This month we see the return of Movember, a month dedicated to raising awareness around men’s mental health, as well as prostate and testicular cancer. The charity is encouraging men to speak about their mental and physical health and help make sure there are resources available to help them through any difficult times.
Men’s Mental Health
Recent studies show that on average one man dies from suicide every minute, and 6 out of 10 suicides are men. The Movember team are working hard to fight the stigma around men’s mental health by focusing on prevention, early intervention and health promotion. They’re working to help men build social connections and support networks and funding projects such as ‘Family Man’, which helps develop parenting strategies with dads in mind.
One of the best ways to help is by learning how to spot the signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health. For example, use ALEC:
A – Ask if they’re ok if you’ve noticed a concerning change in their behaviour/appearance.
L – Listen to what they have to say.
E – Encourage them to take action to help improve their wellbeing.
C – Check-in on them.
You can also take part in the virtual ‘Movember conversations’ service on their website to learn how to open up a conversation with someone who might be struggling with their mental health. Click here to find out more.
The NHS offer services to help people look after their mental health, click here to find out more.
If you are concerned about someone or your own wellbeing and want immediate help, contact NHS 111 or Samaritans on 116 123.
Prostate and Testicular Cancer
The most diagnosed cancer in the UK for men is prostate cancer and the most common for men aged 15-39 is testicular cancer.
It’s important for men aged 45-50 to speak with their doctors about PSA testing and know the signs of symptoms of prostate cancer, which include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Painful or burning urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
Click here to visit the Prostate Cancer UK website to find out more.
It’s also important for men to check their testicles for any lumps or changes on a monthly basis. There is a 95%+ survival rate, but some experience long-term side effects due to treatment and this can affect their quality of life. The Movember team are working to improve this quality of life through advocating affordable treatment and access to services and support for families and carers as well as the patient.
Click here to watch Ben’s story and find out how he survived testicular cancer and found support with the Movember foundation.
How can I take part in Movember?
- Donations – This can be a one-off payment or a monthly donation.
- ‘Grow a mo’ – Grow a moustache during November.
- ‘Move for Movember’ – Run or walk 60km over the course of the month to represent the 60 men lost to suicide every hour.
- ‘Host a Mo-ment’ – Host a virtual trivia night or get a group of friends and family together (following government guidance) and have a gaming tournament. You can plan any fundraising event you’d like!
- ‘Mo in your own way’ – Whether you choose a test of physical endurance or your own adventure, challenge yourself to a bold fundraising task!
By 2030, Movember aim to halve the number of men dying from testicular cancer and facing serious side effects from treatment. They are also aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25%. If you’d like to find out more, click here to visit their website.