Please be advised that parts of this podcast cover issues that may be emotionally sensitive.
Statistics on men’s health are concerning: men account for three-quarters of premature deaths from heart disease, are twice as likely to die from drug or alcohol abuse and three times more likely to die from suicide. In part, due to unhelpful ideas about what masculinity is, and societal expectations for them to ‘man up’ and ‘keep it together’, men often face health challenges alone. So when it comes to supporting the wellbeing of your people, how can organisations target working-age men more effectively?
Join Nigel Cassidy and this month’s guests: Elliot Rae, founder of Music. Football. Fatherhood; Helen Lake, director of men’s health services at Peppy; and Steve George, learning content lead at the CIPD – as we ask how organisations can better engage and support male colleagues when it comes to health and wellbeing.
Nigel Cassidy: Keeping men healthy in the workplace, how to reach and help those who are struggling. I'm Nigel Cassidy. And this is the CIPD podcast. Now grim stats on male suicide and mental ill health can only be telling us that men's health is being neglected. So many workplace initiatives around well-being, mental health and women's health, yet the vast majority of men face their health problems alone. That's both their mental health and physical. Three-quarters of premature deaths from heart disease are among men, and they're twice as likely to die from drug or alcohol abuse. So how and why are working age men struggling? Is it something in the nature of our jobs or some dogged determination to man up rather than ask for help? Joining us to discover how to break the taboos and get men the support they deserve we welcome a senior former diversity equity and inclusion leader with HM Government. He's the founder and editor of the Music, Football, Fatherhood, social network MFF. He's Elliot Rae. Hello, Elliot.
Elliot Rae: Hi, Nigel. Thanks so much for having me.
NC: Did I forget to mention QPR in your introduction?
ER: Yeah, that's important. That's an important part to mention.
NC: We've the director of men's health services at Peppy, a health app that connects employees with health professionals. She's Helen Lake. Hello.
Helen Lake: Hello. Delighted to be here.
NC: And I've no idea which football team you support.
HL: Well, you know, The Toon.
NC: Yeah. The voice gives it all away, and back with us, the CIPD's own Learning Content Lead, Steve George. Hello.
Steve George: Hello Nigel, and I'm very happy to be here, and it's Brighton and Hove Albion for me.
NC: Excellent. Now, Steve, we'll start with you, set the scene for us, if you would. I mean, do we have a gender health gap? Do you think?
SG: I think we do have gender health gap. There was research by Mind, that was carried out in 2017 that found that that one in three men attribute poor mental health to their work. Whereas women, on the other hand, in that research found that their job and problems outside of work were equal contributing factors.
NC: And do you think the Covid style working we've been through has had some impact on how management understands how men are doing?
SG: It's had an impact. I think in response to that particular question, I don't think it's limited just to men. Some of the research that's been carried out by CIPD has found that only 29% of respondents said managers are confident and competent to spot early warning signs of mental ill health, and I think that that's across the board.
NC: Now, Elliot Rae, your professional work's bound up in this area, but from what I can tell it was very much shaped by kind of personal crisis when you became a father. So, kind of, what happened to you and what can we learn from how your employer responded?
ER: I was working at the, in the civil service at the time, working in Diversity and Inclusion and our journey into parenthood was joyous in parts but difficult in parts too. My daughter was born with an infection called group B strep, which for those that know is a very, and can be a very serious infection. So one in ten babies will pass away, around another one in ten will have a serious lifelong disability from the infection. So when my daughter was born, we didn't get the crying and the joy in the room, we got silence. She was grey, lifeless, not breathing. She needed to be resuscitated. My wife was also bleeding out and losing a lot of blood. So it was a really, for me personally, being a 31 year old man at the time, it was definitely the first time in my adult life feeling completely helpless and completely vulnerable. And we'd spent two weeks in hospital with my daughter in ICU, and there were lots of ups and downs in those two weeks. Some days we would get really good news. Other days we'd get really bad news, and towards the end of that, she developed a really big bump on her head and we had MRI scans and it was a very, very difficult time.
