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International Men’s Health Week: make a positive change

The proportion of men working in project management who say their main project is affecting their mental health has increased since the start of the year, data from Association for Project Management (APM) shows.

A survey of 1,000 project professionals in the UK, undertaken in partnership with research company Censuswide, found that 89 per cent of male respondents felt that work on their main project had negatively affected their mental wellbeing. When asked the same question in January, only 58 per cent expressed this view.

As part of Men’s Health Week (14-21 June), APM is encouraging people of all genders to reflect on the issues affecting men’s physical and mental health so they can make positive change.

The survey found that many employers have already taken steps to help, with 80 per cent of male project practitioners saying their workplace has introduced new initiatives since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to support the mental health and wellbeing of its project staff.

Among men, promotion and support for national and international awareness days was seen as the most positive workplace change for mental health and wellbeing.

Caspar Bartington, head of volunteer and education engagement at APM and qualified mental health first aider, said: “Project-based work has long been characterised as frenetic, fast-paced and dynamic. Combined with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, it’s easy to see how this could affect people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“Events such as International Men’s Health Week are an opportunity for people of all genders to discover more about issues surrounding the physical and mental health of men in the workplace – including those delivering projects – and to consider how they can make a positive difference for themselves and others.”

Steps that project professionals can take to help manage stress include:

  • Sleep, meditation and relaxation
  • Eating the right diet
  • Talking to people
  • Managing your mind (avoid 'catastrophising' and focus on what you can influence)
  • Prioritise

APM has produced a range of resources to support project managers’ mental health. Access these here.

A significant majority (89 per cent) of male project managers also expressed concerns that work on their main project was negatively affecting their wellbeing. The most common cause for this among men was the impact on work-life balance.

 

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