Men’s mental health – how to support your male colleagues proactively

Men’s mental health – how to support your male colleagues proactively

Suicide rates in the UK show that it disproportionately affects men, with 75% of suicides in 2020 being males. 

It’s a terribly sad statistic, but maybe not surprising when men typically find it harder to talk about their feelings and ask for help. If you are concerned and want to know who you can proactively support the men around you, we’ve compiled some expert guidance. 

Encouraging conversation

Nicola Peacock, relationship manager at The Printing Charity, is a trained Mental Health First Aider and says the best thing you can do is ask the men around you how they are, and listen to their answers. She also adds that it’s not something you do once, instead you need to normalise talking about feelings openly. 

A useful tool from the training she recommends was the acronym ALGEE, which stands for:

  • Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis
  • Listen and communicate non-judgmentally
  • Give support and information
  • Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
  • Encourage other supports

If you need some prompts, Movember Conversations is a great tool to give you confidence when talking to men who may be struggling. You can also point your staff to peer support groups such as Andy’s Man Club which run support groups nationwide

Myths about suicide

During her Mental Health First Aid course, Nicola also learned about suicide and some common myths which are helpful to understand when speaking to anyone in crisis. 

*Myth – if you ask a person about their suicidal intentions, you will encourage the person to kill themselves.

*Fact – The opposite is true, as asking them directly will often lower their anxiety level and act as a deterrent.

*Myth – a person who attempts suicide will always be ‘suicidal’.

*Fact – Most people who are at risk feel suicidal for only a brief period of their lives. With proper assistance and support, they will probably never be suicidal again.

*Adult MHFA Manual (2016 publication)

Appoint a Mental Health First Aider in your organisation

A Mental Health First Aider is someone who can spot the signs and symptoms of ill mental health, which is key to getting people the help they may need. They act as the first point of contact for anyone in the workplace who may be struggling, offering supportive conversations and guidance, helping employees to know they have someone to reach out to. 

There are a few different courses on the MHFA England website, with two days being the typical duration, meaning it’s something manageable for most businesses. Depending on the size of your business, it’s advisable to have more than one first aider so they can support each other in the role.

Rather than selecting Directors or line managers to take on this responsibility, open the offer to the whole team and show your commitment to mental health at every level. 

Organisations that can help

If you’re ever worried that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services. 

As well as talking to your staff as much as possible, there are these organisations you can make sure they are aware of. 

CALM has a helpline and webchat, as well as lots of information and resources. 

Samaritans are available 24 hours, 365 days a year. Just call 116 123

Mind has fantastic crisis tools and a wealth of information and support on its website. 

Movember has a great list of organisations to contact for a variety of issues. 

Our Helpline 

If your organisation is in the wider print industry, our free helpline offers 24/7 access to BACP accredited counsellors to help with in the moment emotional support. Contact us today to find out more about the service and how to register.


“Learning new skills gives you the confidence to try new things”

“Learning new skills gives you the confidence to try new things”

Ryan Rooney is Production & Packing Manager, iKan Papercrafts. Ryan loves his job, and thanks to his recent Rising Stars award, he was able to add even more skills under his career belt. We talked to Ryan about his award as well as his advice for others thinking of joining the sector. 

What did your Rising Star award allow you to do? 

My award allowed me to do two courses with the Knowledge Academy, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Prince2 Project Management (Foundation & Practitioner). I completed these online over a period of two weeks running concurrently and found them to be delivered well with excellent trainers. 

Do you feel more confident in your role after receiving an award?

Learning new skills certainly helps you trust that you are doing things the right way and gives you the confidence in your convictions to try new things and push into new areas.  I also feel confident in sharing my learnings with other members of the business.

Do you have any advice for other people looking at print as a career choice?

I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the print industry, which I have now been in for ten years. There really is a role for everyone, from manufacturing to design, estimating and sales and more! It’s great to work with different people and personalities, and I’m forever in awe of designers who come up with the concepts that my side of the operation turns into a reality.

From an overall perspective of advice, I would say that print is becoming more digital every year. Being computer savvy is certainly something that has helped me in my career so far, so I would recommend you people think about their digital skills. 

My other advice would be to learn everything you can and embrace every opportunity. You will learn what you enjoy, what you excel at and what you don’t like, and all of this can help guide your focus. I came into print at 16 years old and at that stage didn’t know what I wanted to do going forward, but from embracing opportunities I found what makes me tick. 

It’s a fast paced and exciting industry with new innovations always around the corner and it’s fascinating to watch this ever changing landscape.

Would you recommend the course to other Rising Star applicants?

I would certainly recommend both courses I undertook to other applicants, in both cases the skills are transferable across different areas of a business from Customer Service, Production / Operations, Studio, Purchasing and more. I have personally seen a lot of benefit and enjoyed undertaking the courses, they were both well delivered, and the trainers were brilliant at keeping me engaged throughout.

What are your aspirations for the future of your career?

I am extremely driven in the sense that I want to learn more all the time and expand my own skill sets and knowledge. I am currently completing a Level 5 in Leadership and Management with the BPIF and plan on continuing my education both at work through mentorship and learning from others and through formal training qualifications. 

I am passionate about Production and Operations Management and aspire to be an Operations Director, helping business succeed through my leadership and building teams, developing people, and helping them excel in their roles. I feel it’s a privilege to be able to help, guide and train new talent coming into the industry, and I would like to put myself in a position where I can help to do that.

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Being recognised in the Rising Star Awards is a real confidence booster

Being recognised in the Rising Star Awards is a real confidence booster

Tom Maskill was named a Rising Star in 2021. Having been mentored by the Webmart Director as a teenager, Tom is now Head of Sales and Marketing at the print company. We caught up with him to find out how his award has helped him in his new role. 

