Supporting men’s health
November is dedicated to the Movember global movement, which puts the spotlight on prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
For the whole of November, the focus is men’s health through the Movember (Moustache + November) global movement by the Movember Foundation. It puts the spotlight on prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. The Foundation recognises that males of all ages may hide their pain and suffering, but this can ultimately result in greater problems, including an untimely demise. Unlike females, males are unlikely to share their deeply personal pains and suffering with others, including loved ones or professionals. This is why it is important for fellow males to stand up for each other, and lift each other up from the fog of suffering and silence.
Cancer & suicide – not a pretty picture
Prostate cancer now makes up one in seven cancers in Singapore males, and is the third most common cancer now. In the five years from 2011 to 2015, almost 20 percent of those diagnosed with prostate cancer died. What is worse is that prostate cancer in early stages has no symptoms at all. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the more likely the treatment will be successful for patients and help them remain in remission.
More than 70 percent of all suicides in Singapore for 2018 were males. This is not unique to Singapore. In Australia, males accounted for 75 percent of suicides. The number of male suicides in Singapore is twice that of women and majority were aged 65 years old and above.
It is generally believed that many factors contributed to these statistics. Societal pressures for males to “Man Up” means that males may feel isolated and have nowhere to turn to for help. In addition, many males may feel that if they seek help they will lose status or identity, and they fear that they may lose independence, competence, control and autonomy, all of which are perceived norms expected of males.
So, what can you do?
Now, anyone, especially males, can step forward and support your buddies and families by:
- Growing a moustache for the month of November.
- Pledge to walk 60km for the month of November – for the 60 men that are lost every hour globally due to suicides.
- Spend time with your buddies – be it having a night-out or playing a favourite sport or whatever activity you enjoy doing together.
** This article above has been contributed by Dr Tan & Partners (DTAP), which is supporting the Movember 2019 initiative.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash)