Worldwide, every minute of every day a man kills himself, that is over 510,000 deaths per annum. Men are disproportionately affected by suicide, with three out of four suicides being men.
Spotting the signs:
Helping people can be hard for us, but if you know what to look for, and what to ask, then this should help you support the men in your life.
ASK- Asking someone how they are doing is a great start to helping someone. Mention something you may have noticed but try to do this in a calm and neutral manner. Maybe he’s spending more time at the bar, coming into work late, or missing social events. Trust your instinct. Remember, we often say “I’m fine” when we’re not. So, if you think something’s wrong, don’t be afraid to ask twice.
LISTEN- try to give him your full attention, without interruptions. Don’t feel you have to diagnose problems, just let him know you’re all ears, judgement-free.
Encourage action - help him focus on simple things that might improve his wellbeing: Is he getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating properly? Suggest he tells other people he trusts how he's feeling.
Two of the biggest issues facing men are Prostate and testicular cancer.
Prostate Cancer- This is the most common type of cancer amongst men in the UK, with 1.4 million cases being diagnosed yearly worldwide. Only men have a prostate gland. The prostate gland is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube men urinate and ejaculate through. Its main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.
Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells in the prostate reproduce far more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumour. These prostate cancer cells, if left untreated, may spread from the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, producing secondary tumours in a process known as metastasis. Your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, but that doesn’t mean it’s a disease that only affects old men. Men who are black, and men who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are 2.5x more likely to get prostate cancer.
Testicular Cancer- Testicular cancer is the #1 cancer among young men, and yet 62% of those who are most at risk don’t know how to check themselves. The best thing you can do for your testicles is to give them a feel every month or so – get to know what’s normal for you. That way, if anything changes you can act on it.
How to check yourself-
- Start by having a warm, steamy shower - it'll help your testicles relax.
- Roll one testicle between your thumb and finger - check for any changes, or anything painful.
- Do the same for your other testicle.