This month is the annual Movember movement across the world, an opportunity to raise awareness and tackle the issue of men’s health. Movember is the leading charity taking action and tackling men’s health, addressing some of the biggest issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Take a look at the current stats on men’s health:
- 1 in 8 men in the UK have experienced a mental health problem
- 75% of suicides are men
- Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year – that’s 1 every minute
- Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average 6 years earlier
- Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years
- Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years
Movember are taking action and are aiming to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.
As we are in the mental health part of the challenge, take a look at this video focusing on men’s mental health awareness.
“70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our mates, but worried about asking for help ourselves. Reaching out is crucial”
If someone you know seems to be going through a tough time, they might not talk about it even if they want to. The first step in looking out for them is reaching out following these steps:
Lee Cambule from Mind says that men are still faced with outdated stereotypes – they have to be a source of strength, dominating positions of power, the hunter-gatherer, the idea that strong and silent is attractive with a “show no weakness” image. This leaves little room for mental health problems. The men who are most famous, wealthy and successful in society are not always ready to admit their struggles in public and that can leave the “average guy” feeling uncertain about speaking out.
It gave the nation an incredible lift when Prince William and Prince Harry began talking openly about their own mental health challenges. One by one, more men in the limelight, e.g. footballers, politicians and actors, are coming forward and openly addressing mental health, demonstrating that it is ok to talk about how you feel. They are not considered weak – they are the brave ones.
If you are going through a difficult patch yourself, check out this advice from Movember:
- Talk to someone you trust, especially when things are tough.
- Get moving. Exercise does great things to your body and mind.
- Take a break – You don’t need to solve every challenge today, so give yourself some downtime.
- Get out and do something you enjoy with a friend. If you’ve tried some of these things and still feel bad then talk to a professional for advice and support.
Lee from Mind added a few ways that personally helped him:
- Considering why you find it uncomfortable asking for help and whether those reasons are actually stopping you from getting the support you need.
- Reading more about mental health and the varied guidance and advice can help.
- Finding a support group – there are many that are free and open to anyone.
- Consider your strategy in how you combat mental health – it could be anything from regular exercise to spending time with friends.
- Reading stories and case studies that will help you understand what other men have been through. Click here to read other people’s stories.
Start a conversation today. It’s not always easy, but it’s important.
For further information and resources:
The leading charity changing the face of men’s health.
NHS Mental Health Services
Provides information on services available for anyone concerned with mental health problems.
Provides information and support to make sure no-one has to face a mental health problem alone through a info line and text service.
Seeks to prevent male suicide offering support to men in the UK, of any age, who are down or in crisis via their helpline and website.
To speak with someone immediately, contact Samaritans on 116 123