Men’s Health

Let’s talk about men’s health. We should be talking about it all the time, not just in November. However there’s no escaping the increase in men’s facial hair at the moment, predominantly the moustache. If you haven’t already heard of Movember, the chances are you will have come face-to-face with the finished product. The Movember initiative is dedicated to promoting Men’s Health – male cancers, mental health and suicide prevention.

 

Goal of Men’s Health Month

It’s a fun movement with a serious message. Did you know that men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women? Part of the reason is that men are more reluctant to go to the doctor, according to uk.movember.com.  In fact, studies show that women go to the doctor twice as much as men.

Additionally, Men’s Health Network notes that certain conditions are more prevalent in men, which patients and their doctors should keep an eye on through regular appointments.

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among both men and boys.

This month gives health care providers as well as individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.

 

Movember Foundation

Launched back in 2003, the Movember Foundation is a fantastic initiative which takes place every November to open a broader dialogue about men’s health issues. When it comes to health, men don’t talk or take action. Evidence reveals that as a result, men die too young. S omething which can be absolutely prevented when the right steps are taken.

By raising awareness, stigmas can be broken down and encourage men to take their health seriously. By 2030, the charity aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

 

This Movember 2021, the themes are:

Cancer – In the UK, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and it is the most common cancer in men.  When it comes to prostate cancer, Movember is focused on fighting back. https://uk.movember.com/about/prostate-cancer

With any type of cancer, screenings are key to early detection. Men aged 50 and older receive annual colorectal and prostate cancer screenings. If you fall into a higher risk category (family history of the disease or certain racial groups), your doctor may recommend earlier and/or more frequent screenings. You should perform regular skin checks, and notify your provider if you discover any suspicious spots or moles that change in size, shape, or color.

 

Physical Activity– Healthy adults should strive for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Incorporate strength-training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. The benefits of regular exercise go beyond looking good. Physical activity helps increase testosterone levels, and lowers the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

 

Mental Health – The stigma around mental health can be a barrier to seeking treatment, particularly among men who may feel pressured to conform to the ‘strong and silent’ masculine ideal.

Around the world, 6 out of 10 suicides are men. On average 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day. The significant gender discrepancy may be linked to the stigma surrounding men and mental health. The idea that admitting to a problem may be a sign of weakness—even though it decidedly is not.

 

If you’re experiencing significant weight fluctuations, changes in your mood, ongoing and unexplainable physical problems like headaches or stomach aches, or are overwhelmed with feelings of sadness or hopelessness, seek help. Remember it’s a sign of strength to do so.

 

Finding Support for Men’s Health

There are lots of organisations and charities that are centred around supporting men struggling with health issues.

It can be difficult to encourage our male loved ones to open up and talk about their health, due to societal expectations about how men “should” behave and what masculinity is. Some men feel that they must continue to display what have traditionally been perceived as masculine traits like strength, stoicism, dominance, and control.

This “man up” attitude has proven to be dangerous. We must all play our part in putting a stop to this culture and encouraging men to address their issues more and also seek help for them.

Together, we can beat the stigma around mental health and work towards a happier and healthier community.

 

Charities and Organisations for Support