And what happened to me personally, was leaving the hospital when we got the good news we could finally go home I had a couple of days at home, a weekend, and it was back into quite a busy senior job and my wife was at home, she was diagnosed with post-natal anxiety. We were struggling to leave the house on most days, we would go to A&E all the time just because we were so worried. And I went from being like, you know, very extroverted and confident to like crying on the train on the way home from work to being knackered but not being able to sleep. To just going over and over in my mind, trying to replay what had happened and eventually kind of by accident, I spoke to a health professional who diagnosed me with PTSD and I got support through that.
NC: And what about your employer's response while you were having to take all this time off and clearly your mind wasn't on your work?
ER: So I would say that, you know, I had a supportive manager. I think I wasn't open about what, exactly what was going on. So no-one really knew at work. I think they could sense signs that things weren't OK and I wasn't myself. You know, I've really learnt that we can be quite good as humans at putting on a brave face and a mask and I think I was quite good at that, you know, going to work and pretending. Obviously were, there were things where people would look, in hindsight could look back and see, yeah, he wasn't quite there. But my employer, this is 2016, I think we weren't really talking about mental health as much. There wasn't real support there for anyone, let alone kind of new dads. So I'm glad to see now there are more conversations being had around these topics.
NC: Well, Helen Lake, your clinical experiences in urology, the branch of medicine that focuses on, well, shall we just say that the bits at the root of many men's troubles. But before we get onto some of that, do you relate to what we've just heard there from Elliot?
HL: Yes, I do. Absolutely. Elliot, thanks for sharing that. I think a lot of it as well, I'm not sure if you'll agree with this, but I think as the, as the bloke in the scenario, you were being strong for your partner, you had to be there for her. She was the mum. She had gone through the trauma physically, you're the observer and be strong for your baby daughter. So that would be the face you would be presenting, but actually away from that, that's when it kicked in. Would you identify with that?
ER: Yeah, definitely. That expectation, I guess, that I put on myself and that I think a lot of men have grown up with and society also puts on a lot of men to be the rock and be strong. And I, you know, I think that's fine. Like, I think there is some times where we do need to be strong and be the rock, but there are also times where we, you know, we do need support, we do need to have conversations, we do struggle as well. And there definitely needs to be spaces for men to be able to talk about the challenges.
But also, you know, helping men to overcome some of those ideas about masculinity that get in the way of us sharing. You know, the reason that I didn't speak to anyone apart from my wife, I shared bits of what I was going through with my wife, but I didn't talk to my parents or work colleagues or friends, and it was about that idea of like, I'm the kind of the jokey one. I'm always the one at the party that's the loud person, you know, I have a loud voice, I speak loudly, I'm extroverted. So for me to come out and say, you know, I couldn't get off the train the other day because I was in tears, or I was having, in work I was having an out of body experience and I couldn't talk when it came around to my time in the meeting, or, you know, I wouldn't have done that then. Now I've grown and I'm more secure in myself and happy to do that and I do it all the time now, but you know, six years ago I just wasn't in that place personally where that was something that I could do myself.
NC: So let's think a bit then about how understanding this kind of silent pressure men feel to keep it together and not seek help can kind of get in the way of helping people when they do have health problems. I mean, Steve George, would you say this factor we've just been hearing about from both Helen and Elliot is important in how you try and improve how your organisation helps its men?
SG: It is, it's really important, and thank you earlier for sharing that. It's interesting hearing you say about not talking about it, which is my own personal experience as well. And I think that's one of the ways that we can look at the resources that organisations can put in to help men. So it's not just creating the permission and the role modelling to, to enable and facilitate that kind of talking, those conversations. It's also signposting the resources to people who may not be comfortable having those conversations with colleagues perhaps.
NC: Because Steve, essentially what you've got here is people being expected or asked to talk to managers who represent the organisation that they blame probably for the issues they're facing. I mean, so how do you change that, that whole sort of atmosphere?
