This week (9 – 5 June) is Men’s Health Week, and this year the focus is on stress filled lives and the negative affect it can have on the health of men.
According to the Mens Health Forum, the charity spearheading Men’ Health Week, men are twice as likely to be working in full time employment than women, and longer working hours can lead to a variety of health impacts.
Work is, for most of us, the most stressful part of our lives, and in recent years we have had to spend longer hours working harder as the economy has developed such issues. However, this increased work load has been linked to a greater risk of anxiety and depression, as well as an increased risk of coronary heart disease and a higher rate of deaths in the under 65s.
Alternatively, it has also been shown that the stresses of long-term unemployment can also have a great negative impact on health. Unemployed men are more likely to suffer with mental health issues, be at risk of heart attacks and also be at risk from several major health factors, such as being overweight.
Just to drive home the issue, figures from the Department of Health show and extra 800 male suicide above the average rate across 2008 to 2010. On the other hand, the difference for females was 150.
This is why it is important to break the stigma surrounding male mental health issues. Men are known to be less willing to seek aid for mental health than women, and the suicide rates reflects this. There are many ways to de-stress at work and at home, from making some small changes to lifestyle, such as eating healthier, to undertaking active courses that will help to combat stress such as mindfulness courses or retreats.