Men’s Health Week
Thu 10 Jun 2021
Men's Health Week June 14-20 2021
For more information about the week click here.
Wellbeing and health are topics that are often over-looked by men.
Did you know:
- 1 man in 5 dies before age 65.
- 2 men in 5 die before age 75.
- A waist over 37 inches puts you at increased risk of many serious health conditions.
- You can have a NHS health check from age 40.
- Women live longer than men.
- Just over three-quarters of suicides (76%) are male.
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 49.
- Men between the ages of 18 and 44 are less likely to go see a doctor than women.
- Relationship breakdown and financial worries are more likely for men to lead to suicide.
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent.
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs.
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women.
- When men do use therapy, it is at the point of crisis.
- 87% of rough sleepers are men.
It is vital that men start to feel more comfortable talking about their health and wellbeing.
The main physical health issues that men face are:
Heart attacks strike men at younger ages than women. On average, a first heart attack strikes men at age 65. For women, the average age of a first heart attack is 72. It’s not entirely clear why middle-aged men have more heart attacks than women in the same age group. But historically higher rates of unhealthy habits, including smoking and stress, may be partly to blame.
Men are 14% more likely to get cancer than women and 37% more likely to die from it. This is probably due to a higher risk of exposure to carcinogens, lack of awareness of risks and not going to see a doctor when symptoms develop.
Testicular cancer tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age. Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in 1 of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles. It’s important to be aware of what feels normal for you. Get to know your body and see a GP if you notice any changes.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).
When this happens, you may notice things like:
- an increased need to urinate
- straining while you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer. It's more likely they're caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are 2 main types of diabetes:
- type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
- type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. Men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women.
For more details on men’s health click here
Tips for staying healthy:
- Drink less than 14 units of alcohol a week (equivalent of 6 pints of average strength beer).
- If you smoke, STOP! On average a cigarette smoker will die 10 years younger than a non-smoker.
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
- Walk 10,000 steps a day.
- If it comes in brown choose this over white (rice, pasta, bread).
- Drink at least 2 litres of water a day.
- Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
- Regularly have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked.
- Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night (or day if you are working nights).
The coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on everyone’s lives. The pandemic has made many of us feel anxious and stressed. Its great that restrictions are starting to ease across the UK and we are starting to come out of lockdown, but these changes may lead to your feeling anxious about leaving the safety of your home.
If you are concerned about returning to the office after working from home click here to read our guide.
If you’re not feeling great, you’re not alone. One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. This may increase during 2020 due to the pandemic.
For many of us talking about mental health is difficult and often men find this even more difficult. It’s hard to put how you’re feeling into words. Remember you can be strong without being silent.
As a police officer your role is to serve and protect, this means that you are less likely to ask for help, as you think it’s seen as a sign of weakness. We all need to stop thinking that talking about emotional or mental health is a sign of weakness. Police officers are dying because they aren’t asking for or getting help.
Research has shown that emergency services workers are twice as likely as the public to identify problems at work as the main cause of their mental health problems, but they are also significantly less likely to seek help.
Between 2015 and 2017 more than 20 police officers took their own life each year. That’s almost two a month*
With a quarter of emergency service workers admitting to thinking about taking their own lives, the ‘Man up’ campaign through the Police Federation encourages officers to take each other’s mental wellbeing as seriously as they take each other’s physical safety, and questions whether we are too dismissive of a colleague who may be showing signs of mental health issues - something that has potentially fatal consequences. When you hear ‘Man Up’, think ‘Man Down’ offer help. For more details of this campaign click here.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, help is available –
Stress and anxiety are normal, especially in these uncertain times. It’s what we do about it that matters. There are various steps you can take to cope with being under pressure, remember, different things work for different people.
Identify your triggers and take control – working out what triggers your stress can help you anticipate when you may feel stressed and what you could do about it in advance.
Organise your time – making some adjustments to the way you organise your time can help you feel more in control and able to handle the pressure you are feeling.
Be active – exercise can help clear your head and then let you deal with your problems more calmly. Go outside to exercise, as fresh air and spending time in nature can really help.
Talk to other people – friends, family and colleagues can help support you through the stress you are feeling, you may even have a laugh and start to relax. You may also want to consider talking to a professional counsellor.
Do something you enjoy - spending time doing something you enjoy will take your mind off how you are feeling. Everyone needs to take time for themselves, it can be as simple as having a bath or reading a book.
Avoid unhealthy ways to cope – many people use alcohol, smoking, chocolate and gambling to try and relieve the stress they are feeling, none of these things will help in the long term, use healthy coping strategies like going for a run, listening to music or walking the dog.
Challenge yourself – learning new skills and setting yourself new goals will help build your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.
Help others – people who volunteer in the community or for a worthwhile cause tend to be more resilient.
Try to be positive – think of all the things you are grateful for, write down or say out loud 3 things that went well each day.
Address some of the causes – where possible improve some of the issues that are putting pressure on you.
Accept the things you can’t change – it’s not easy, but accepting that there are some things happening to you that you can’t do anything about will help you focus your time and energy elsewhere.
For more details on looking after your mental health, read our guide here.
To read our stress awareness guide click here
Worrying about money can be extremely stressful and may lead to mental and physical health conditions.
According to the Police Federation of England and Wales Pay & Morale Survey:
- 1 in 8 said they sought financial support in the last year to cover day to day expenses.
- 51% of respondents told us that they found themselves worrying about the state of their personal finances every day or almost every day.
- 17% of respondents said that they had sought advice because of money issues in the last year.
- 86% of respondent with Mental health problems said that financial situation made their mental health worse.
- 46% of people in problem debt also have mental health problems
- Mental Health makes you three times more likely to be in problem debt.
- Individuals with multiple debt problems are at a ‘significantly high risk of suicide’ than those with just one problem debt.
If you’re struggling with debt or finding it hard to manage your finances then we’re here to help.
For more details, read our debt awareness guide here
If you are struggling with gambling, call the National Gambling Helpline (24 hours) 0808 80 20 133 or read our guide here.
Police Mutual Services
We’ve teamed up with PayPlan**, one of the UK’s leading free debt advice providers, who offer free and confidential advice to anyone in serious financial difficulties.
They’re able to advise you on a range of debt solutions suited to your individual circumstances, helping to protect you and your family with a sustainable way to manage your debt.
Get free and confidential help to combat your debt, call PayPlan** on 0800 197 8433.
Our Care Line Service provided by Health Assured can offer advice and information, helping with a range of concerns including emotional support.
Take a look at the e-portal or download the APP.
Health & Wellbeing e-portal
Username: policemutual Password: careline
Download the Health Assured App and register today - your code is MHA107477
*According to the Police Federation of England and Wales
**PayPlan is a trading name of Totemic Limited. Totemic Limited is a limited company registered in England, Company Number: 2789854. Registered Office: Kempton House, Dysart Road, PO Box 9562, Grantham, NG31 0EA. Totemic Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Conduct Authority Number: 681263.
Police Mutual is a trading style of The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited. The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The firm is on the Financial Services Register, registration number 117672. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL. For your security all calls are recorded and may be monitored.
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