Are you growing a moustache this November?
Don’t worry, we’re not being nosy.
Tomorrow, Saturday 19th November, marks International Men’s Day, in which awareness is raised around men’s mental health, as well as prostate and testicular cancer. Why the topic of moustaches, you ask?
Movember is a men’s health charity that began the moustache-growing campaign back in 2003 to raise awareness and to get men talking.
This year, some of our amazing colleagues here at Kallidus are taking part in Movember to raise awareness.
“I wanted to take part in Movember this year as I’m aware of the importance of raising awareness of men’s health issues and I think it’s a fun way of raising the conversation about it! Coming from personal experience, I know a lot of men can find it difficult to talk openly about their health whether physical or mental, so I would love to help break down the stigma as it’s something no one should have to shy or hide away from.” – Alex Lee, SEO Manager at Kallidus
Unfortunately, 1 in 4 men won’t discuss their physical and mental health issues with friends, family, or a medical professional. Someone out there is struggling. Too many men are staying silent, and it’s time to change the face of men’s health.
It’s time to get talking.
Life can throw all sorts of curveballs. Whether it’s work stress, family life, or financial burdens, mental health can take a serious plunge, and normal life begins to feel a bit more difficult. Devastatingly, suicide is the most common cause of death for males under the age of 50. But despite this, men still aren’t talking enough.
It’s okay not to feel okay. It really is. But we should never suffer alone.
77% of men surveyed have suffered from common mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress, or depression. A heartbreaking number of men are suffering, but why aren’t they talking more? Here are just some of the responses from the survey.
40% said, “I’ve learnt to deal with it.”
36% said, “I don’t wish to be a burden to anyone.”
20% said, “There’s a negative stigma around this type of thing.”
17% said, “I don’t want to admit I need support.”
16% said, “I don’t want to appear weak.”
It’s time to change these statistics, and ensure men always know they have someone to talk to.
One of the biggest causes of mental health issues is work-related pressure. But even if it’s not technically work-related, it’s a chain effect, and it impacts the individual in the workplace. Sometimes it’s noticeable, and other times it really isn’t.
What can you do in the workplace to support men’s mental health?
Talking about mental health issues isn’t the easiest. Movember has created a fantastic acronym to help us find a way to talk to people that we think may be struggling or just need to talk.
A: Ask how they’re feeling
L: Listen, and give your full attention
E: Encourage action
C: Check In
Find out more about the ALEC model to help you create those conversations.
It’s time we normalised talking. And even though the workplace doesn’t always seem like the best place, chances are, there’s most likely several people in the same position.
Organise internal webinars to discuss the challenges mental health brings, and to let your people know there is always someone within the organisation to talk to. Even implement a work ‘buddies’ scheme in which people set up a morning coffee break, in person or virtually, just to have a chat. Sometimes, it’s just the small gestures that can make the biggest difference.
Dealing with mental health is tough, there’s no two ways about it. Whether it’s family or friends, colleagues, or even yourself, getting the conversation going is never easy. With the support of charities such as Movember and Mind, as well as mental health courses, have a look at the resources available – you never know when it will be needed.
Movember is not only to raise awareness over mental health, but about prostate and testicular cancer. 1 in 8 men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among young men. Both are treatable with high survival rates, but early detection is crucial.
It’s rarely mentioned in the workplace, but reminders of the signs and symptoms can help someone get the help they need. But it’s a tricky subject to bring up at work… so how do you support?
Information saves lives
Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, and Cancer Research UK (just to name a few) all have incredible resources that are clear, informative, and lifesaving. Add these links to a group chat, or even a Team’s channel, just so your people know there is informative help for when they need it, without everyone needing to know.
A great way to get the conversation going is to create an internal webinar with the information your people need to help them be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate and testicular cancer. It’s an opportunity to also show your people who in the organisation they can speak to about issues they’re having. It’s an opportunity to let your people know what is available to them (private medical care is always a great start), as well as who is there to talk.
November is a great month to reflect, and men’s health will be on your people’s minds. But let’s not just stop at November. Reach out to friends, reach out for help, and let’s change these statistics once and for all.
Samaritans – Helpline: 116 123 Email: [email protected]
SHOUT – Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258
CALM – Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
Macmillan – Helpline: 0808 808 00 00