Mental Health Promotion in Male-Dominated Workplaces: Perspectives of Male Employees and Workplace Representatives


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Abstract

The workplace provides an important setting to promote men’s mental health, yet few studies have explored the gendered views of men and workplace representatives in male-dominated industries about workplace mental health promotion. Consultations with working men (N = 23) and interviews with seven representatives from male-dominated industries in northern British Columbia, Canada were conducted. Findings highlight the impact of masculine workplace cultures on men’s mental health and practices that limit men’s disclosures about vulnerabilities, as well as discussions about promoting mental health. Within such milieus a healthy mind was viewed as vital for workplace safety. Participant recommendations focused on reducing stigma, promoting enjoyable activities, and creating sustainable efforts toward building social cohesion. Overall, efforts to promote mental health in male-dominated industries should be tailored for the unique needs of men and should include paid time to engage in wellness activities and positive strategies that facilitate group comradery. Given male-dominated workplaces in particular constitute unique contexts where adherence to masculine ideals is normed, the findings hold potential for advancing mental health promotion programs designed to reach men.

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