Why Movember should be on everyone’s lips in the rural community

November is Men’s Health Awareness Month in the UK and men across the country will be growing moustaches to mark ‘Movember’, There has never been a more important time to consider health issues in the rural sector.

Globally, men still die on average six years earlier than women – and for reasons that are largely preventable, including suicide, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

The problems faced by rural businesses and rural workers are especially acute, with mental health issues on the rise – impacted by stresses brought on by the pandemic and Brexit. Isolation, loneliness and long hours can also be a threat to health in the farming sector, along with a reluctance to ask for help.

Rural Mental Health Matters (RMHM), which focuses on tackling mental health inequality in rural and remote communities[1], has highlighted that living in rural and remote areas often means people can feel socially isolated, which can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression and have a detrimental effect on mental health and wellbeing.

If people do not ‘see’ services in their community, they may believe they don’t exist. This has led to a culture of self-reliance and stoicism towards mental health issues which can prevent people from seeking support earlier. Some rural occupations, such as farming, have significantly higher suicide rates. And 88% of farmers under 40 rate poor mental health as the biggest hidden problem faced by farmers. [2]

The need to ask for help early and knowing where to get support is crucial – and something that CLA Healthcare can help to address.

We can help find the right healthcare and wellbeing solutions. Our advisers understand the needs of rural people, from landowners to farmers and rural employees to business owners.

Research suggests getting treatment early can make a big difference when tackling some of the most prevalent diseases but encouraging men to seek help is not always easy.

Men’s Health Awareness Month has listed the three biggest threats to men’s health:

Suicide: globally one man dies of suicide every single minute.

Prostate cancer: the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men in the UK, with more than 335,000 men living with the disease

Testicular cancer: number one cancer amongst young men. When caught early, testicular cancer is highly treatable and curable. The survival rate in the UK is 95%. But many men don’t know how to check themselves.

Here are five top tips for men to help reduce the impact and occurrence of those threats.

These are:

1 Stay connected – spend time with people who make you feel good.

2 Talk more – listening can be life-saving.

3 Know the numbers – at 50 talk to your doctor about prostate cancer. If you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a brother or father with prostate cancer you should be having the conversation at 45.

4 Check your testicles – go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right

5 Move, move – be more active.

CLA Healthcare can advise on a range of healthcare solutions for rural businesses and individuals, including a special arrangement with BUPA.

[1] https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/blogs/unseen-and-unheard-tackling-inequality-rural-mental-health

[2] https://ukruralskills.co.uk/news/article/mental-health-the-biggest-hidden-problem-in-farming-today


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