We've been through a lot these past couple of years. Covid has not gone away - not at all - but we are beginning to live with it.
To do this, we need to be at the top of our game, physically and mentally. So, for this year's Men's Health Week, which runs 13-19 June it's time for you, me and men everywhere, to give ourselves an MOT.
Why do men need an MOT?
While we've been focused on the pandemic we've taken our eyes off other serious conditions.
We know early stage cancer diagnoses fell by third in first lockdown and that shortfall has continued. Macmillan reckon that around 50,000 of us have missed a cancer diagnosis during the pandemic. Prostate cancer diagnoses, for example, were down 29% between 2019 and 2020. That's not because prostate cancer is getting rarer (it isn't), but because men weren't seeing their GPs to begin to get diagnosed. Indeed, male GP visits fell more than female visits. There were good reasons for this fall during lockdown but not now.
Meanwhile, NHS Health Checks, which should be offered to most people over 40, were paused during Covid. They should be being restarted (from April 2022).
All of this gives us even more reason to keep an eye on our own bodies and minds and give ourselves an MOT.
Our message to men
It's a simple one: it's time for your MOT.
- Take notice of what's going on in your body and mind.
- Do the Forum's quick and easy DIY Man MOT
- Get yourself a copy of The CAN DO Manual, a FREE download PDF collecting together all the great ideas our Men's Health Champions have had for things we can all do to boost our mental wellbeing. (If you'd like to train to be a champion, you can sign up here for a Men's Health Champions course.) The manual is also part of the 2022 Men's Health Week resource pack.
- Dig a bit deeper with our existing Man MOT manuals: Man MOT and Man MOT for the Mind.
- Get an NHS Health Check
- Go and see your GP or use NHS 111 if you're concerned about any symptoms
This Men's Health Week, it's time for your MOT.
Our message to our partners
- Encourage the men you work with to give themselves an MOT by sharing the messages above. The resource pack with social media, posters and shares is a FREE download here.
- Get hold of copies of our Man MOT and Man MOT for the Mind manuals
- Schedule our popular Man MOT training for your group, workplace or organisation.
- Consider training up Men's Health Champions to empower men in your organisation or group to have healthy conversations about health.
- If you already offer a service like blood pressure testing or an online tool like the NHS's What's Your Heart Age app or Prostate Cancer UK's Risk Checker, then consider using the campaign to encourage more men to use it.
Britain's health policy needs a Man MOT
As it tries to respond to under-diagnosis during the pandemic, the NHS is moving into a particularly difficult period. To meet the challenge, we need, more than ever, a gender-aware approach. A women's health strategy is rightly promised by government. But what about men?
Sign up below and watch this space for more news. Follow the links at the top of the page for all the posters, shares and freebies from previous Men's Health Weeks.