It’s a culture change for the better; for men, women or whatever your gender identification. Whilst a mental health culture shift has been beautifully blatant as an overall focus for all of us; tackling stigmas and bringing forth the topic of conversation within the wider community. In general, men’s health is still a somewhat murky terrain for many and as approximately 50k of our population is male, we’d all do well to make this issue a priority.
At Align, we take a proactive, encouraging and progressive stance on contributing to helping Jersey’s male residents feel better and most importantly, stay better. From shying away from vital checks to a propensity to avoid talking about mental wellness, prevalent substance and alcohol abuse, weight issues and suicide are still very much within the male domain when it comes to poor health. Alarmingly, the stats in relation to some of those aforementioned issues are actually on the rise. In fact, it has been reported that local data demonstrates a substantial health inequality exists between the health prospects of men compared to that of women here in Jersey (just as much as it does elsewhere in Europe).
A Google search for stats into men’s health in Jersey leads to a report of ‘The State of Men’s Health in Jersey,’ which was undertaken in 2014. The report is an analysis of male gender-specific health issues in Jersey using data available at year-end 2013, with like for like comparisons to available European data and was inspired by the first European Men’s Health Report, ‘The State of Men’s Health in Europe,’ which was published in 2011.
The report found that ‘on average, around 120 male deaths each year are considered avoidable, (either preventable through public health interventions or amenable to health care),’ which compared to around 70 female deaths. The 2014 report indicates some very positive governmental public health objectives in terms of our island’s male population. A subsequent report on the islands’ overall health (all genders) in 2015 showed strides being taken in regard to issues such as screening; focusing on breast, bowel and cervical cancer, for example. Unfortunately, the same attention did not seem as overt for male gender-specific cancers, such as testicular cancer. In the UK, over 2000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year and simple, regular checks at home can mitigate this problem hugely.
Aside from cancer and other diseases, men’s health covers a broad but gender-specific spectrum of issues. It is key to look at external influences and contributory societal factors. Jersey takes a proactive approach to many of these; support for smoking, substance and alcohol abuse, for instance. At Align, we aim to tackle the every-day causes that impact men’s health negatively. As well as offering services to support better health and wellness, we believe that education is the key to better men’s health. By treating the main cause rather than only the symptoms (being illness, obesity, poor mental health and the likes), which is our ethos at Align; we believe that changing the culture attributed to how men handle their health and wellbeing is at the core of a better future for everyone. By preparing and teaching our boys and men about the importance of their health and mental wellbeing, we will inordinately impact the whole community for the better, and for the long term.
Our preventative and holistic approach to wellness works with local schools and the wider community, championing the government in their efforts toward better men’s health and wellbeing. If you’re an educator, business or group who might benefit from talking to us about improving men’s health in your company or school, contact us today. Align offers specific tools, techniques and information by way of in-house presentations and talks that can bolster and benefit your team.
Click to read to Government of Jersey: 2014 Men’s Health Report