“A moustache is nature’s billboard. Use it to start a conversation about men’s health this Movember.”
Movember returns each November to keep the conversation about men’s mental and physical health alive and to remind all men of the importance of early detection and increased awareness of good health and wellbeing.
There is a lack of education surrounding men’s health and this is effecting more and more people in the UK every year. Male suicide is tragically the single biggest cause of death for men under the age of 45 and on average 13 men take their own lives every day in the UK.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35, with nearly 2,000 being diagnosed each year in the UK. To tackle this, it is important to be aware of what feels normal for you. Get to know your body and see your GP if you notice any changes. Fortunately, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer as more than 96% of cases will be completely cured during the early stages; but it is important that it is caught quickly.
Sometimes life brings us challenges, like difficulties with work or finances, the breakdown of a relationship, overwhelming family responsibilities, or a significant setback. These challenges can take a serious toll on your mental health, but many men feel the pressure to tough it out and struggle alone. Some signs of poor mental health include feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless and behaviours such as aggression, drinking more than usual and isolating yourself from friends and family.
Establishing and maintaining good relationships, talking about the difficult topics in life and proactively taking action when times are tough are proven ways for men to stay mentally healthy and cope with the stress of everyday life before it builds. Good overall health and wellbeing is linked to not only to better mental health but also reduces the likelihood of suicide.
Mental Health and Suicide
Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk of suicide among men. The distress experienced at these times can distort your thinking so it becomes harder to see possible solutions to problems or to connect with those who can offer support. There are a number of factors that have been linked to an increased risk of suicide, including:
- Ongoing stressful situations such as unemployment, relationship difficulties or health issues
- Previous family or personal history of mental illness
- Harmful drug and alcohol use
- Isolation or loneliness
Some ways to look after your mental health
- Do more of the things that make you feel great and help you to de-stress such as reading a book, going for a walk or going to the gym
- Share what’s going on, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Spend time with friends and family
If you or someone you know are emotionally distressed or in crisis, the most important first step is to talk. Begin a conversation with a friend, family member, health professional or support service. Advice and effective tools are available. Talking, listening and being there for someone who is having a tough time can be lifesaving. Check in with someone who is going through a difficult time. Ask if they are doing okay and be prepared to listen. If you or someone you know is at risk, Health Assured are available to help, please get in touch through the helpline and we will support you in whatever way we can or visit the health and wellbeing portal for more information www.healthassuredeap.com
So how can you raise awareness and support the movement? The concept is simple, men can take part by growing a moustache for the month of November, all the while posting regular updates on to social media.
If you are interested in joining Movember, or know someone who is, visit https://uk.movember.com
for more information.