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Men’s Health Week at Quanta

David Broome our consultant managing the role
Posted by  David Broome
Published on 15 June 2020

Men's Health Week happens every year during the week leading up to Father's Day.  This year, it will start from June 15th.  Each year Men’s Health Week becomes bigger and more recognised, so if you’re a man that wants to do more, or a woman that wants to inform a man what you love about it, then get spreading the word.  The more awareness that is raised for Men’s Health Week; the more men will feel like it’s OK to talk about their health issues and not just push them to the side and ignore any health problems.

 

A key focus for 2020 will be on Covid-19

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 in December 2019 there has been a growing recognition that men seem to be at greater risk of becoming severely ill with the disease and have a higher mortality rate.  It is tough for men to ask for help but if you do not ask when you need it, things tend to get worse, especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19.

 

Covid-19 has also led to a high increase in depression amongst men. Men of all ages are less likely than women to seek help for all types of problems, including depression, substance abuse, and stressful life events. Being strong does not mean being silent!  It is important to raise awareness and to show men that it is good to talk.  To prove the point did you know:

 

  • Only 1-in-10 men compared to 1-in-4 women will receive treatment for depression
  • The rate of suicide in men is approximately three times higher than women
  • Men may be less likely to recognise they have a disorder, and may be more reluctant to seek help
  • Men may not show traditional symptoms of depression and stress

 

We have put together some ways in which you can recognise if there is a problem:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Feeling unable to enjoy things you used to
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling unable to cope with things that you used to find easy or straightforward
  • Feeling exhausted, restless or agitated
  • Loss of appetite or sometimes overeating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of libido, or sex drive
  • Thoughts of harming yourself

 

How to get help:

If any of this sounds familiar, then reach out to someone you trust and tell them how you have been feeling.  Hopefully, this step will set you on the path to getting some support and, ultimately, improve how you are feeling. See below a number of ways in which you can get help:

 

  • Speak to a trusted friend
  • Call your local GP service
  • Reach out to one of the many charities available (CALM, Mind, Samaritans). These charities provide a range of support for people with mental health and emotional issues such as low mood, depression, or stress.

 

Taking control of your mental and physical health:

According to men’s health forum, a staggering 1 in 5 men pass away before they reach 65.  We need all men to act and ensure you are not just another statistic.  It’s time to take control of your physical, mental, and emotional health.  We have highlighted a few pointers to help.

 

Studies show that men are more likely to drink excessively to help alleviate stress and negative feelings.  Keep a conscious eye on your drinking and, if you feel you have started to rely on the booze a little too much, take steps to cut down before your drinking gets out of control and starts damaging your health. The NHS recommends a maximum of 14 units per week, spread throughout the week but leaving two or three days completely alcohol-free.

 

Smoking

We know smoking is bad and it is becoming increasingly socially unacceptable. It is also expensive and there’s the substantial health risks that comes with it.  However, quitting is much easier said than done and most people don’t quit for good the first, second or even third time they try but you must persevere.  If you need further help, tips, advice and support, then visit the NHS Website. You can also see your GP to enquire about the NHS Stop Smoking Service, where you can find out more about the various medicines and other methods available to help you.

 

Exercise

Exercise is extremely important.  Finding regular time for the gym or playing sports with friends as opposed to meeting at the pub could open an opportunity for you to chat about health worries while doing something healthy. We are all busy 24/7, juggling work/family/friend commitments and it seems to be getting harder and harder to find the time to fit in regular exercise.  It is noticeable that during the lockdown period many of us have taken up some form of healthy exercise.  Working from home has meant re-organising our lives and that created the opportunity to fit exercise into our daily schedule through time saved by not commuting.  The challenge over the next few months is to maintain healthy exercise schedules within the new, ‘back to work at the office’ scenario.

 

Health Checks

Health checks are extremely important. To check if your Body Mass Index is within the healthy range, visit NHS BMI healthy weight calculator.  If needed there are a number of healthy diets out there that would suit your needs and lifestyle, but beware of fad diets.   Slow and steady might seem boring but it pays off eventually and is more likely to result in a permanent lifestyle change. The NHS have created a 12-week printable weight loss guide for anyone who is looking to lose weight the healthy way.

 

If you are 40 or over, the NHS Health Check is an opportunity to get a midlife MOT for free on the NHS. The Health Check involves checking your vascular and circulatory health and includes blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and other checks. The check is designed to detect any problems early and the health professional will also be able to advise you of any steps you can take to lower your chances of developing any serious health issues later on.

 

You are not alone! Absolutely everyone has down days and weeks, and, inevitably, we all face difficult periods throughout life.  Circumstantial low mood or depression can often be attributed to traumatic life events such as the breakdown of a relationship, health problems, redundancy, or the loss of a loved one.

 

Sometimes there does not even need to be a trigger for how you are feeling - you may find yourself feeling down for no clear reason at all. Worse still, you may feel completely powerless and unable to lift yourself out of this inexplicable change of mood, which can be frustrating, to say the least.

 

For anyone reading this, we want you all to know that you are not alone and there is support available to you. Please follow this link for support groups and contact information.

 

Here at Quanta we make a conscious effort to give back to our local charities. To raise awareness for Men’s Health Week we will be hosting a number of activities across the business; one being ‘Wear it Blue Day’ on Friday 19th June. If you would like to donate, please visit our Just Giving page.

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