International Men's Day - What's It All About?

The 19th of November is International Men’s Day – a chance to focus on the men in our lives and the positive value they bring. As well as being a day of celebration, it coincides with Movember – a month-long campaign that aims to raise awareness of serious men’s health issues, including mental health, suicide prevention, testicular and prostate cancer.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

On average, globally, a man commits suicide every minute. In the UK, 3 out of 4 suicides are men. Suicide is the leading cause of death of men under 50. These statistics highlight just how important it is to encourage men to feel safe, supported and comfortable accessing support.

Movember’s four step process can be used to check in on the men in your life. The acronym is ALEC, and it stands for:

  • ASK them how they’re feeling
  • LISTEN to them
  • ENCOURAGE them to seek help
  • CHECK IN to see how they’re doing

If you’re concerned that someone doesn’t seem their usual self, ask how they’re feeling. You don’t need to know how to solve their problems but listening and encouraging them to seek help will ensure they feel supported. You can find more information about each ‘ALEC’ step on the Spot the Signs – Movember webpage.

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men under the age of 50. Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with it every year in the UK. But, according to Movember, 62% of those young men don’t know how to check themselves.

Everyone’s testicles are different, so it’s really important you know what’s normal for you. If you’re unsure how to check, this video guide may help. Other conditions can cause lumps or swellings, and most lumps are not cancer. But it is important you get your doctor to check anything unusual as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed, Nuts & Bolts - Movember have a useful guide for understanding the testicular cancer journey, from diagnosis, to treatment to life afterwards.

Prostate Cancer

Although prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, it is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. You can’t self-check for it but there are a few different symptoms to look out for. Often, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

It is advised that men over the age of 50 speak to their doctor about having a PSA test, which is a simple routine blood test. If you are black or have a family history of prostate cancer, it’s recommended you start getting tested sooner.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, support is available. True North is a charity that helps men along their journey with advice on how to get the most out of life. Similarly, Prostate Cancer UK provide a hub of resources and advice.

Getting Support

To coincide with International Men’s Day, Charlie Waller Trust will deliver a Suicide Prevention workshop on Friday 19th November at 2.00pm. The workshop will explore the causes of suicidal ideation and provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions in a safe and supportive environment. Register your place here.

There are many things we can do to help support and manage our mental wellbeing. . It’s not a weakness to reach out. Mental health issues are like many other physical illnesses – and can be overcome with the right support. The Wellbeing Service is a good place to start for self-help resources. If you need wellbeing and mental health support, Wellbeing Advice Appointments are a first point of contact to the Wellbeing Service.  

Further Information

Wellbeing Service

Movember – Get Support

Testicular cancer - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Prostate information | Prostate Cancer UK

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