It is that time of year again, Men’s health week has arrived (the post from last years Men’s health week is here if you are interested). This year the Men’s Health Forum have chosen ‘Stress’ as the focus topic. An important issue, and one which can link to other behaviours and actions which can impact health, such as drinking more to cope with stress. Stress from work can also impact on family life, and vice versa, so managing stress or harnessing it positively is a useful mechanism for helping keep life more in balance.
To coincide with Men’s health week, colleagues at the Centre for Men’s Health at Leeds Beckett University (Prof. White and Dr Amanda Seims) have published ‘The state of men’s health in Leeds’. This research looks at the men’s health issues within the city of Leeds and offers a unique insight into the health challenges and differences in health outcomes for men within the city. No UK city has mapped health on gendered lines in this way before.
I was really pleased to see fatherhood so strongly linked within this research, with the need to support men as fathers being advocated as a way of improving men’s lives and their health. The report highlighted the number of single fathers and the amount of caring work which occurs by men in Leeds, showing aspects of men’s lives which are often overlooked. As I have written about in previous posts (see here) men do care, and are primary caregivers for children, and reflecting on how we support all men, and their families is an important part of men’s health week. Inadequate support, or lack of access to appropriate advice or services can itself be a source of stress for men and their families, so the importance of a report such as the one launched today in Leeds should not be underestimated. Reducing stress from families lives can bring about positives for everyone and that’s something we should be thinking about and aiming for long beyond the end of men’s health week.
A summary of the State of men’s health in Leeds report is available to download here