THE Bank Workers Charity has always encouraged healthy living for everyone in the workplace, and has a number of resources available for anybody who wants to make a healthy change in their life.

However, we have been inspired by last week’s Men’s Health Week to focus on something slightly different in this article. The Men’s Health Forum reports that men are less likely to monitor their health than women, and are less inclined to seek help when they need it, in the hope the problem will go away on its own.

This is truer still for mental health problems like stress or depression. The combination of stigma and the cultural expectations that make men feel they always need to be strong, form a powerful discouragement from seeking help.

stressedFocussing on health, and indeed taking time off work when required, should not be seen as a sign of weakness. Much as we celebrate those who go to a gym to improve their physical fitness, we must also encourage others to take time and work on their mental and emotional wellbeing as well.

If you feel you need to take time off to focus on your health, you are not alone. There have been a number of cases of prominent male figures from the financial sector admitting to suffering from stress, such as Lloyds Chief executive António Horta-Osório, taking time off work for fatigue in 2011, before returning to work and remaining in his role as CEO. Under his leadership the bank has increased its performance, and returned to profitability. Taking time off has not damaged Horta-Osório’s productivity; in fact, his successes may not have been possible without it.

We encourage all our readers to focus on their health, and especially encourage any male readers who may be ignoring mental or physical health problems to be inspired to do something about it. Whether you decide to develop stress coping strategies such as exercising or meditation, or simply wish to make a few changes to your diet, support is always available.

supportIt’s really important that you seek help with your problems whilst they are at an early stage, as they are easier to deal with and less likely to become serious. To help you, we have a number of guides on our website on mental health, including guides on managing stress, understanding depression looking after your wellbeing, and many more.

The Bank Workers Charity is proud to be the only UK charity specialising on the needs of banking community. If you are a current or former bank worker, or are related to somebody that is, we are here for you. You can access our range of support services on our website, or by speaking to our specialist advisors on 0800 0234 834 between 9-5, Monday to Friday.