Benchmark Recruit Candidate, client, advice-centre...
Throughout November, awareness is raised around men's heath, including: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and male suicide. Many people get involved with 'Movember' which is the annual fundraising event of growing moustaches to raise vital funds.
Lee Hartle from Benchmark, has teamed up with Harry Bliss from Champion Health to discuss how important raising awareness for men's wellbeing and mental health is and how it doesn't just involve growing a moustache!
"This Movember, our hearts go out to all the families who has lost someone to suicide or prostate cancer.
Globally, suicide rates are at an all-time high, particularly among men. Too many men have adopted the mentality of just cracking on, getting through it and toughing it out, for the sake of 'masculinity'. I myself have struggled with this and as a result, my mental health issues were left untreated and I spiralled, leading to a lengthy time off work, financial difficulties and dark thoughts that took me to corners of my mind that I hope never to revisit.
In addition to my own mental health struggles, I've seen far too many loved ones battle their own demons, the repercussions of which have affected everyone in their lives. While it's true that depression can feel like an isolating, lonely illness, I've also seen it have damaging effects on our partners, sons, daughters, parents, firends and all we hold dear.
I was lucky. Over time, I got help, spoke to loved ones and had the support needed to return to work and get my life back on track. But it took a lot to shape my mind into believing that it was ok to talk, to be vulnerable and to express my emotions openly.
My hope for the next generation is that we eradicate the absurd idea that 'boys don't cry' and instead, we tell our children that it's not just ok but essential for boys and men to share their feelings without any shame or stigma attached to it. As author Matt Haigh says, 'crying doesn't have a gender. Feeling doesn't have an identity. Pain doesn't indicate your personality. Never let stigma stop you sharing your own truth.'
This Movember there are so many incredible charities, businesses and inviduals raising money and awareness for this important cause. I understand that many of us are going through tough times at the moment so if you can't donate to any of these causes financially (or even if you can), my ask of you is to check in on your loved ones and ask the all-important question - 'are you ok?' It may not seem a lot but it might just be the right question at the right time for someone who needs it.
To anyone struggling, I hope you find the strength in yourself to answer that question honestly. Take it from someone who lied one too many times about how I was feeling, there is no shame in being vulnerable. Opening the door to an honest conversation is the reason I'm here today."
Harry Bliss Co-Founder and CEO of Champion Health talked to us about how Champion Health want to make a difference, but also why.
"In November, 2018, I lost a friend and mentor to suicide. On the face of it, he had everything. He was a Director of a multinational company, he'd raise >£750K for charity, he had a wife and two kids, and he also walked around bearing the biggest smile. I had no clue, as did many others, to know what he was going through. If this can happen to him, this can happen to anyone. The difference we want to make at Champion Health is to enable everyone to understand their own mental wellbeing better, in addition to being able to spot the warning signs and support others that may be struggling.
As a 26-year old male, the greatest risk to my health is myself. For men under the age of 45, the largest cause of death is suicide. With the current pandemic having a profound impact on many leaders. This not only makes moral sense, but makes perfect business sense to ensure teams are fit, healthy and productive. Champion's latest data is showing that 11% of the UK workforce have experienced suicidal thoughts in the last two weeks. 11%.
Suicide is preventable. Let's tackle it head on."
For more information about Champion Health and the services they offer visit - www.championhealth.co.uk or to find out more about Movember and how you can support find more here - https://uk.movember.com