International Men’s Day

Today is ‘International Men’s Day’, with the intention of celebrating the positive value men bring to the world, also it is a day for promoting positive male role models and men’s mental health & wellbeing. This year’s theme is, “Better relations between men and women”.

International Men’s Day & Supporting Each Other

Author: Wendy Beddows, Guest Blogger from Employee Health and Wellbeing at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Published: 19th November 2021

Globally, men die on average 5-years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable, which means that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can all take action to live healthier, happier, and longer lives.

Social conditioning may also account for why men feel reluctant to seek help with emotional struggles. Many men feel there is a stigma attached to reporting mental health issues and there can be a wide range of reasons why some men feel that they cannot talk about their feelings or visit a doctor for help.

Men are often brought up with unrealistic expectations that they have to be strong and in control. When things go wrong in life as they often do, negative feelings can spiral out of control and some then often struggle to cope with these new feelings.

Many men report that they “do not want to waste the doctor’s time”, they struggle with admitting they need help, they are embarrassed or ashamed about their feelings. Others feel that they have got it, “all under control” and they do not want to admit that they need support.

Some men find it difficult to talk about their feelings in the same way as women. Many men do not have an outlet to chat with friends away from general topics and banter and many feel that if they did admit to feeling anxious or depressed to their friends, they would be ridiculed. “Real men don’t cry” is a common expression that sadly many still believe.

Talking is very powerful in helping people to open up about their struggles and realise they may need some support. There is helpful guidance within this link on how to open up a conversation with somebody you may be worried about.

International Men’s Day (IMD) is on 19 November 2021

This is a global day of observance held every year in more than 60 countries. It invites every man, woman, girl, and boy in the world to come together and celebrate men and boys in all their diversity.

IMD in the UK takes a gender inclusive approach and therefore believes in ensuring that issues affecting women and girls are also resolved. It also recognises the intersection between gender and other factors such as race and sexuality which can compound the inequalities affecting men and boys.

The three core themes for International Men’s Day in the UK are:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys.
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing.
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity.

For more information on International Men’s Day follow this link.

Movember is a popular global campaign raising awareness of men’s health issues. Traditionally it started by men growing a moustache to raise funds for research on men’s health issues. It’s now so much more than that and everyone can get involved. For more information, please visit this link.

The Men’s Health Forum aims for all men and boys – particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas and communities – to have the information, services and treatments they need to live healthier, longer and more fulfilling lives. Please see here for lots of helpful information regarding their work:

Prostate Health

The prostate is a small gland found only in men and transwomen. It surrounds the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra). Prostate problems are common, particularly in people over 50. Conditions such as inflamed or enlarged prostate can cause a range of symptoms. These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. It’s important you know the facts, what to look out for and to take early action so that you receive the correct advice and treatment.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in people worldwide. In the UK prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men and trans women. People who are of African or Caribbean descent, and people who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are 2.5x more likely to get prostate cancer. Early detection is key and so a visit to your GP for a conversation about early detection is advised.

For details of when to have that conversation, various conditions, tests, treatments and what symptoms to look out for please look here.

For more resources and information regarding prostate health look here.

Testicular Health

Cancer of the testicle is one of the less common cancers, and tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age.

The testicles should feel smooth, without any lumps or bumps, and firm but not hard. You may feel a soft tube at the back of each testicle, which is called the epididymis.

If you notice any changes or anything unusual about your testicles, you should see a GP.

Here is some further advice on self-checking, what signs to look for and when to book a discussion with your GP:

What should my testicles look and feel like?

Testicular cancer – NHS

So, what can we do in the workplace?

The most important thing we can do, regardless of how someone identifies, is to talk openly about wellbeing issues as much as you can. By creating a culture of openness and honesty, we encourage everyone to feel more comfortable sharing their experiences.

If you have any male colleagues, friends, family members who you think might be struggling, it’s always worth reaching out to them. Sometimes, it can be really hard to take the first step, so by showing that you’re willing to be there for them, you help them feel safe to open up.

Employee Health and Wellbeing Team

If you have any concerns regarding a staff members health at work, please contact

For further information on the services provided and other external sources of employee support please follow this link.

Last Updated: 19th November 2021