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Men's Health Week - How do we move forward?

Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
edited June 2021 in Coffee lounge
This week is Men's Health Week (Men's Health Forum).

Everybody's mental health has been challenged by the lockdowns and insecurities of the last year and it's not over. As we emerge from what we hope will be the worst of the pandemic, questions, concerns and anxieties remain. Men's Health Week 2021 (14-20 June) asks: how do we move forward?

The 'CAN DO' Challenge

The CAN DO Challenge is a great way to boost your mental wellbeing.
The five ways to wellbeing are five things we can all do that are scientifically-proven to help us feel better. For the CAN DO Challenge, we're calling on everyone to choose a different way to wellbeing to try each day of Men's Health Week.​
The five ways are:
  • Connect - connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven't since before lockdown) #connectmonday
  • (Be) Active - move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
  • Notice - take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
  • Discover - learn something new (eg. read a book you haven't read before) #discoverthursday
  • Offer (or give) - do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday
You CAN DO it by yourself. Or with friends. CONNECT Monday is the perfect day to round up your friends for the rest of the week.

You CAN DO it for fun. Or you CAN DO it to fundraise.

Size Isn't Everything

The Men's Mental Health forum also have a booklet on penis health you can download for free called 'Size Isn't Everything: penis health made easy', covering:
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Foreskins
  • Erections
  • Masturbation
  • Sex
  • Ejaculation
  • Sperm
  • Peeing
  • Testicles
It can be an embarrassing topic to talk about, but it's really important that you look after your physical health, as well as your mental health.

Coronavirus and Mental Health

Even before the pandemic, men's mental health was a cause for concern. There is a grave disparity in the high number of men who die from suicide and the low number of men who seek treatment for depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.

Particular groups of male-dominated workforces have suffered disproportionately in terms of income and some (taxi drivers, for example) have received little support from government to compensate for this loss. Men are more likely to be in the sort of jobs that cannot easily be done from home with the result that many male-dominated workforces are also at greater risk from Covid-19. 

If you're struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to right now, you can contact the following organisations:

  • Samaritans: call 116 123, or email You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch, and they're there at all times to listen to you without judgement
  • SHOUT: text SHOUT to 85258 if you'd prefer to speak to a volunteer over text
  • CALM: call 0800 58 58 58 or use their live webchat

Other listening services are listed on Mind's website, and you can also find support local to you on the Hub of Hope.

Let's all talk

The Men's Mental Health Forum have also produced some posters for this Men's Health Week. I've put some of them below, and you can see the others here.

 I keep thinking about the people Ive lost to covid-19
Ive no support with my long term conditionI cant honestly tell a soul how Im feeling inside

Will you be taking part in the CAN DO challenge? Has coronavirus impacted your physical or mental health? Is there anything you want to get off your chest?

National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her


  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,801 Disability Gamechanger
    I think the amount of replies to this highlights the problem lol...

    From what I've seen, girls are better at discussing their problems than guys (as a generalisation!) but I also feel they get more back from those communications as well.  I've been more 'open' about my own problems over the last few years, but don't feel like I've got anywhere with it.  I never feel better after telling people.  I either feel worse as it seems more 'real', or like I've just burdened someone else, or like I've just not been understood so it was a waste of time anyway.  I'm also part of a regular Zoom support group for one of my issues, where I see the same thing happening each week, it's mostly females that talk, and they appear to feel more positive afterwards, and then go on to say how much the group means to them and how much they needed it etc.  Maybe that's just a social protocol that they feel they have to do, but it does appear genuine.  Meanwhile, the guys try to talk, visibly struggling to explain what they mean and are then given a generic answer that doesn't really help anyone.  There aren't many guys that return after one session...

    I find this also spills onto social media as well...Insta stories, often late at night, about guys struggling with MH for one reason or another that they delete before the next day, presumably through embarrassment.  It's not clear whether it is just a short term thing and they feel better in the morning or not...  

    I'm not one to 'separate' the sexes at all, I'm certainly not conventionally manly lol, but it seems to be such a noticeable difference that I believe it is a 'biological' thing rather than just upbringing.  :|

    On a lighter note, I had a quick skim through that PDF booklet and it is well written - not like a totally formal school type book!
  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Community member Posts: 292 Pioneering
    Okkkkkkkaaayy! Grabbing the nettle for the guys out there! Someone has too! Guess I'm it! Lol. :) 

    Ouch! Lol:) 

    Maybe if someone makes a start? Maybe it will help other guys to participate? 

    Waited 2 to 3 years for something as simple as an xray and MRI scan appointment to get treatment for longtime, ongoing medical problems! 

    No face to face appointments available with a doctor for the past 14 months,and still no face to face appointments available! 

