International Men’s Day 2023
Men across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are being encouraged to think about their mental and physical health as part of International Men’s Day (19 November).
Shane Devlin, Chief Executive of NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB, said:
“International Men’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about male wellbeing, whether it’s social, emotional, or mental and physical health.
“You don’t need to ‘man up’ or keep on keeping on. There are services and support available, as well as invites for regular health checks once you get to 40 years-old, to support you and make sure you stay healthy and well.”
Mental health support
The theme of International Men’s Day 2023 is ‘Zero Male Suicide’. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), three out of four people who take their own lives are men and more than one in ten men in England are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders (NHS Digital).
Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or social background. If you think that you may have a mental health problem – or suspect that someone close to you has one – please seek help.
If you are feeling suicidal and/or are experiencing a mental health crisis please seek help right away by calling 999 or go to A&E right away.
If you need help urgently for your mental health, but it’s not an emergency, get help from NHS 111 online or call 111.
It’s important to take care of your mental health before things get worse. There are support systems and services in place to give you the help that you need.
Every Mind Matters
Every Mind Matters is supported by a free, NHS-approved online programme designed to help everyone find the little things we can all do to look after our mental health and cope with life’s challenges.
At its heart is the free Mind Plan, available on the Every Mind Matters website. By answering five short questions people get a personalised mental health action plan, providing practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
NHS Talking Therapies
There is also expert support available to all adults 16 and over across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire through NHS Talking Therapies. NHS Talking Therapies offer a range of short-term psychological therapies for people suffering from a range of mental health challenges, such as depression, low mood, anxiety, panic attacks and more.
NHS Talking Therapies in BNSSG can be contacted directly, without from referral from your GP or other healthcare service. The team will take the time to understand and listen to what you need to get back on track and provide a range of evidence-based talking therapies as well as guidance and advice on community services that can support you in your local area.
Taking care of your physical health
NHS Health Checks
The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health. It can tell you whether you’re at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a stroke.
If you’re aged 40 to 74 and do not have a pre-existing health condition, you should be invited to an NHS Health Check by your GP every five years. If you think you are eligible but have not been invited, contact your GP surgery.
Knowing your numbers
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked. Getting this done is easy and could save your life.
Anyone over 40 is being encouraged to get their blood pressure checked, but if you smoke, have a stressful job or are overweight, you are more likely to have high blood pressure and should get it checked.
Your local pharmacy can check your blood pressure, or you can check yourself at home with a cheap and easy to use monitor, using the NHS blood pressure checker to find out if you need to seek expert advice.
The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ORCHA Library provides hundreds of apps that can help support self-care, including apps to help manage existing conditions. The library includes apps for every day health, healthy ageing, supporting muscle, bone and joint pain, and more.