The week has come again to promote Men’s Health Week. This week aims to raise awareness of preventable health issues, encourage men to book doctors appointments and to have a check in with their own wellbeing, physically and mentally. This weeks theme for Men’s Health week is ‘Time for your MOT’. This theme encourages men to take the time to see the GPs for check ups to reduce the risk of preventable diseases.
During the pandemic, face to face appointments at GP surgeries and check ins where reduced, limited or stopped completely leaving men to brush aside any concerns they may have had and to go without medical advice, support and guidance. During the pandemic male GP visits fell more than female, supporting the fact that men are less likely to go to the GP with something concerning.
The theme of ‘Time for your MOT’ refers to the fact to get your whole body checked out, from top to bottom, inside and out. With a stigma around health with men, it is important to raise awareness of some of the top statistics around health with men, see below a couple:
- At any one time 12.5% of men report having a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety
- 36% of patients using NHS first line talking therapy services are men
- 40% of men said that it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm for them to seek help
- 87% of rough sleepers are men with a large percentage of rough sleepers experiencing mental ill health
- 7% of men are dependent on alcohol
- In 2019, 76% of suicides in England and Wales were men
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 46
- 1 in 6 men during their lifetime experience domestic abuse
Most of these facts are related to Men’s mental health but as we know, mental and physical health are very closely interlinked with them both impacting each other. If we are not feeling 100% mentally then we generally feel weaker physically and vice versa. With this in mind, we took this topic to our Men’s Peer Support Group in the form of quizzes, conversations, information and general reminders to have a check in with themselves.