Today (19th November 2020) is International Men’s Day, an annual event to celebrate men’s contributions to society as well as raise awareness for men’s issues. This year’s theme is “Better health for men and boys”, raising awareness for both men’s physical and mental health.
Currently, there is a silent men’s health crisis, stereotypically men will not open up and talk about their mental health issues. With 3 out of 4 suicides being male, it is so important to help men to express their feelings and to support them through any issues that they may be having. It is also important to help break the stigmas surrounding male mental health, there are many old-fashioned ideologies that need to be resolved in order to see a positive change for men. Phrases such as “man up” and “grow some balls” are prime examples of common toxic masculine traits present in our society. Expressions such as these are outdated, experiencing and expressing your emotions does not make you weak, or any less of a man.
If you are struggling mentally, it is so important to reach out to someone; a friend, a partner, a doctor, whoever you feel most comfortable talking to as talking about it will help you so much more than bottling it up and putting on a brave face; no one should ever feel like they have to “man up” and deal with it alone.
There are also physical health issues affecting men currently, as globally men die 6 years younger than women. There are also stigmas surrounding men’s physical health, as many men find it difficult to talk to a doctor if they find a symptom of a condition, such as finding a lump in their testicle.
There has been a rise in men publicly talking about these issues, for example, Love Island star Chris Hughes had a testicular exam live on This Morning to promote the importance of getting checked. This just goes to show how nothing is embarrassing about visiting a doctor, especially if you are concerned about something. The earlier you catch illnesses, especially serious illnesses such as testicular cancer, then the more chance you have of survival and continuing to live a normal life.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing mental or physical issues then please talk to someone. There is a multitude of resources available through the NHS and charities to help you, with whatever issue you may be facing.
Here at The Insurance Surgery, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our male colleagues for their hard work and support, especially through the coronavirus pandemic.