    Guys,(speak up)and I'm sure,its a regional/UK problem, that both Men and  Women,like to actually like to talk face to face with a real person/doctor!

    Guys are stubborn! 

    Yeah,i know,it's just the way we are,ok! Lol:) Must be a caveman thing! Lol:) 

    We bottle things up! 

    Oops,lol,glass,recycled glass,not plastic bottles! ;) 
    (Apparently,glass milk bottles back in fashion)? :) Yes!!!

    Serious bit! Ok. 

    Guys are stubborn! We don't like to look wimpy! 

    Is wimpy a word allowed these days ? 

  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Community member Posts: 292 Pioneering
    Old fashioned English

    Wimpy,BURGERS! lol;)  
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe men don’t open up about things because if they do they will be seen as weak and from an atavistic point of view get ‘cut from the herd’ be outed. No one wants to become an outsider. 

    So so I agree with @gaz1960 and @OverlyAnxious really.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Community member Posts: 292 Pioneering
    leeCal said:
    Maybe men don’t open up about things because if they do they will be seen as weak and from an atavistic point of view get ‘cut from the herd’ be outed. No one wants to become an outsider. 

    So so I agree with @gaz1960 and @OverlyAnxious really.

    Cool! Lol:) 

    Somebody actually agreed with me! Lol:) 

    Doing cartwheels and handstands! :):blush:

    Well,not really, i wouldn't survive trying anything like that ! Lol. 
  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Community member Posts: 292 Pioneering
    Is it ok if i just wave my arms in the air? ;)  lol. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,982 Disability Gamechanger
    I think @OverlyAnxious makes some good points…

    I definitely feel when I share my problems with a professional it makes them more real and almost gives the problem some kind of validation so I find it hard to do so. Also when I do share I do just get generic answers or no answers at all so makes me wonder what the point of sharing is!

    That said I still do try to share my problems as much as possible. Even if there is a 1% chance I will get some help, it doesn’t cost me anything to share so I might as well take a shot in the dark just in case something comes of it!

    As for the men/women thing I guess women are more supportive of each other. I noticed from school age that (generally) when there is a group of women/girls and one of them has a “weakness” the others will step in to help; if you have a group of men/boys and one is “weak” the others will exploit this as an opportunity to one-up and prove their own strength.

    Men and women are obviously the way they are because of evolution but maybe a new modern evolution will occur where the men who are able to come out and disclose their issues will get the medicine they need to survive and men who keep their issues to themselves will die off…so in a way men who are brave enough to share their problems are actually stronger…
  • Dragonslayer
    Dragonslayer Community member Posts: 2,165 Pioneering
    Mental health seems to big news lately. I didn't have it, didn't want it, didn't believe it. (A while ago)
    Now after lurching from one condition to the next over the past five years. Hospitalised four times, three operations. Now on Kemo. Waiting for a hip operation I can't have until Kemo ends. (Months still to go.) One thing gets treated then another appears it seems endless. I am now disabled after being a fit guy all my life. Every time I do see a specialist for reviews and such, I do now tell them everything. (My wife taught me that) Before I never did.
    All this does affect my mental health because it gets me down at times. Especially when I can't do the normal things in life, like just taking a walk, for instance. 
    I have admitted at times I think I need help with mental issues, but as yet not asked for it. As yet I don't think I need it, but when the time does come, and I do think I need it. I will ask for help.
    Women are better than men at discussing these things. My wife has helped me a lot to open up and I thank her for that.

  • WestHam06
    WestHam06 Community member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,396 Pioneering
    edited June 2021
    Thank you to everyone for sharing their experiences and thank you to @Tori_Scope for starting a thread on such an important topic. It is vital we keep raising awareness of Mental Health and in particular Men's Mental Health. We are losing too many young men, in particular, and we must continue to encourage everyone to talk about how they are feeling. Thank you.
  • RichardLel
    RichardLel Community member Posts: 48 Courageous
    I don’t think easy way of putting this austistic patient got trapped in the wrong mental health care for many years talking about men’s health. The mental health service does not project very good welcoming image to men’s health like going for health checkup or keeping fit, as still very institutional or seen as failure as drives from very clinical point of view of mental illness that can’t be recover from as always stuck mental health label by traditional practise. No wonder allot of men don’t want come forward for help for stigma attached to mental health rest of their life clinical labelling seen as failure. It’s regrettable to say this that mental health service  is a very narrow view of mental health and does not work with outside orginsations or other NHs proffessionals displines, like social prescribing, which means for me being autistic not part of the mental health service any more as not mentaly unwell, but still need the mental support for mental distress for autism sums up the problem that men’s mental health needs to be wider approach by support services than one service branding person clincaly unwell to get limited help.
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