Movember, the leading charity changing the face of men’s health is urging the people of Waterford to ‘Take Action’ by checking in on a mate; open up the conversation about mental health and check yourself. If something feels not right do talk to a healthcare professional.
A new study by the charity revealed that nearly 60% of men never, or very rarely speak about their mental health. 2021 Mo Bro ambassadors, All Ireland GAA winner, Cathal McShane (Tyrone); Olympic boxer Emmet Brennan and celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan are throwing their weight behind the upcoming campaign.
The organisation which is spearheading the drive to change the face of men’s health found that men cited feeling embarrassed, not knowing whom to speak to and not being able to find the right words were the top three reasons for not opening up.
Globally, a man dies by suicide every minute, while in Ireland, three out of every four deaths by suicide are male.
Furthermore, the research also found that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the emotional well-being of men, particularly among young men aged 18-24 with over 63% claiming their mental health has been impacted by the global pandemic, while 62% of those aged 35-44 also felt it had an adverse impact on their emotional well-being.
The findings come as the charity gears up for a month-long campaign, to raise funds to support programs and initiatives across three of the biggest health issues facing men: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
The organisation is strongly urging men, both young and old to take ownership of their health, to act when they notice something is not right and to speak up and reach out when they are struggling. Current statistics show that over 32,500 men in Ireland are living with prostate cancer. Also, while testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men, nearly half (48%) of all men aged 18-24, have either never or rarely examined for symptoms in the past six months.
Overall, 47% of males don’t know how to self-examine their testicles for signs of testicular cancer and nearly four of every ten males aged 18-34 doesn’t know how to properly self-examine. Alarmingly, only 3 of every 10 men were encouraged to self-examine their testicles by a health-care professional on a regular basis and the same figure applied for those who have been examined by a health care professional. Interestingly, 40% of men surveyed in the Connacht/Ulster region were encouraged to self-examine and also underwent an examination from a health-care professional.
Speaking at the launch of Movember 2021, Irish Country Director, Jack O’Connor says, “We have to keep working hard to change the narrative around men’s health, both physical and mental. The statistics are alarming and the perception that, because you are a man, you must simply tough it out, is not acceptable or appropriate. It is important that men, both young and old, realise that they can and must reach out, and we must do everything to normalise the conversation around our emotional well-being. Similarly, so with both testicular and prostate cancer- men must take responsibility for their health in this area but so too demand from health care professionals the proper guidance and advice on how to follow regular care plans and to be mindful of this. We are urging the public, men and women, young and old, to get behind the campaign this month and to show your support in whatever way you can. We want men, to open up, reach out and check it out, and we are calling on support to help make this happen.”
Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men.
This coming month, supporters are encouraged to either grow a moustache, move 60km in the month, host an event or take on an epic challenge. The organisation is appealing to all to get involved, regardless of whether you grow a moustache, and support the health and wellbeing of the men in their lives. All funds go directly towards supporting men’s health projects across mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.