SG: I mean, it's an enormous cultural piece I think which perhaps Helen is better placed to answer some of that than myself. But I think certainly organisations have responsibility to make sure that there are resources in place. Lots of organisations will have things like Employee Assistance Programs. So telephone lines that that employees can call anonymously, I think making it clear what access to support people have, the fact that it's OK and even expected to use those resources is an important part of that journey. And I think as well, having some of those people in management positions, in those senior positions talking as openly as Elliot just has as well is really supportive in helping those conversations take place.
NC: So Helen, talking about men with physical health problems perhaps as well as mental related ones. How do you open up that conversation? I mean, how do you actually find what help men need?
HL: Yeah, it's extremely difficult because, you know, historically if you look at the health service, it's not really set up for men at all. It's built around women and families and the money doesn't, there's no money in it if you like to run a men's health clinic and there's less touch points over the years for men to go and, you know, get that into that way of describing how they feel or even to have a health check or to report a symptom or just to run something past. So by the time there is a problem and I suppose biology wise men, you know, after adolescence, you, not much happens, if you like, physically. But then when there is a problem they have no idea often where to start and the prevention mindset isn't there and I think that, you know, I think that's a really interesting point, Steve, that research has shown that a lot of people don't know what resources are there in the organisation. There might well be mental health counsellors, off-site, online stuff, but unless they know about it, or it's easily accessible. So I think that's sort of the first thing.
The other thing is the messaging around health, I feel, and I think increasingly evidentially is that the messaging needs to be specific to gender. You know, the government has just rightly appointed a Women's Health Strategy in its recognition that there's certain messages need to be for women. In the same way, it really, really has to be for men because they first of all they don't often recognise the signs or if they do they, it's almost like a, you know, fear of disclosure, fear of weakness. They don't want to take time off. They don't want to let the side down. You know, that deeply embedded feeling again, and they don't want to harm their career prospects. You know, it's just a question of thinking about what are the main issues, what, what's killing our men? You know, suicide is, mental health is, but also cardiovascular disease, cancers, prostate, bowel, lung. This is where we need to start targeting.
NC: OK. So Elliot Rae, from the work you do, both with managers and with individuals on your forums just give us some idea as to how you might be able to target people to get some of this information over to them about how there is help available and they don't need to suffer.
ER: So I think what Helen said there in terms of really making communications and services specific to the people you're trying to target, you know, is so key, so important. I know the Samaritans did some research about engaging men in health services, and one of the top things that they identified was that the language and the content really needs to be specific so men know that they're going to go along to this session or engage in this service and they're going to, their requirements are going to be met. They're going to be talking about things that are important to them.
So when, if I'm working with an organisation or I'm doing something through Music, Football, Fatherhood, I'm very clear in everything that we do our messaging to make sure that it is for men. Sometimes it's a space where everyone is welcome. Sometimes it's a men's space and letting people know what we're going to discuss and how we're going to discuss it and really naming those things I think upfront is very important. But I think there's something in terms of the science and art behind facilitation and creating safe spaces and having really vulnerable conversations. And I've had to learn this over my journey over the last few years and there's two people in my life that I would credit for helping me, a guy called Alec and a guy called Nick.
