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Pandemic is a 'wake-up call' for health planners

21/09/20 . News

The Covid-19 pandemic should be a 'wake-up call' to those planning health care, according to a new paper by Forum patron Professor Alan White - and one that highlights the importance of gender in that planning.

The paper, published in the journal Postgraduate Medicine, explores the wider ramifications of the disease both for those men who have survived the disease and those that have been affected by the wider social effects of the pandemic.

Increased suicide rates

Alan argues that there will be significant long-term physical and mental health implications. 'Few of those who have not had the disease will remain unaffected by the impact of the closure of much of society with the serious impact on the economy and on our social world,' he writes. 'The emotional impact of the lockdown and the longer term emerging recession coupled with the complex grieving many will be experiencing will result in high mental health burden and increased rates of suicide in men.'

He concludes that: 'The pandemic should be a wake-up call for all involved in the planning and delivery of health and social care for the greater attention to the central role of sex and gender.'

Time is of the essence. 'Careful planning is now needed to get supportive measures in place for those who are our most vulnerable, especially as it is inevitable that this virus will be with us for many years to come.'

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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