Men’s Health Week: 15-21 June 2020 | News and events

Men’s Health Week: 15-21 June 2020 | News and events

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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of  community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway and Barnet.

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Men’s Health Week: 15-21 June 2020

Men's Health Awareness Week (15-21 June 2020) aims to raise awareness of the health needs of males who are often slow to come forward when they have a health concern. This year's focus is on the impact of COVID-19 as males are disproportionately affected and are twice as likely to die from it according to the Men's Health Forum, who are urging men to take steps to address “underlying conditions” such as excessive weight or poor fitness.

The Men's Health Forum has been urging Government and others to communicate directly with men with clear targeted age- and gender-sensitive information. The forum are researching into why men are more affected and what can we do about it? They are also promoting what can be done to prevent the virus doing more damage, they are pushing for:

For men to:

  • take action to avoid spreading the virus
  • take action to get the best out of lockdown and the 'new normal'
  • take action to beat 'underlying conditions'

For employers to:

  • take action to understand the virus
  • take action on social distancing
  • take action to make workplaces safe

The Priory private healthcare group have created a video with a discussion about men's mental health, with their consultant psychiatrist, Dr Adarsh Dharendra. To mark men's health week, they explore the reasons why suicide is on the rise for men. Dr Dharendra offers useful advice for consultations with male patients who might be struggling, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Particularly now, during isolation and the COVID-19 outbreak, health professionals may be seeing rising levels of harmful drinking, drug misuse and suicidal behaviour. Men are less likely to seek help and are less willing to discuss their emotions, therefore are more inclined to use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. This could be caused by factors such as:

  • Concepts of 'masculinity'
  • General competitiveness - needing to feel strong and in control
  • Financial pressures and stress - expectation to be the bread winner

If a patient is showing troubling signs, this video offers practical advice and tips you can pass on to them. If they require more specialist attention or medication, Dr Dharendra explores the best approaches.

Helpful resource

With the COVID-19 pandemic halting normal life, many older men with symptoms of male menopause could be experiencing more difficulty, with their mental health also being at risk.

Optimale have produced a guide 'Understanding the Male Menopause and Mental Health' to help separate facts from fiction around male menopause, better understand the physical and emotional changes that can affect men's wellbeing and share helpful tips, advice, and other useful information about this important topic. 

You can view the guide here.