What health challenges are being faced by men today?
There are various health issues which can affect men, but in this article, we thought we would talk about 2 of the bigger health challenges being faced today. So, stop taking better care of your car or gadgets and start taking more care of your body, mental health & general wellbeing.
Suicide & Depression
Apparently in the UK, men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than women. It is also very sad to hear that almost 12 men will take their own life every day. Suicide is one of the biggest killers for men under the age of 45. Research suggests that there are many factors which make men more vulnerable to suicide or depression, such as they feel that they need to be strong and not show any signs of vulnerability. This often translates to men being less likely to talk about issues which they are facing. Pride can also become an issue as men can feel that they do not want to burden their loved ones with their issues. Men will also be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs to help cope with their response to stress, which sadly can increase their risk of suicide by up-to-eight times.
Although there is no cure for depression, a healthy diet may help to reduce symptoms. It appears that carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin. Certain experts believe that depression can also be due to low serotonin activity. So, get your serotonin fix by choosing wise carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Also make sure your vitamin levels are in good shape especially Vitamin B’s & B12 & Vitamin D, which is also known as the sunshine drug. Low selenium levels can also contribute to depression. Like a car, your body needs regular fuel, vitamins and foods which nourishes. So, make sure your diet & body is in tip top condition to help combat depression by eating nutritious foods such as:
- Seeds & Nuts, especially walnuts all mood boosters packed with omega 3
- Dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, chard, kale – immune boosting & helps to fight against all kinds of inflammation.
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries – full of cell repairing anti-oxidants which are known as the DNA repairmen
- Avocado – its oleic acid gives you brain power
- Tomatoes – packed with folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which are good for fighting depression.
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, then going to your GP can be a good place to start. So, keep a look out for all your work mates, and friends and if you notice any signs that they are mental unwell, such as extreme mood swings, being withdrawn, not being sociable, isolating themselves, then talk to them and try to get them to seek further help. There are plenty of charities out there that people can talk to in times of crisis:
Mind.org.co.uk is also brilliant for support – check out this page which talks about the treatments available for depression. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/treatments/
SANEline – if you are experiencing mental health issues or indeed supporting someone else with issues then call 0300 304 7000 (4.30 pm to 10.30pm)
The Mix – for those under 25 years 0808 808 4994 (sun-Fri 2pm-11pm)
A study done by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Social Affairs estimates that 86% of rough sleepers are men. The stats show that there are approximately 380,000 people who are either facing eviction, sleeping on friends’ sofas, or living in very unsatisfactory conditions. These are known as the “hidden homeless” and most of them are unfortunately men. The most common reasons for men being homeless are substance misuse, relationship breakdown or leaving hospital, prison, or care.
Do not despair, if you or a friend need help, then call Shelter on 0808 800 4444 or go to https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness/get_a_place_to_stay_if_youre_homeless_and_on_the_streets for advice and information. Issues that Shelter can help you with include housing rights, harassment, illegal eviction, rent and mortgage arrears, disrepair, housing benefit, domestic violence, hostel placements and finding accommodation. Helpline open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 8am-5pm at weekends.
Or if you are concerned about someone who is over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough then you can go to StreetLink.org and send an alert to them. The details you provide are then sent to the local authority or outreach services for the area in which you have seen the person. They will help to find individual and connect them to support centres. If the person is under 18 years, then call the police instead.
Centrepoint.co.uk also offers homeless young people accommodation, physical and mental health support, and skills and advice to help them back into education, employment, and training.