The theme this year is focusing on Better Health for Men & Boys which we can start by doing by highlighting some serious issues that affect men and boys and their wellbeing.
Current research tells us that men have a suicide rate 3 times higher than women. 1 in 3 men have been the victims of domestic violence and on average die 4-5 years before women Men are nearly twice as likely to suffer from lung cancer than women and are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease than women.
Men are often taught, through childhood, to embody a masculine ideal rather than focusing on social and emotional skills. The healthy ways men cope might involve using exercise or music to manage stress or worry, rather than talking, and their relationships may be based more around shared activity than speaking about emotional issues.
A wide range of organisations and individuals have come together to coordinate and promote the range of activities and services available to men. These include Men Sheds, 5-a-side, the Pitt Stop, Community Arts, Support Groups as well as specific support with for example mental health, trauma, suicide prevention, relationships, parenting and advice and information.
International Men’s Day can also be celebrated at an individual and family level, by spending special time with the men in your life, in appreciation of how they enrich the lives of those around them.
The Men’s Mental Health Forum have provided information and resources including this book, which is priced at £3.95.
Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Male menopause can be a difficult time for older men, with symptoms beginning to affect their well-being; and with the COVID-19 pandemic halting normal life, it can have an even bigger impact on mental health. Read more about understanding the Male Menopause and Mental Health here.
Support is always available. It can sometimes feel we are alone and there is not anywhere to turn.
I encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out or start looking through some of the resources that are available.
Reaching out to a family member, friend, work colleague or your GP can be the starting point in not trying to manage everything alone.
Thinking of all the Men in my life today who have enriched my way of being through knowledge and life skills, of which I am personally truly grateful for.
However you celebrate International Men’s Day, lets make sure we look after each other, especially now.