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Health and wellbeing support for men in Knowsley

by Sandra Issar

This International Men’s Day (on Friday 19 November) we’re raising awareness of some of the health issues that affect men and the advice and support available.

Look after your mental health

Men’s mental health was a cause for concern before the pandemic and the challenges of the past 18 months will have left many more men feeling a dip in their mental health and wellbeing.

If you are feeling anxious, stressed, worried or lacking motivation, there’s lots of information, advice and support available to help you look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

The online campaign Kind to Your Mind has a wealth of expert advice and useful resources around looking after your mental health. There are some great podcasts including with Andy Cole (ex-premier league footballer), where he discusses how men can look after their mental health at this difficult time.

The online wellbeing portal, ALMA, has a range of free online therapy programmes, which include short modules on dealing with stress, getting better sleep, improving resilience, and coping with your emotions during the pandemic.

You can also get a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from The Better Health – Every Mind Matters website. Simply answer five quick questions you will get a free plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.

Stay Alive App

Sadly, suicide is the single most common cause of death in men under 45 and the rate of suicide is highest in middle aged men.

Stay Alive, the suicide prevention app, is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else.

It has several features including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app also directs people to local help and gives people the tools to start a conversation about mental health and suicide.

The Stay Alive app, which is available free on iOS and Android devices, has been updated with changes to services in Knowsley following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Samaritans is a safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

If you are in mental health crisis and you need urgent help, you can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line on freephone 0800 051 1508. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available for people of all ages, including children and young people, available 24/7.

Problem gambling

Gambling becomes a problem when it harms your mental or physical health, relationships with family and friends or finances. It’s the urge to gamble continuously despite harmful consequences or desire to stop, causing harm to the gambler and those around them.

If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, or are at risk of developing one, support is available from the Beacon Counselling Trust.

Worried about cancer symptoms? 

If you’ve had unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury (such as blood in your poo or pee), an unexplained lump, weight loss which feels significant to you or an unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer.

Men are encouraged to seek advice from their GP, if they are suffering with any of these symptoms.

It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable, so just speak to your GP. Your NHS is there to see you, safely.

In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The three main risk factors for getting prostate cancer are getting older (it mainly affects men aged 50 or over), having a family history of prostate cancer and being black.

If you have any of the risk factors, or have concerns, speak to your GP. They can talk to you about your risk, and about the tests that are used to diagnose prostate cancer.

Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem. But it’s still a good idea to get it checked out.

Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. It is a highly treatable cancer if diagnosed and treated early.

Regular checks video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvrmnNVUvEU&feature=emb_title

Regular checks can help detect any early changes – changes in shape, or size, or a lump that wasn’t there before – and if something doesn’t seem right make an appointment to speak to your GP.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“Sometimes men find it difficult to talk about how they’re feeling or to seek advice for any concerns they may be having about their health or wellbeing. This International Men’s Day, I’d urge any men who may be finding things tough right now to take some time to seek out the support that’s available.”

 

“No one should feel they don’t know where to turn as there’s so much information, advice and support available.”