What did your Rising Star award allow you to do?

With the Rising Star Award, I enrolled on a PRINCE2 Practitioner course. PRINCE2 is a project management methodology used across many different industries and countries. Completing the course has enabled me to better manage internal projects and homogenise our project management practices internally. 

What skills do you feel that you’ve learnt from taking the course?

I can now execute projects of any size using a project management language which is common among many global organisations. Hopefully this will allow me to take on larger and more complex projects involving cross-department collaboration.

Do you feel more confident in your role after receiving an award?

I feel much more confident. Instead of relying solely on past experience and intuition for developing processes and delivering projects, I now have a bank of tools and frameworks I can use. Being recognised in the Rising Star Awards is also a real confidence booster!

What differences have you noticed in your work since completing the course?

Overall, a more structured approach to project management. Even smaller projects involving just one or two people have become more efficient and easier to manage as a result of the course.

Would you recommend the course to other Rising Star applicants?

Yes! One of the benefits of the PRINCE2 courses is the flexibility. You can either do it part time over a year or a full time intensive week. The methodology is applicable to projects of all size and type, which allows it to benefit people in all kinds of roles. 

What are your aspirations for the future of your career?

I hope to be a leader in the industry and continue to modernise the industry to a more technology driven and sustainable one.

Do you have any advice for other people looking at print as a career choice?

Print is a lot more than just traditional leaflets, catalogues and booklets. There are challenges in automation, production, logistics, marketing, innovation and more to work on. Whilst print is a ‘traditional’ industry, there is a significant pace of change which keeps this space engaging and rewarding.

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How taking control of your finances can improve your wellbeing

How taking control of your finances can improve your wellbeing

Money can be something that causes us to worry, in fact over 1.5 million people in England are experiencing both problem debt and mental health issues.

If you are concerned that your finances are taking a toll on your health, we have listed some of the support available that can help you take back control. 

Talking about it

It might feel difficult at first to be vocal about finances, but being able to talk to someone you trust about money worries is a good place to start. Moneyhelper have a great guide on how to have a conversation about money if you aren’t sure how to approach the topic. There’s also our free and confidential helpline for people in our industry to talk to confidentiality about anything that might be troubling them, including financial issues. 


Creating a budget is a brilliant way to plan and improve your financial situation. By setting limits and keeping to them, you can help make your money go further each month. Thankfully, there are various free online budgeting tools that you can use, including Citizen’s Advice  and Moneyhelper

Grants and benefits 

Do you know whether you might be missing out on financial support? Whether you are working, unemployed, on long term sickness, a parent, or have a disability, it’s best to check whether you might be entitled to any benefits. Citizens advice is a good place to check if you are eligible for support. Turn2us also has a useful free and confidential benefits calculator tool to help you find the information you might need to claim benefits.

If you work or have worked in the print sector and may be struggling to make ends meet or find yourself in financial difficulty, we may be able to support you. We know that financial shocks, such as unexpected bills or a reduction in income due to changes at work or ill-health, can put a huge strain on your finances and wellbeing, but our grants can help. 

Get clued up

Sometimes it isn’t easy to keep up with money jargon, so let the experts do it for you. Money Saving Expert sends out a great weekly newsletter with a round up of top money tips, including how to reduce household bills, money off coupons and the best rate bank accounts. They’ve also teamed up with the Open University to provide a free Academy of Money course, giving you the vital skills and knowledge you might need to master your finances. 

Don’t forget, if you’re struggling with money or any type of worry, we are here for you. Our friendly team is on hand at the end of the phone to help with practical and emotional support. Get in touch with us on 01293 542820 or email us on

Stress – how to spot and manage stress at home and work

Stress – how to spot and manage stress at home and work

We can all feel stressed at points in life depending on what we’re going through, but when it fails to resolve our physical and emotional wellbeing can take a real toll.

Recognising the signs and symptoms is a vital first step before taking actions to beat it. As part of Stress Awareness Week, we are sharing our top tips to manage and minimise stress at home and at work.  

Stress at work

The workplace can be a high pressure environment at times, leading to feelings of fatigue, worry and burnout. Although a little bit of stress can help us along sometimes, we must watch out that these feelings don’t become commonplace. 

There are various symptoms of workplace stress including low moods, tiredness, trouble concentrating, and absence. Everyone deals with stress in different ways but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce overall stress at work and regain a sense of control. Balancing your time and workload, including taking regular short breaks is highlighted by Mind as a key tool in helping to manage stress. The NHS has some great advice too, an important one being talking to someone about how you are feeling. Whether a manager or occupational health team, opening up can be a big relief and help you make a plan to manage your feelings.   

Stress at home

Our lives are often filled with tasks and challenges. From health and financial concerns to managing general household responsibilities and family relationships, there are many reasons to feel stressed. This can lead to feeling unable to cope, trouble sleeping, headaches and a lack of energy, all of which are common physical and emotional signs of stress. 

If you are worried about your finances, it’s good to start with thinking about a budget which you can review regularly. Money Savings Expert has plenty of advice and resources on how you can manage your money. Although it can be hard to open up and talk about money, especially if you are struggling, there are lots of services out there to support you, like Stepchange

Talking to those around you in your household to express how you are feeling as this can help reduce the feeling that you’re alone in the situation. Eating healthy, and making time for exercise can have a huge effect too. The Mental Health Foundation outlines these methods and others you can try that can help to reduce the impact of stress.

Our Helpline

If you work or have worked in the print industry and need someone to talk to about your wellbeing, no matter how big or small the issue, work or home related, we’re here for you. Our 24/7 free and confidential helpline can support you with practical and emotional assistance, helping you to feel more in control. Contact us today to find out how to access the service.