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Trudi Scrivener: Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing 

 

As Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing for Heart of Bucks, I feel it is very apt to draw attention to Men’s Health Week, which is taking place this week, Monday 14th June to Sunday, 20th June. It culminates on Father’s Day, a wider, celebrated day celebrating Dads and all they do. But this year, there needs to be a shift at supporting and celebrating all men, be it brother, friend or colleague. Whether you are a man or woman, I feel passionate that everyone has their role to play in tackling mental health issues and a responsibility to look after and care for those around them.

I feel it is vital to draw awareness to men’s health week, as this year more than ever, men’s lives have been turned upside down and statistically it is proven that men are less likely to talk about their worries than women. During the past 18 months of lockdown, many men started working from home or lost their jobs and are now facing financial uncertainty while carrying the burden of supporting a family. The usual men’s outlets have been closed down; no sporting fixtures, no pubs or restaurants, theatres or cinemas. As life slowly returns to a different kind of normality, men are having to readjust to a new way of living.

Whilst everyone has been hit hard by the pandemic, women often turn to friends and family for emotional support while men retreat and carry their stress internally. Modern life can bring with it many stresses and unrealistic expectations. Until recently, mental health has been a taboo subject, especially for men, who are typically less likely to talk about how they are feeling. The Saving Lives fund, soon being launched by Heart of Bucks, promotes the importance of looking after our mental health and will help to fund essential community support for those at risk.

This year’s Men’s Health Week focuses on mental health within a Covid World, and the process of moving forward into the new world and the challenges that they will bring.  Even if men are returning to familiar jobs, everything has changed and the anxiety of going back into a busy work office or travelling by public transport should not be underestimated.

This year’s men’s health week includes the CAN DO challenge which invites everyone to try a different way to wellbeing each week. If you want to take part and are looking for some ideas, here are a few fantastic ones:

  • Find a local Facebook group, or other meet up group for people with similar interests
  • Handwrite a letter to someone
  • Respond to a local blog post/social media post to engage with someone new in your community
  • Join a hobby group
  • Go and see your neighbour. Ask them how are they are doing and whether they need any help
  • Send someone a card for no ‘official’ reason
  • Talk to a stranger in a queue
  • Join a randomised coffee trials
  • Get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to since before lockdown
  • Next time you ask someone ‘how are you? Ask it twice? ‘How are you really?’

 

With each passing year, Men’s Health Week grows in publicity, so if you’re a man that wants to do more, or a woman that wants to inform a man you love about it, then get spreading the word! The more well-known the week becomes, the more men will feel like it’s OK to talk about their health issues and not just push them to the side and ignore health problems away!