Paul Bannister Founder ManHealth.jpg


Blokes, brains, balls and brawn: Engaging men in health initiatives at work

Martin ‘Milky’ Brookes, 55, from Stockton-on-Tees is married with two adult children who live at home. He works as a lorry driver for a North East chemical haulage firm. Martin experienced trauma as a child and has had therapy most of his life.


“My job has always been my saviour it was where I could focus and block out my childhood trauma, something I’ve lived with for all of my adult life. Recently I’ve had to reset 40 years of bad coping mechanisms. I found the peer to peer male support sessions through ManHealth have really helped make a difference.  I used to just keep my problems completely separate from my working life, but outbursts at work occasionally happened. The camaraderie and genuine support I get helped me massively.


“My employer has been very supportive; they have put me in touch with a service they had trialled, but it felt impersonal and ineffective for me; they essentially told me to re-read my therapists notes, there was no real engagement in the guidance I was given, for me it felt too generic.


ManHealth peer support on the other hand has been powerful - they’ve shown me coping techniques, the impact of nutrition, sleep patterns. They’ve helped me to better cope with myself. And for the first time I feel like I’ve got a group of friends I can take part in activities with, such as canoeing, sport in general and other group bonding work something I have never experienced before.”


How many Martin’s do you have in your workplace?


You don’t need to look far to find evidence that improving employee health is good for business. Many employers are now seeing the benefits of improving employee’s mental health and wellbeing at work, including reduced levels of sickness absence, lower staff turnover and greater employee satisfaction.


However, when it comes to equality there is a glaring gap between men and women’s health. 1 in 5 working age men die due to these 5, mainly preventable health problems. Suicide. Heart Disease. Prostate Cancer. Lung Cancer. Bowel Cancer


Yet, men’s health continues to be missing from workplaces’ mental health and wellbeing strategies, leaving many men feeling unrepresented and excluded from generic health initiatives at work.


Join Emily Pearson from Our Mind’s Work and Paul Bannister from ManHealth to gain insights and take aways to help you make your health and wellbeing initiatives inclusive for men and:

  • Engage your male workforce

  • Reach out to men at work

  • Tackle male specific stigma

  • Increase help seeking behaviour


Paul founded ManHealth CIC in 2015 to support men experiencing poor mental health inspired by his own recovery from depression. ManHealth supports men through peer support groups, a webchat service and workplace initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of men across the country.


Paul is a social entrepreneur, passionate about helping others and building community support. He also founded the Heel & Toe Children's Charity in 2009 to provide a range of therapies to children with physical and complex disabilities in the North East.


Moved by his own journey supporting his daughter he wanted to ensure ‘That No Child Should Be Denied Therapy Due to a Lack of Money’. A mantra the charity still upholds today.

PEOPLE POWER is an event series dedicated to people:  to skills, training, HR, employment and workplace productivity.  


The 2022 conference is designed to help you focus on The People Agenda - to provide you and your team with the knowledge and skills that you need to ensure your workforce thrives, to improve performance, increase productivity and to help you compete effectively in the new world. 

The conference takes place 23 June 2022 at Northumbria University, Newcastle.