To better address the problem, 73 per cent of CEOs would like to see more government investment in services for depression and other mental illnesses in the workplace.
Nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) said support for mental health should come from peer support networks established within the workplace, with 30 per cent agreeing that independent organisations could do more to address the issue.
In response to the survey’s findings, TEC CEO Chris Gorman said TEC is focused on providing member groups with expert speakers who would discuss the recognition and management of mental health issues in the workplace and at home.
“TEC provides a support network for its members. Where health issues arise, TEC encourages members to seek the help needed to deal with these issues,” Mr Gorman said.
“It is an essential part of good management and leadership to make sure that mental health is high on the agenda of your organisation.”
The Executive Connection
The Executive Connection (TEC) is the Australian affiliate of Vistage International, Inc. with more than 14,500 members in 16 countries worldwide. It is the world’s foremost chief executive leadership group for ongoing professional and personal development, helping business CEOs become better leaders, make better decisions and drive better results for their organisations. TEC membership provides unparalleled access to new ideas and fresh thinking through monthly peer think-tanks, one-on-one business coaching and speaker presentations from the top industry experts, social networking and access to best practice articles, white papers and webinars.
TEC was founded in 1957 by US businessman Robert Nourse, to test a simple, yet revolutionary idea; business leaders sharing knowledge and experiences to help other business leaders to generate better results for their organisations. The idea was a great success and subsequently, TEC began in Australia in 1986 and currently has more than 1200 members. TEC / Vistage member companies generate nearly US$300 billion in annual revenue and employ approximately 1.8 million employees around the world.
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Movember is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation that runs the annual men’s health initiative, Movember during the month of November. In Australia, Movember works with the national depression initiative beyondblue and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.