Thanks to a couple of our ZEOs, men’s health is in the spotlight this month at Zuora. If you didn’t know, it’s Movember and International Men’s Day is November 19, which makes this the perfect time to introduce Zach May (Director, ZBR based in Redwood City) and Steve Warren (Sr. Technical Support Engineer based in London). Two men who span Zuora’s geographical footprint, but share a personal passion for raising awareness for men’s health, specifically mental health and suicide prevention.
- According to the World Health Organization, globally, one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
- Movember Foundation statistics reveal that globally, on average, 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day.
As advocates of normalizing these kinds of conversations, Steve and Zach shared their experiences with the stigma of men’s mental health and their personal lens on breaking it.
What inspired you to get involved and advocate for men’s mental health?
Steve: I joined Zuora from the British military almost 6 years ago. With the onset of the pandemic, ZEOs gained access to Modern Health, a platform offering free counseling sessions which gave me access to a resource I didn’t even know I needed yet. My partner and I found ourselves struggling during the isolation of COVID-19 with parenting and just sharing those same four walls every day, it gave us new tools and new ways to communicate. Since then, I used up my free counseling and coaching sessions early in the year, and I’m so grateful to Zuora for extending this benefit to not just myself but also to my family next year.
Zach: I know from my own life and the people I’ve known that the stigmas around men’s mental health are destructive. Personally, there are at least four occasions when suicide has touched an aspect of my life. It’s always different, but it’s never easy. Movember is a cause that I regularly participate in and one I’ve chosen to fundraise for during Zuora’s upcoming Giving Tuesday fundraising and donation matching campaign.
Steve, in what ways have you witnessed/experienced this stigma?
It is kind of this societal standard that we seem to have set. As men, you’re taught to be tough. You need to be better, stay strong and deal with other people’s problems. There’s an idea where you have to be in control, hold the power and you can’t let these things get to you. Like I said, coming from the military, I had done 17 years in various different roles, and at the start of my career, especially in a male-orientated environment, it showed me just how much people do try to put away their issues.
Zach, what is the best way we can help create more awareness?
There is no best way—whatever you can do could make a difference to one guy. The way that Steve shares his experience is one of the most powerful ways to break the stigma, just talk about it. And I choose to fundraise for Movember with Zuora’s Quote-to-Stache Team to leverage their broad reach to do essentially the same thing.
What is one of the mental health stigmas you wish could bust for every guy out there?
Zach: Seeking help or talking about their feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. In reality, it takes strength and courage to address mental health challenges, speak up and seek support when needed.
Steve: It’s okay to not be okay. It’s also not okay to not do anything about it. Time is a healer in certain aspects, but in some cases healing is doing some work. And whether that’s talking to a third party or just telling a friend “You know what? Life’s got to be a bit much for me at the moment,” it’s better to talk about it out loud.
Thank you to Steve and Zach for sharing, and good luck with the upcoming Giving Tuesday Movember fundraiser!
All ZEOs are encouraged to hold open conversations with their leaders and to Build Trust, one of our values here at Zuora. When ZEOs need extra support, Zuora offers an employee assistance program and community connection through our Zuora Resource Groups.
More about our Modern Health benefit:
Zuora provides free access to Modern Health, a mental wellness platform that makes it simple for you to access personalized support for life’s ups and downs—whether at work, at home, or in your relationships. ZEOs get:
- Ten 1:1 sessions with certified mental health, professional, or financial well-being coaches
- Eight 1:1 sessions with a licensed clinical therapist
- Unlimited group support sessions, called Circles
- Guided meditations & self-paced digital course