Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends are facing a health crisis. They are dying too young, yet it’s rarely talked about. We can’t afford to stay silent.
By now you might have of heard of Movember. This is the month of November where men grow a moustache for the entire month to raise awareness of men’s health issues, namely prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health etc.
Where does all this suffering come from? In various ways we all may be guilty of perpetuating this male experience through our unexamined cultural beliefs and habituated ways of treating men.
In this Movember month we are challenged to self-reflect, change our ways and support all men, especially those we love. Your action could save a life. Your care could enrich the lives of all the men around you.
Below are a number of profound videos in which men and women share their stories of why Movember is important to them personally, and why we all need to open our eyes and ears to the challenges men are experiencing. Each one has an inspiring, enabling or informative message.
Make yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and watch the videos. You are likely to experience a mixture of emotions, from being enlivened, inspired, relieved, encouraged, enabled and grateful to self-compassion, and more.
The stats are staggering – how many men will die in the 80 minutes of the world cup final?
Hey bro, we need to learn to speak out – don’t let men suffer in silence
My father, a doctor, did not know how to look after his own health
‘’My Facebook page was not the truth!’’
And another one
Have all these stories caught your attention? Hoping so.
The next question is, what action can be taken?
We all need to become aware of what men need to be concerned about regarding their health. This can assist in ensuring a long and healthy life.
But of course action needs to be taken, based on this knowledge.
Here’s a wake-up call.
Mental and emotional alert:
In South Africa, 75% of suicides are committed by men.
Here is Joe’s story:
‘‘When I was at university I had many bouts of depression, and never once told anyone around me due to embarrassment.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised a big reason why I was embarrassed of my mental health issues was due to my gender. It might sound like a stereotypical statement, but men are expected to be strong and emotionless by a large chunk of society.
Too often men are held to a different standard than women when being open about emotions and mental health, and I believe both men and women are guilty of perpetuating this.’’
Click Here to access ‘Headsupguys’. It is a global online resource for men to seek support and better understand of any mental health conditions with which they may be struggling.
This website argues that, many men feel they have to put on a brave face, and may not like to seek help. Whether it’s talking to your doctor about a lump, or asking a friend to listen when you’re distressed, talking can be lifesaving.
Physical wellbeing alert:
A hospital doctor, saddened by the preventable deaths he was seeing, said: ‘’Men will wait until they’re almost at death’s door before they make an appointment with their doctor. They often leave nagging aches and pains, or signs that something is medically wrong with them, too long before seeking help. As a result, diseases which can be treated swiftly and successfully at their earlier stages – including prostate, skin and testicular cancer – become much more dangerous for men.”
The most prevalent types of cancer in South Africa are Prostate, Colonic, Lung and Kaposi Sarcoma. In the early stages, these cancers tend to be symptom-free, but they can easily be detected with special tests. If you are a man and have not spoken to your doctor about cancer, make an appointment now, as an early diagnosis will enable more effective treatment. If you are a women, encourage and support all the men in your life to have regular tests. Thousands of cancer deaths could be prevented each year by taking this simple action.
So, it is quite clear that regular checkups are vitally important, but these are only part of ensuring genuine wellbeing. A full life is one where all emotions are respected; where happy, excited, grateful, loving emotions are expressed into the world for all to enjoy. A full life is also one where sad, fearful, depressed, angry emotions can be recognized simply as an indicator that help is needed. With this recognition, and with some assistance, these emotions can be turned back into something positive. Of course it may take time and effort.
Men’s lives matter. Reach out, care, don’t let them continue to suffer in silence.