I want to talk this week about Men’s Health Awareness Week and the importance of trying to normalise talking about health for men. Suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 and 34 years of age, so we are in a crisis point really in terms of getting men to speak more openly about their health.
I’m a big boxing fan, and somebody who I follow is Tyson Fury. I haven’t always liked Tyson Fury, I don’t always like what he says, and I certainly haven’t liked what he said in the past, but he seems to have done a lot of growing up in the last few years – particularly around his own breakdown a couple of years ago and his descent into alcohol and drugs and self-loathing and chronic mental health.
He has now risen from all of that and is vying again for heavyweight titles of the world. And I think what he’s doing is great because he’s in a very macho world, but he’s really normalising talking about mental health – something which we need to encourage all the menfolk around us to do.
If you think about your father, your brother, any male family members you have, male friends, anyone who’s in your immediate circle who is male, try and normalise this kind of behaviour – talking about how you feel. Encourage them to be open and to share.
If we all do that on a micro level and encourage our male colleagues and friends and family members to speak a bit more openly about health, we might try and get that statistic right down.
Think about what other male role models you could speak about to some of your male friends as well, to try and normalise the whole issue about speaking up and not bottling things up and keeping them inside.
It’s just the idea of sharing a little bit more and making it easy for people to speak openly and being that person that they can confide in as well.
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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.