Men's Health Awareness Week - MOT Test Your Health
As Father's Day (19th June) approaches, our thoughts particularly go to the boys and men in our lives and how important they are to us. This is why we wanted to highlight that this week is also Men's Health Awareness Week. It's a reminder to all men and boys to take time to notice what's going on in their mind and body and to encourage their mates, dads, sons, grandads and other boys and men in their lives to do the same. Seeing a GP for an NHS Health Check, or doing their own physical and mental health MOT test and accessing help or advice early could lead to the best chance of preventing further illness or loss.
As we get older, it is more likely that we will have been impacted - or know someone who has been impacted - by the incredible sadness or devastation of losing someone too soon. Maybe some delayed seeking help or never sought help at all as a result of fear, shame, anxiety or for some other understandable but possibly mis-guided reason - and sometimes their loss might have been prevented. For example, it still appears to be the case that men are less likely to talk to each other about how they are really feeling or to access support for their mental health and wellbeing than women.
However, as we get older, it is also likely that we will all have heard amazing stories of resilience, effective treatment, and/or wonderful support that has helped someone we know of or love recover from a physical illness or mental health crisis.
Many incredible organisations, charities, researchers, individuals and celebrities work tirelessly to raise money for research and treatment and to raise our awareness and get us talking about physical and mental health issues, so that unnecessary losses might be prevented through earlier detection or asking for help and from access to treatment or support.
We can all play our part this Men's Health Awareness Week by encouraging the men and boys in our lives to check in with their physical and mental health and well-being.
Here are just two ways to encourage the men in your life to prioritise their health
1. Book an NHS Health Check with their GP
During the past few years, Covid and lockdowns may have contributed to delays getting help from a GP or Counsellor, operations being postponed and physical and mental health worries taking a bit of a backseat. Many men who turned 40, or who are over 40 and are eligible for a regular NHS Health Check, may not have received or been invited to one. Now that Covid - at least - is impacting less on our everyday life, let's encourage all the boys and men in our lives to contact their GP for a general check-up or an NHS Health Check and to take time to reflect on their physical health and ways their mental health might have been impacted over the past few years, maybe without them even realising it - possibly from fears and concerns about Covid, loss or changes to their family life, relationships, social life, work life, finances, hobbies or any other area of their life. Talking things through with a non-judgemental professional really can often make a difference.
2. Check in with their own Health and Mental Health
Men's Health Awareness Week - 13th to 19th June this year - is organised by the Men's Health Forum. Why not encourage the men and boys in your life to access their free, quick and easy DIY Man's MOT Test - which covers 5 areas of men's physical and mental health - on their website, along with details of a CANDO challenge aimed at boosting mental health and well-being.
You can make a difference
Sometimes, we might be the first to notice changes in the physical or mental health and well-being of our friends, family, loved ones or colleagues. Let's all be a best friend to the boys and men in our lives this Men's Health Awareness Week by encouraging them to:
- take a moment to check in with their physical and mental health and well-being on a regular basis
- take action to get checked by their GP or access any other help if and when needed (and to encourage their mates and loved ones to do the same).
Whilst it can be scary or anxiety-provoking and take great courage to take the first step in seeking help, it could change their life, or that of someone they love.
With love and hugs
The Box of Hugs Team
p.s. You're important too - so remember to check in with your own physical and mental health and well-being too and to contact your GP or other sources of help or support if needed.
p.p.s. Whether it's for Father's Day or 'just because...', why not send the boys, men or others in your life a Box of Hugs to show them how important they are to you, and include a message to remind them to check in with their physical and mental health and well-being. As well as making someone's day with your lovely surprise gift, you might also change their life.