‘Men’s health is the same for everyone – check you are not drinking too much, eating too much, getting some exercise to maintain a good weight and so on. As a male you do need to be aware of changes to your testicles – have they changed shape, are they heavier, are they the same size, has the colour changed etc., - but be aware of the change for you and seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist. As when I had a pre-cancerous lump develop quickly on my nose, it was the pharmacist who directed me to my doctor. So, for me Men’s Health means being aware of the changes for me – be aware of what is normal for me, and what is outside of normal for me. Never be afraid to ask questions. In an ideal world all people should have an annual MOT, just as we do for our cars.’
- Dave, shared to Healthwatch West Sussex
Men’s mental health has been a concern before the pandemic happened due to the high number of men who die from suicide and the low number of men who seek treatment for depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.
During the lockdowns, groups of male-dominated workforces have suffered in terms of loss of jobs and income, with men more likely to be in roles that couldn’t work from home.
This Men’s Health Week, there are two campaigns to help support men to move forward out of the pandemic and to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Let's all talk
The first is recognising that today’s Covid world is different and accepting that it’s normal to feel different too. As society opens up, we need to open up too. Let’s all talk about how we feel.
The campaign is urging men to talk about the impact Covid has had on their jobs, families, lives and loved ones and to be open about any anxiety and worries that have arisen as a result.
CAN DO Challenge
The second campaign is the CAN DO Challenge, which encourages men to take a positive mental wellbeing action every day for the five days of Men’s Health Week.
The five actions are:
- Connect - connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven't since before lockdown) #connectmonday
- Active - move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
- Notice - take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
- Discover - learn something new (eg. read a book you haven't read before) #discoverthursday
- Offer (or give) - do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday