Men's Health Week

From 15th–21st June 2015 it’s Men’s Health Week. The week is organised by the Men’s Health Forum (MHF), which is an independent charity that aims to help men and boys by tackling inequalities and issues affecting their health.

Formed in 1994 the MHF aims to help by focusing on groups of men who have the worst health and seeing how they can make a difference, whether it be through physical activity, or being there to turn to for mental problems. Men are less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle. They are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese. These lifestyles can lead into serious diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and stokes, the risk of which can be reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle. The aim of the awareness week is to remove the barriers, reach out and make the most of it when men do engage. The importance is on the removal of the barriers to using health care, mental health and preventative care - especially for men of a working age who remain less likely to:

  • visit their GP
  • attend a NHS Health Check
  • opt for bowel cancer screening
  • visit a pharmacy
  • take a Chlamydia test
  • have a dental check-up

But the figures still remain high in that 4 in 5 suicides are male but only a minority of these men were engaged with mental health services. More needs to be done. But while in society, male depression and illness is seen as a weakness in masculinity. Especially when unhelpful clichés of 'big boys don't cry' and 'what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger' are etched onto the public consciousness, they will continue to be big barriers to men seeking treatment for their conditions. So how can you look after yourself?

  • Eat regularly and healthily
  • Don’t over work yourself
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • If you notice unusual symptoms then don’t wait to visit your GP
  • Keep up with routine appointments to maintain your health
  • Speak to family and friends and keep up a social calendar
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep
  • Lower your alcohol intake
  • Invest in your hobbies and interests

For more information on men’s health week or to join one of the fundraising events in your area search online at www.menshealthforum.org.uk

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