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  • Writer's pictureJessica Lavender

Movember - a month about men's health

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Movember is a well known word known to many, but where did it come from and what does it actually mean? Born in 2003, Movember was created by a couple of guys in Australia, who met over a beer and talked all things male and moustache related. They had an idea to challenge men to grow a moustache, which at the time had fallen out of fashion, and use this as a platform to encourage men to discuss and be aware of their mental and physical health. Since then it has become the leading Global charity aimed solely on Men’s Health.

They focus on three main areas of Men’s health – Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer and Mental Health and Suicide. Here at Therapy Centre Services, we are particularly concerned with Men’s Mental Health so wanted to delve a little further into this and why awareness around this is so important.

Here are some of the hard, and saddening facts;

· Globally, on average one male dies by suicide every one minute.

· Looking closer to the UK, currently 75% of Suicides are men. This is more prominent in men from Minority groups and within the 55-64 year old age bracket.

· Men are three times more likely to become dependent on drugs and alcohol.

· Men are 50% more likely to be detained and treated compulsorily as psychiatric inpatients.

And yet……

Males represent only 36% of metal health referrals.

So what do we need to do as a community to make a positive change to these statistics. Firstly, we need to encourage men to talk about their issues. Being able to recognise when we need help or recognise it in others around us is vitally important. Traditionally men were taught to not talk about their feelings and emotions, and gradually we are seeing a positive change generation to generation, but there is clearly still a long way to go.

The Movember charity encourage you to ‘Have a Convo, Save a Bro’ using these four steps…

A – Ask if they are ok, trust your instincts, if something doesn’t seem right, it usually isn’t

L – Listen. Be a judgement free ear to listen to them. Try not to diagnose or give advice, just simply listen.

E – Encourage action. Help him focus on ways to improve his health. Encourage him to speak to others he trusts or to speak to his GP if it’s ongoing.

C – Check in. Suggest a time for another catch up soon to see how things are going

Try checking in with the men in your life and encourage them to open up about how they are feeling. The more we do this the more we can create a social norm for men to speak about their mental and physical health without embarrassment or judgement. In turn, this should hopefully lead to more men referring for help when they need it.

Here are some interesting links to listen to, both discussing different angles to talking about Men’s Mental Health;

Fearne Cottons ‘Happy’ Podcast with Phillip Schofield;

BBC Sounds Son’s of Anxiety series;

How to recognise the signs?

Any change in someone’s mood can be an indication that there may be something wrong, this can vary in severity from very small changes to extreme and obvious. Either way, if you feel like there may be something wrong with someone you know, don’t be afraid to ask. Talking about feelings and emotions can be difficult, more so with men, but encourage them to talk and seek help if you feel they need it.

If you or someone you know need help and support, please look into what services are available, of which there are many. There is no right time to do this. Please feel free to contact us if you are unsure what to do or how to go about it and we can help you find the right resources, or speak to your GP.

Useful resources;

Men’s Health forum – 24/7 text, chat and email stress support for Men

Mind – support with Mental Health issues

Phone 03001233393 (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm)

Samaritans – support for those experiencing feelings of distress or despair

Phone 116123 (24/7 free line)

Therapy Centre Services – Self referral to Counselling and support therapy Phone line 07895 796857 (Monday-Friday 9am-5.30pm, Saturday 9am-1pm) Self referral form -

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