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Men’s Health Week

The cause

Men’s Health week (13th-19th June) is geared towards providing men with access to all the information, services, and treatment that they require for a longer and healthier life.  With less men seeking help for their mental health struggles, and two years of lockdowns changing peoples’ lifestyles, it’s extremely important that there are sufficient resources out there to tackle this crisis.

Almost four in five suicides are men, and it is the greatest cause of death for men under 35. Even for men aged between 45-59, the suicide rate is increasing significantly. These are some of the reasons why there is a dedicated week to men’s health, and why at Host we feel so passionately about doing our bit to increase awareness.


men's health

Common health issues men face

One of the biggest issues facing men is a culture of soldiering on, where feelings are bottled up and nothing gets talked about. This avoidance of personal feelings is not feasible, but rather very detrimental to our mental health. Of course, not everyone is the same, but men are often encouraged less to tune in to their sensitive side, causing them to shy away from vulnerable conversations.

With a culture like this, it’s not surprising to learn that suicide happens far more than it ever should. Brains are an organ, just like other parts of the body, but unfortunately it does not always have the same perception, especially when it comes to mental health.

Talking about your emotions and thoughts should be as normal as seeking advice for an injured limb. Due to a variety of reasons, such as biological factors, immunity, sex and hormones, men tend to manifest stress differently. This may lead to men feeling greater levels of stress, and a more heightened response during fight-or-flight scenarios.


talking about mental health

What options are there?

It can be difficult to know where to start when seeking help. A great idea may be to just get the conversation started, and there are numerous charities that provide confidential support over the phone. Samaritans are open 24/7, National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK are open 24/7 and SANEline are open between 4.30pm – 10.30pm every day. The Mix are also a great charity to contact for people under 25!

Speaking to someone you don’t know can often be easier, as the conversation is generally felt to be carried out with less risk and judgement. However, talking with friends and family is also recommended, this way you can develop support networks. Check out mind who give great advice on how to do this. Furthermore, Host also offer great support and can provide help to all their tenants.


men's health week balance

Finding balance in life

A lack of balance in your life can contribute to negative mental health. This can take on the form of a variety of appearances, such as not being able to stop thinking of deadlines, a demanding work culture or even avoiding friends. After a while, this may seem normal, but it is important to take a step back, pause, and ask yourself what’s causing the stress or unhappiness.

Pay attention to your feelings now that you’re more aware of your situation. This will help you decide what changes to make. You’ll then want to reprioritise, such as deciding whether constantly thinking about university deadlines is worth losing out on time with friends and family.


men's health week

Take care of your mental health

Take that first step and ensure your mental health is in tip top shape. Throughout Men’s Health Week, try to take at least five minutes each day to reflect on your life and take action to improve it. This could mean just starting a conversation with a friend about how you feel, writing your thoughts down or just spending some time in silence to practice mindfulness.

It is promising to see an increasing number of men seeking help and being more aware about their mental health. Men are now three times as likely to see a therapist when worried about their mood, compared to over 10 years ago. In addition, men are also more determined in seeking help, with less men reporting that things would put them off from doing so. We should all do our part, so no one must suffer in silence.


If you’re still looking for further inspiration, then check out Host’s 50 ways to take care of your mental health.

 

 

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