Forum welcomes MPs' new inquiry into men's health

25/07/23 . News

The Forum has welcomed the decision by MPs to launch an inquiry in men's mental and physical health.

The Health and Social Care Committee are calling for evidence from interested parties by 8th September 2023.

Six areas of inquiry

As part of our campaign for a men's health strategy, the Forum been working on ways to get men's health up the agenda. Our conversations with Winchester MP Steve Brine, who chairs the Health and Social Care Committee have been part of this and we were delighted to see our work highlighted in the committee's call. The inquiry is asking for evidence in six areas:

  • What factors drive lower, and falling, male life expectancy and what action would have the biggest impact on addressing this?
  • What is known about why men have a higher risk of dying from cancer and how can this risk be reduced.
    • a) What action is needed to improve early detection of cancers specific to men, for example around awareness of symptoms, issues with screening and encouraging men to come forward?
    • b) With nearly half a million men living with or after prostate cancer, how well does aftercare support ongoing symptoms of male specific cancers and how could this be improved?
  • What is driving higher rates of suicide amongst men and how could this be addressed?
  • What factors contribute to men using health services, like general practice, less often than women and what impact does this have on men's health outcomes, for example from cardiovascular disease?
  • What role do community and sport-based projects play in reaching men at high risk of isolation or poor mental health, and how can it be ensured that this support is spread equitably across the country?
  • What are the challenges in delivering health equity across different population groups among men and how best can they be addressed?

This new inquiry is a hugely positive step forward. Make sure you let our elected representatives know what you think. We hope the next stop is a men's health strategy.

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

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