Male wellbeing has been at the forefront of this week’s health news, with Men’s Health Week having proved a successful catalyst for bringing some of the most common issues affecting modern men to the fore.
This particular initiative was intended to raise awareness of diseases such as prostate cancer, as well as mental health matters including stress, anxiety and depression, with the key message being the importance of taking symptoms seriously.
Men can often be reluctant to visit a doctor, especially with busy schedules and hectic lives, with around 52% of men in the UK having not visited the doctor in up to five years (according to research conducted by ANCON Medical .)
The same research showed that nearly 2.5million men are either currently concerned about symptoms of a serious illness or family health history, and yet don't feel they have the time to potentially get diagnosed.
One particular aspect of men’s health that is often neglected is mental wellbeing, with the Men's Health Forum revealing that 12.5% of British men are suffering from a common mental health disorder. In fact, 61% of men now accept to having experienced depression and/or anxiety at some point in the last five years (source: Smart TMS ), and 48% feel more stressed today than at any point in the last five years. Despite these statistics, men are apparently less likely to access psychological therapies, with I only 36% of referrals bring men.
We asked blogger Luke Heywood about his experience of mental health for Men’s Health Week:
‘I’ve suffered with anxiety most of my life, it has a way of manifesting itself when I least expect it. The way I try to break the cycle is to channel the negative feelings into doing something I love. For me I love photography and writing for my fashion blog. If I can channel the negative energy into that and create something beautiful that can inspire others. I think for men it’s such a taboo to open up about anxiety as it’s seen as a sign of weakness, which it definitely shouldn’t be.’
For more information on men’s mental health matters you can visit the Mens Health Forum ( www.menshealthforum.org.uk ).