Movember and Men’s Health

It’s that time of the year again. We don’t mean the clocks going back and everything becoming all dark and horrible…it is the time of year when men are seen sporting a permanent five o’clock shadow leading up to something bigger, some sort of fancy facial hair arrangement…all in the name of Charity. It’s Movember.

Movember (a portmanteau of the Australian-English diminutive word for moustache, “mo”, and “November”) is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer – as well as mental health concerns such as stress, depression and men’s suicide.

By encouraging men of all ages to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Through their work and because of a long list of projects and events organised by the Movember Foundation, we are seeing some startling statistics come to light, for example…

The state of men’s health is in crisis. Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier. Prostate cancer rates – the most common cancer in UK men – will double in the next 15 years, while testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. Three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

That’s where The Movember Foundation come in. The international charity have made available a huge amount of helpful resources online, so we’d like to highlight some of the thoughts from their PDF article “How to Move Beyond Feeling Rubbish” right now for some simple tips on how to talk and take action.

If you can’t seem to shift feeling not great or you’re feeling overwhelmed about life, take action. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

1) Talk to someone you trust, especially when things are tough.

2) Get moving. Exercise does great things to your body and mind.

3) Take a break – you don’t need to solve every challenge today, so give yourself some downtime.

4) Get out and do something you enjoy with a friend.

5) If you’ve tried some of these things and still feel bad then talk to a professional for advice and support.

Talking to that professional…

So, you’ve had a go at helping yourself out of the mess you’ve find yourself mixed up in but things still aren’t okay. Is this the right time to turn to the professionals? And which professionals should you turn to?

Well, from our perspective, this would be the perfect time to talk to the people at your company’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – assuming your company has engaged the services of an EAP provider that is.

If not, then your company might have made similar or alternative arrangements for access to someone their employees can turn to in confidence when things have gone wrong in life, it is best to ask your line manager (or one of their peers) or you can speak to HR, so long as your company allows this option. Your line manager or HR are sure to know what support options are available to you in confidence.

Back to the EAP, let’s consider ourselves lucky in this scenario, our company provides full access to CiC’s EAP services, that means you have someone to talk to 24/7/365, you can call our Adviceline right now, all you have to confirm is who you work for, you can even phone in as an anonymous caller if you are feeling a little anxious about this arrangement.

Either way, your call will be answered by a professional counsellor, suitably qualified and experienced to provide the support you need, we’ll confirm your employer and after that, the ball is in your court, you can say as much, or as little as you want to, you can phone us back as often as you like so don’t feel bad if you put the phone down afterwards and realise you left something out, we’re here for you.

Back to the support scenario, you will speak to a qualified counsellor first off, but you won’t be asked to take part in a formal counselling session at this stage, the first call or two is helpful for us to find out what is going on in your life and to think about what support options to offer you. Help ranges from the mental to the physical, with a focus on the practical.

We can support you while you wait to take opportunity of the support options unique to your situation, be it debt, physical health, stress, anxiety and depression, Dependent care support or even access to a solicitor over the phone to discuss issues related to the law.

You can read all about us and our EAP services HERE.