So Alec, I met five years ago, I'd just launched Music, Football, Fatherhood. I wrote a piece in the media. He got in contact and said he wants to be involved, and I will never forget this. I was in my parents' house, in my old bedroom, the little bedroom I had, and Alec called me and said that he wants to get involved in Music, Football, Fatherhood because during the birth of his second son his wife passed away. And I remember in that conversation I wasn't ready, I didn't, I felt overwhelmed, I didn't feel equipped to have that conversation with him and getting to know him over the years, we're good friends now and the things I've learnt from him is that he wants me and others to listen to validate feelings, to acknowledge, to say thank you. Not to try and come up with a solution all the time, not to say it's going to be OK or it happened for a reason, but get good at listening and encouraging and asking the right questions. And so a few years later I met Nick, Nick Clitheroe on LinkedIn and he had a 10 year old son and he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he had two more months left to live. And I reached out to Nick on LinkedIn and said, do you want to come on our podcast and have a conversation about it? And so we spoke and I had one of the best conversations I've ever had in my whole life with Nick. But that was because I'd learnt from being friends with Alec how to have those conversations. And I think when it comes to us asking men to be more open, which we are doing and we should do, we also have to understand how to hold space for people and how to make sure that that conversation is going to be a good one for everyone and a productive one and one that we want to have again, and one that encourages people to share with us. So the work I do in organisations is all about that. It's all about how do we build deeper relationships? How do we have vulnerable conversations, and I think when it comes to men's mental and physical health and that barrier in terms of opening up and seeking help and support, for me, that's at the core of it all.
NC: Steve George, these are not the sort of obvious conversations for line managers to have with people on the payroll. I just wondered from your own personal experience and then the training you've subsequently done, how you've kind of evolved your thinking, if you like, about how you help people in this way?
SG: I think what Elliot said around being a good listener and not feeling like you have to solve everything, I think sometimes as a line manager it can be easy to jump to finding a solution if someone comes to you with a challenge and sometimes even being explicit and saying, do, would you like me to listen, would you like me to solve it, or is it something else? Can I help? There's the TV adverts that showed the asking how people are, then asking how they really are, so reading between the lines of what they say which is incredibly effective. You can ask people how they are and they can jump straight to a list of the tasks they're doing, which is always a sign that maybe you need to dive a bit deeper. I think in terms of training line managers it's also being aware that if we're managing five people, you're potentially carrying quite a strong burden for those people as well, people will confide in you and carrying that information is quite hard for line managers as well. So while we are saying we need to listen, we need to recognise what that requires on them as well. And there's also something quite big in making people less afraid of saying the wrong thing. So, and I think that can sometimes be a barrier to those conversations is people won't ask a question in case it's the wrong question or they say the wrong thing, fear of causing offence. So, again, just guidance on how to have those conversations and really be human led, not process led I think is the big thing for me. So see the human, not the process or the employee or the transactional side, but keep it personal.
NC: And Helen, for managers who want to be really practical. I mean, is there any data that you could collect about how men are? I mean, I suppose absenteeism would be an obvious one if they're going to the doctor a lot or something.
HL: Yes. I think you've flagged some interesting things, Steve, where you said that if you ask the question and suddenly they're immersed in a list of things, I think if you know, a person, if you know your team, you do notice that maybe they're not engaged as they have been in the past or they don't come to social events or suddenly they're pushing back on projects or they're just, you know, they're just getting on with it. I think sometimes they're, those are the signs. But yeah, I think it, I think it's, you know, it depends on your organisation and whether you've got team leads or, you always get on with somebody better than somebody else, you know, your team lead might not be the person you want to go to anyway. It might just be, everybody has their own people who they get on with. But I think just to take note and watch behaviour, sick time, you know, we've just had, looking at some figures for the construction industry, which I know is a different sort of, you know, proposition when you're looking at supporting your workforce, because they're out there, you know, is that 48% of construction workers are being out on with stress related. Now, you know, were they demonstrating anything before that? You know, a lot of the problems in the construction industry are sort of, you know, around culture and you know, worry about finances and working away from home and alcohol related. So I think there's a lot more can be done in those kind of industries.
ER: Helen, I, yeah, I think that's really true in terms of looking at the industries, construction. We know there are some deep problems in some areas in that particular industry and I think what you're saying around knowing your team and building relationships is at the key. I think there are a few things that we could look out for if we know people are going through particular life experiences. So we know when it comes to fatherhood, you know, new dads, one out of ten new dads would experience some symptoms of post-natal depression in their baby's first six months. We know that parental alienation can be a trigger for poor mental health, and bereavement, so if you know, someone in your team has lost someone close to them recently, that could be something to the out for, and looking at things like relationship breakdowns as well.
