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Movember - Men's Health Awareness Month


Weekly Wellbeing Focus

Movember is a month-long annual campaign established by the Movember Foundation to raise awareness of health issues that affect men, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, physical inactivity and mental health. Whilst Movember typically encourages supporters to grow a moustache or beard if they can as a way to raise awareness and fundraise, it is important to acknowledge that not all men can grow facial hair.

Movember encourages action around early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments encouraging people to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Cancer Research UK provides information on specific types of cancer than affect men and the NHS A-Z of conditions contains plenty of informationm on symptoms and diagnosis. Findings suggest that on average men go to their GP half as often as women which does not help with early diagnosis of conditions. Everyone is encouraged to contact their GP if they are concerned about anything health-related, even if the reason for the appointment may be difficult to talk about or in some cases stigmatised. Anyone with concerns can also access information through Orchid, which offers a national male cancer helpline, with information on projects focusing on ‘at risk’ groups.

One of our earlier Weekly Wellbeing Focus articles talked about Men’s Health Week and the stark contrast between male suicide rates and the proportion of men who access psychological therapies and seek treatment for depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. In the United Kingdom, 75% of suicides are carried out by men. A visit to the GP is a positive step towards exploring options that can alleviate mental health challenges, ranging from lifestyle changes, treatment or therapy options, or trying certain medications. With mental health, it is important to seek help early on before things escalate.

The Movember Foundation is inclusive of all people who have an affinity with the cause areas and has funded projects which seek to reduce the impact of anxiety and depression within LGBT communities, acknowledging that bias and discrimination add a layer of risk on top of other factors. Indeed, trans men may not be at risk of prostate or testicular cancer, though there are other physical and mental health issues that are particular to the community. You can access a 3-minute video created by the Movember Foundation depicting the experience of a man with lived trans-experience who talks about his relationship with the concept of masculinity in the context of Movember. It is also important to acknowledge that there are non-binary people at risk of prostate and testicular cancers.

For more information on health and wellbeing you can visit the Staff Wellbeing Pages where you can find out about the College’s Employee Wellbeing Programme and also browse all our Weekly Wellbeing Focus articles.

 

You can access all previous Weekly Wellbeing articles through the Staff Wellbeing page