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Posted by HealthHero

Beyond Movember: 5 ways to make men's health a priority year-round

Beyond Movember: 5 ways to make men's health a priority year-round
5 minute read

Movember isn’t just a fun excuse to grow a bad moustache. It’s a fundraising incentive to shine a spotlight on some of the biggest issues in men’s health.

Since 2003, five million people across the world have raised proceeds to fund groundbreaking projects. Their aim? To change men’s health treatment and support for mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

It’s a worthy cause, and, because of its quirky nature, one that receives a lot of attention. As such, it’s a perfect opportunity to start a conversation on how to improve men’s health in the workplace.

But November is just one month. What about the rest of the year? How can we support men’s health throughout?

Men’s health: The facts

Consider the following:

  • Around 10.8 million men across the world have prostate cancer.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men.
  • Men are twice as likely than women to have heart attacks.
  • One man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with men accounting for 69 percent of all suicides.

The likelihood is that at least some of your men will be experiencing health challenges. And they need your support.

How you can support your male workforce

Yes, your male employees might seem fine. But unfortunately, men don’t always talk openly about their challenges.

The damaging gender roles around men always being strong and independent means they’re less likely to ask for help at work. When they do, they are often penalised for it. And, when they disclose a vulnerability, their colleagues may view them as lesser.

Then there’s the fact that some men also struggle to recognise the symptoms of their own physical and mental health issues.

As such, more awareness is valuable. By promoting men’s health all year round, you can provide the mental and physical health support they need—both in and out of work.

Let’s look at how.

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1. Appoint a men’s health champion

Health champions are not health professionals, but men within your company who want to help improve the health of your male workforce. Research shows they can make a real difference, as those men not ready to seek formal medical care value this informal man-to-man approach.

While men’s health champions don’t need medical credentials, they will need training. Furthermore, it’s important that they have the following qualities:

  • Empathy. The ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and understand their specific situation—even if it’s something they haven’t experienced themselves.
  • Good listening skills. Paying complete attention—and not interrupting—will show that they care about their male colleagues’ health. It will also help them understand their situation more clearly, and better offer support.

2. Make GP access easier

According to recent NHS data, 27 percent of patients avoided making a GP appointment in 2022 because they found it too difficult. One of the main reasons for this is the 1,800 vacant GP spots across the UK, and the increased patient rosters for those remaining. But there’s also the fact that many men avoid going to the doctor when they need to, even when they’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms.

If your male staff feel unwell or need medical attention, they might neglect to seek care. For those experiencing the all-too-common symptoms of heart disease, the results can be fatal.

Give your men easy access to GP services. A digital health and wellbeing solution like Symbio provides a straightforward way for your employees to book appointments, and receive the care they need in a timely manner.

3. Provide wellbeing support

12.5 percent of men in the UK suffer from a common mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. And yet, men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Meaning often when they face mental health challenges, they face them alone.

Destigmatise mental health issues by talking openly about them. You could hold a company-wide event on Mental Health Awareness Week, for instance, so your men know their feelings are not unique, and they are not alone.

Then, provide your male staff with wellbeing support, such as counselling services and mental health helplines. A digital solution like Symbio gives easy access to both. So, once your men are ready to talk, there’s someone there to listen.

4. Check in on your male staff

You might already hold regular 1-1s with your staff. But these are usually performance-focused reviews, or opportunities for them to raise work-related issues. Even if you do ask your male staff how they’re feeling, they likely won’t raise personal issues.

Hold weekly check-ins specifically for their physical and mental health. That way, they know that they can talk freely about their challenges, without fearing they’re being unprofessional.

These weekly updates will make your men feel more engaged, more productive, and happier. And the bonus? They’ll stay at your company for longer.

5. Share helpful resources

Your male staff might make lifestyle choices that negatively impact their health. Men are more likely to face substance abuse disorders, for instance. They’re also more likely to drink excessively, and exhibit risky behaviours such as drink driving as a result.

Provide your men with information on organisations they can turn to for help overcoming addictions. And provide content on the symptoms of common conditions men suffer from, such as prostate cancer, vascular issues, and mental health issues.

Symbio is a holistic digital solution that provides relevant information for men’s conditions, for both mind and body. And, it’s personalised, so every man can read about their specific concerns.

Webinar - Men's health: tools to help you break the stigma in the workplace

Movember provides the perfect opportunity to talk about men’s health issues. But it’s just the start of a conversation you should be having all year round.

Join our webinar on Tuesday 22nd November at 1pm to find out how your organisation can support men's health throughout the year - hear from men's health experts who will take you through practical tips and advice to help you make your male employees' mental and physical health a priority. Grab your spot here. 

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