So there are certain things that if we get to know our team and we build a relationship we will find out if they're experiencing these life events. Not to say if they are, they're going to suffer from poor mental health, but they may be more likely to. And then a lot of the symptoms that Helen mentioned, you know, someone is overworking, or you see they are drinking more or that they're taking more risks, they're isolating themselves, you know, they can be symptoms. And I think it is up to all of us to educate our ourselves a little bit more about causes and symptoms, just so we can be aware of the people around us. You know, we know that one in eight men at any given time will be suffering from a common mental health problem, like depression, anxiety, OCD, and when we think about that, it's that one in eight that's that's a lot, that's potentially, you know, someone in your team, someone in your family, they are likely to be experiencing poor mental health right now. So the more we can be aware of the symptoms and potential causes, I think it's better for how we can build relationships and support people.
NC: Well, that is such good advice Elliott, but it is quite difficult to tell, you say looking for the signs, I just picked this up online on LinkedIn, you know, how sometimes people bear their souls on LinkedIn and get comments from other people. This is a guy who was clearly suffering mental health issues. He says what he was feeling before the crisis, constantly on edge, there was good news in the company but I felt nothing. I was swearing at colleagues, micromanaging, constantly checking my phone, not really present at work or home. I had dark thoughts. Then there was the crisis. And he talks about how he was helped. But I mean, most of those symptoms might describe the average overstressed manager, Steve George?
SG: Yeah, I think it's, just to pick up on what Helen said about absenteeism being one of the signs and then touch on what you've just read out Nigel and Elliot talking about behaviour at work as well. I think it's also to look at some of those things like presenteeism, so people coming in when they, when they are ill. So again, overworking through that or working when they're on holiday, these are all some of the indicators as well that we can keep an eye out for. I think when something becomes a consistent pattern of behaviour, as opposed to an anomalous piece of behaviour, and that's something, again that should be flagged as a concern. Again, to that example that, that you just read out Nigel, in my experience I think one of the things to keep an eye out for is a kind of steady in incremental decline. So the, I think there can sometimes be the sense, I'm talking about mental health that it's you reach a point where you can't go on, where you kind of hit a rock bottom, and it's not necessarily that's, that's where you get to. And it's that steadily incremental decline is something that we can all keep an eye out for, with our colleagues and managers can keep an eye out for as well.
NC: Is an element of personal experience there Steve? Do I detect?
SG: Yeah, I was, this was my pre-CIPD career. I was put on a project and specifically and explicitly because I was a man and therefore strong enough to deal with the challenging customer and very similar to many people's experience when I couldn't cope I didn't feel realise I was able to talk about it and because of my own thoughts about masculinity and the fact that I should be strong enough to deal with it. But that was very much that that incremental decline and me thinking, oh, it's not quite bad enough to seek help yet. It's not quite bad enough to seek help yet until you, I fell off a cliff.
HL: Yeah, and I think this is also true of physical symptoms, in my experience as a clinician, these incremental changes that if they was stopped in the tracks area. So if men had more information about what the red flags are then it would be caught at a better time and it would stop the falling off the cliff. We need to put that fence up at the cliff and stop that happening physically and mentally.
SG: I love that metaphor putting the fence up at the cliff. I think one of the ways that we can do that as organisations and as people really is that there are calendars of events. So, as we are recording this, Movember 's going on, for example. There's calendars of events throughout the year that we can make people aware of, and it just keeps that trickle effect of awareness of conversation of normalising talking about these things, which again, helps people find resources and just helps raise awareness without necessarily having to have very specifically targeted vulnerable conversations necessarily.
NC: And Elliot Rae, give us a bit of a sense of how you have targeted men with events or programs? How do you actually hit the spot where people otherwise would not have thought about listening to a bit of health advice?
