What are you doing for male health this Movember?
Have you heard about Movember – the month formerly known as November?! Coinciding with Men’s Health Month, Movember is the time when some men choose to grow a moustache and help to raise awareness about health issues affecting males – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
The idea for Movember came about in 2003 when a few friends were chatting over a beer in a pub just outside Melbourne, Australia. Fast forward 19 years and Movember has created a movement of over 5 million supporters, funding more than 1,200 innovative health projects across more than 20 countries. But perhaps more important than this, it is helping men stand up and say ‘men’s health matters – let’s talk about this.’
And it could not come at a more important time. Statistics for men’s health are shocking. One man in five dies before he’s 65 and some of these are young men too. The causes are not only physical health but also mental health. The fallout from the pandemic also meant that people delayed going to the doctors with health concerns. According to the Men’s Health Forum ‘early stage cancer diagnoses fell by a third in the first lockdown and that shortfall has continued.’ Prostate cancer diagnoses also fell 29% between 2019 and 2020, ‘not because prostate cancer is getting rarer (it isn’t) but because men weren’t seeing their GPs to begin to get diagnosed.’ It is also worth noting that NHS Health Checks for those over 40 were also paused during the pandemic.
DIY Man MOT
Aware of the health issues facing men coming out of the pandemic, the Men’s Health Forum encouraged men to undertake a DIY Man MOT. Launched in June they suggested things males could check for as part of a self-MOT. These include:
- Is your engine tuned (pulse)
- Are you overloaded (weight)
- Looking out for dashboard ‘warning lights’ eg pain, lumps, changes in bowel habits…
- As well as other things like the gear stick, water, day to day performance and pressure (blood pressure).
The full MOT can be found here and while the car analogy is humorous, it is very clear – if you are worried at all about your health (or it has been a while since you’ve had a check-up) then now is the time to get on top of it all.
How to get involved this Movember
Whatever your gender, there are lots of ways to get involved with Movember. Here are some suggestions:
- Males can grow a moustache to raise awareness and/or money
- Find out more about Movember and the work they are doing and their 5 top tips for men to know and do.
- Consider doing a DIY Man MOT or talk to your GP about a health check-up, particularly if you are over 40, have any concerns or worries no matter how trivial they seem. You can encourage the important males in your life to do this too.
- Find out more about prostate issues on the Prostate Cancer UK website.
- Find out more about your testicles and how to check them on the Movember website.
- Look at some of the self-help guides on the Male Survivor’s Partnership
- Encourage the men in your life to talk about their health and get support if they need it. The Movember website has some pointers on how to do this if you’re not sure how…
There are lots of places that males can go to for additional support on a whole range of things. Here are a few key places in Nottingham/shire:
- Central Crisis Team: (for those in mental health crisis) 0808 196 3779 (24hr)
- Samaritans: 116 123
- Equation: 0800 995 6999 (for males who are experiencing domestic abuse)
- Notts SVSS: 0115 941 0440 (supports males who have experienced sexual abuse or violence whether it happened recently or in the past).
How can Notts SVSS help
If you have experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence and are worried about health checks, particularly in intimate areas, you are welcome to phone our helpline for support. We believe that those people who have experienced sexual abuse deserve the very best in health care and understanding. Whilst we can’t offer advice on the medical conditions themselves, we can give you tips to help you feel in control, find the words you need or ask for support. You can read more about this in our article on prostate health. You can also look at our page for males for more information on our service.
Whether it’s growing a moustache, talking with your mates or doing your own health MOT, we wish you all good health this Movember.