our focus on health & wellbeing
An introduction to one of our key areas of focus
One of our main areas of focus is on Men’s Health & Wellbeing. This focus is directly linked to one of our core aims and objectives, as set out in our constitution: the advancement of health.
We aim to help with raising awareness and improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for the male demographic in Scotland and the United Kingdom.
We know that men contribute significantly and positively to Scottish and British life through their diverse roles in all areas of societies, such as within their families, in their day-to-day jobs and in serving their communities in general.
We believe that it is important to encourage men to achieve their potential and be able to enjoy a long and high-quality life in order to continue and flourish in this positive engagement. Promoting and supporting men’s health and wellbeing is an important and crucial social issue.
To help achieve this, we feel that it is necessary to have a focus on encouraging and supporting healthy living for men and raise awareness of health and wellbeing issues that can commonly and adversely affect men and in turn, impact on their quality and longevity of life.
As a result, The Better Days for Men Foundation has a broad focus on Men’s Health and Wellbeing and it is one of our top priorities. We encourage a positive approach to spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health, all of which contribute towards overall good health and wellbeing.
We recognise that certain types of health-related issues can affect men exclusively; and some can disproportionately affect men or place them at higher risk.
Some exclusive health difficulties which men can encounter include certain types cancers, such as prostate and testicular, which can only occur in men. Haemophilia, a genetic disease that affects the body’s ability to clot and prevent bleeding, also occurs almost exclusively in men. In addition, there are certain types of cancers where a higher incidence is prevalent amongst men, such as: stomach (2:1), oeseophageal (3:1) and liver (2-4:1). Aortic aneurysms are also 6 times more likely to occur in men and this is routinely screened for in the UK. These are just a few examples of some physical health issues, which can adversely affect men and place them at a disadvantage.
Mental health is a topic that is receiving a lot of interest at the moment. Men in particular can be known to “bottle things up” and be reluctant to share and discuss things that might be playing up on their minds, which in turn can adversely affect their mental health and wellbeing. We want to help tackle this issue and encourage men to speak up and share whatever is on their mind. It is also one of the reasons that we are here in the first place – we are somewhere that afflicted men can turn to for support.
The current interest in mental health also ties in with one of the most significant health-related issues that is prevalent amongst men in society: the high level of suicide amongst young men. Scotland has seen a “devastating” increase in this problem (read more here) and has the highest recorded rates in the UK. This is certainly a worrying trend.
Male suicide is considered to be the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. This is clearly an issue that disproportionately affects men. We take an active interest in this issue and we want to help tackle this problem and encourage more support to be made available to address this problem, as well as the underlying problems which can lead to it.
We also recognise that a man’s health and wellbeing can be negatively, and in some cases severely, impacted by external factors, such as difficulties or problems within the context of: family and relationships; legal issues or shortcomings and failures within the legal system; or as a result of general societal issues. For us, these reflect our other areas of interest, however we do acknowledge how closely linked health and wellbeing can be to external factors.
Some practical information
When we talk about “Health & Wellbeing”, we often focus only on physical and mental aspects of illness and how these impact upon a person.
In adopting such an approach, this would mean defining Health & Wellbeing as the absence of physical or mental illness, but this is a narrow way of looking at things. A more broader and helpful approach would be to define Health & Wellbeing relative to a combination of physical, mental, emotional and social factors; aspects which make up our entire existence and the way we live our lives.
Wellbeing is how one feels about oneself. Having a good outlook on yourself, a good self-concept, provides a feeling of positive wellbeing.
Health is having a positive state of body and mind. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines “Health” as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Therefore, when addressing health and wellbeing, we must look beyond whether an individual has one thing wrong with them with a part of the body or symptoms of an individual problem, and instead focus on the whole body and mind.
Evidence from health professionals suggests there are some core steps that you can take to improve your overall health and wellbeing. These include:
- Connecting with people
o This can help you to build a sense of belonging with people and also provides an opportunity to share experiences and emotional support;
- Physical activity
o This is great for your body and also causes beneficial chemical changes to take place in your brain which have a positive impact on your mood;
- Learning new skills
o This can help you to boost self-confidence and self-esteem;
- Engaging in mindfulness
o This is about being reflective and mindful of the moment that you are in, rather than worrying about the future or everything else going on around you.
Even taking an initial small step towards any of these practical activities can help to make a big difference and when maintained over time, you will come to experience a positive impact to your overall health and wellbeing!
We hope that this provides a helpful overview as part of our focus on Men’s Health & Wellbeing.
We intend to further explore points mentioned in this article and other related issues. On our News page you will find some relevant links to external content on this topic, which you might find helpful.
This article is subject to the following standard disclaimer:-
The Better Days for Men Foundation (“TBDfM”) provides general information on relevant sections of our website that does not seek to diagnose, treat, cure, or replace specialist or medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult an appropriate health professional. We aim to ensure that all information provided is accurate. However, we make no binding representation and give no type of warranty of any kind in respect of the information provided. We do not accept liability for any direct, indirect, consequential damage or loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in this section or in respect of any error or omission.
Where a blog/article is written by someone independent of TBDfM: any opinion expressed in the blog/article or in blogs/articles published by us in the ‘blogs’ section of our website are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of TBDfM.
Website external links: TBDfM is not responsible for the content or security of any external websites.