ER: So we always find some commonality. Men are very different. Just because we're both men doesn't mean we're going to have anything in common or want to, to go to the same event. So we do try to find some commonality. Obviously football is a big one. So we partner with lots of different clubs, we have an event with Arsenal at their stadium coming up at the end of November which is really amazing. We've worked with Queen's Park Rangers in Brentford. We've done events called Dad's Do Hair where we come together and learn how to do our children's hair, which is really interesting. On our online sessions we might theme them. So sessions around being a new dad, maybe around finances, you know, make it a topic so people can come along, they're coming for the community, but they're also coming along for the topic as well. I think there's also the understanding of a lot of male friendships and male relationships and how we interact with each other and there's this idea of kind of shoulder to shoulder and face to face. Although the research shows us that men are more likely to have kind of shoulder to shoulder relationships with their friends, which is, you know, we do something together, we do an activity, we go and watch a sport, we play pool, we do something. Whereas women are much more likely to do that, but also have the face to face, you know, sit down and have dinner and coffee together.
So when we're designing our events, we actually start with a shoulder to shoulder activity. So the Dads Do Hair was a perfect example. You know, we're all there trying to learn how to do a French plait and a braid. Some of us are good, some of us weren't so good, but you know, so we're learning and we're literally shoulder to shoulder and we're having a laugh and we're getting to know each other and it's really good. And after that, we sit down, we have a book reading, we do face to face activities, pair discussions, group discussions. So it's really just understanding the psychology of how a lot of men will kind of interact in the environment and how we kind of engineer that to make sure we create the conversation that we want.
NC: And Helen, you sent me, before the podcast a picture of an event with a large number of guys in high vis.
HL: Absolutely incredible.
NC: Was this from the construction industry? Tell us about that?
HL: Yeah. So sort of moving on from what Elliot is saying is striking the chord with men where they will come and listen and have that shoulder to shoulder and face to face. So there's a local charity in Durham which is actually reaching now more nationally called Man Health. And the guy who brought that into being runs these courses called Blokes, Brains, Brawn and Balls. So the messages are clear there. So what they talk about is mental health, how they feel in themselves and the killers of men. What the need to know, what the red flags are. Testicular cancer, there's been an increase in testicular cancer, 27% since the early 1990s, prostate cancer has now, has overtaken breast cancer as the most diagnosed cancer in this country. So it's massive. And then also it's the language, isn't it? So straight away, you know what you're signing up for, you're going to talk about those issues. And there was a room full of blokes in their high vis and they turned up in numbers.
NC: And these were people who would've never heard a health message or even thought about their health for years.
HL: Absolutely. Give men the opportunity and they will turn up, and as you say culturally not everybody's going to be interested in football, but I think we're talking about mushroom foraging the other day or whatever it is, you get men together and they will start talking.
NC: Yeah, I've got that one down for the CIPD team.
NC: Mushroom foraging. Yeah. Made a note of that.
HL: But it's very powerful. You know, women are very good at organising themselves, you know, you've just got to look at Davina McCall with the, you know, the menopause and all of this. But, you know, men have issues with hormones as well. And, you know, men need, they need to be able to, you know, if you signpost and they get organised then things will happen. Look at what works and build on that.
NC: Which is a good cue to go back to Steve George. Putting all this together, have you any thoughts about how you move forward in your organisation with a bit more understanding hopefully of how you can get a message to people?
SG: I like Elliot's approach around the targeting men in the messaging. I think that's really important. I think what Helen was talking about around the raising awareness and creating those, those spaces for men to have those conversations and almost letting those conversations develop on organically. So you facilitate creating the space for it. I think as organisations, making sure that that managers are trained in how to have the conversations. But also as colleagues, we're aware of who our peers are and what they're going through and we're keeping an eye out as well and creating permission for those support networks.
NC: In your experience, Steve is this best left to trained counsellors? Are many line managers able to have these conversations successfully?
SG: I think from my perspective, I think everyone has a responsibility for it. I don't think we can say it's just a line manager' responsibility or an organisational responsibility. I think organisations are an extension of the society we want to live in, and if we want to live in a society that is compassionate and caring and emphasises health and men's health, and men's mental health, our organisations should reflect that. They shouldn't exist in a bubble which is distinct from society and distinct from community where the normal rules don't apply. So I think it is, is everyone's responsibility, and what organisations can do is create the permission for people to take on that responsibility and the space for it to happen.
NC: So, Helen, what would you say are the best ways of getting these conversations going in organisations?
HL: Yeah, I mean, it has to come from the top. I think that in your team, there's, there'll always be people who are better at it than others and I think sometimes where I've seen it really work is to send interested parties, shall we say, on an ambassador men's health link person course, the Men's Health Forum do a really good one. Man Health do one, the Manbassador program, and then they are then supported in that role because it's quite a responsibility, isn't it to take on facilitating other people's health. And these are great programs to allow you to be advocates and to know how to go about reaching the people you need to reach. But definitely, I think the important thing about the campaigns, national campaigns such as Movember, International Men's Day, is that you can, you know, utilise those dates in the calendar and start getting your messaging. I mean, an important thing that springs to mind for me is, you know, self-examination of your testicles. Now, you know, boys at school, do they get that? I'm not so sure, you know, they come into the workplace. They don't go to the doctors. What, who's telling them that this is important? Like once a month men should examine their testicles. And it's not just men in their twenties, men in their forties get testicular cancer, the rates have gone up. So almost to have a, you know, a reminder, you know, check your balls and keep repeating, repeat the messaging.
NC: And what I'm getting from Helen there, Elliot, is that maybe in future one size health and well-being initiatives just aren't going to work. I mean, we do need to be gender specific for the men here.
ER: Yeah, we do. We do. I think we are getting to that point where a lot of organisations are realising that, I think it's a new conversation, you know, where I think we're at the start of something here. You know, I've been talking about fatherhood and mental health for a few years, but I would say Covid and the lockdown, and I think us all living differently, being in our houses with our families or on our own working from home, and also just being more vulnerable with conversations in general, around well-being. I think we are in a very interesting and exciting time now in terms of how we can develop this sector of support for men in organisations. So I'm kind of optimistic that the support is going to improve. I think that there is a long way to go though and I think that question around, you know, our managers equipped to have these conversations. I think Steve put it really well to say that the workplace is just a reflection of society and if we, us, you know, our family members, the people that we know, we are not having these conversations, it's hard to expect, you know, managers to be having those conversations because they are just normal people that exist in this world with us. So unless that we, as a society, are kind of getting better, and I'm talking about, you know, media, the health services, government policy, like when those things can improve and change and move with the times, we will see people being a bit more aware and a bit more able to address these issues with men
NC: And talking of understanding people's situation earlier, your TV documentary, Becoming Dad, touches on some of these issues, it's being repeated, I think, is it on the 14 November, if you're listening, fairly soon after this podcast has come out or people can find it on the BBC iPlayer.
ER: Yes. So please check out the documentary. I think it's one of the first shows that really brings these issues into the mainstream. You know, I think the conversations have been happening a lot within academics for years and in pockets of interested people and advocates and people who had personal experiences. So the thing is, what this show is trying to do is really bring those issues to the mainstream. I think, I think what Steve was saying there in terms of just increasing awareness.
NC: Thank you very much, indeed. Let me just thank Elliot Rae from MFF, Helen Lake from Peppy and the CIPD's own Steve George for giving us so much to think about and act on. The CIPD itself has a lot of well-being support and guidance to help people in the workplace from supporting mental health at work and employee financial wellbeing to managing drug and alcohol misuse, some of the things we've been talking about today and guidance on responding to suicide risk in the workplace. A quick mention of last month's four day week company case study, and if I may say so a really in depth discussion around how you make it work. We're getting lots of reposts for that, people finding that podcast very helpful. So dig in if you haven't heard that one yet. Next time making your learning and development count, we'll be exploring the need for reflection and reflective practice in L&D. But until then from me, Nigel Cassidy and all of us here at the CIPD, it's goodbye.
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