Stay Healthy, Stay Connected on World Health Day

Author: Movember
To mark World Health Day, the Movember Foundation wants you to stay healthy by staying connected. Reach out to a friend today and let them know you’re here. It will have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, as well as that of your friend. 

The importance of men having a strong social network (and we don’t mean online) is highlighted in a recent research study funded by the Movember Foundation, showing how men become lonelier as they reach their 30s and life gets too busy for time spent with friends. Although, to some, this might not be a big deal, this lack of social connection means that men are actually at a higher risk of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and even suicide. 

Funded by the Movember Foundation, the Men’s Social Connectedness report shows that there is a clear relationship between lack of social connectedness and psychological distress. The survey revealed that an alarming 79% of men believe that their friends wouldn’t be able to help them deal with the personal issues they may be facing so they would be unlikely to bring it up. The importance of good communication between father and son was also highlighted as a protective factor from social disconnectedness in later life.

Adam Garone, Movember Foundation CEO and co-founder, encourages men on World Health Day to reach out to their friends and stay connected:
“Movember itself started with friends getting together, growing Mo’s and having fun. This friendship has been essential to help create conversations and change the face of men’s health. Today on World Health Day we’re reminded once again of its importance. Whether catching up, watching the game, or sending a quick message, it doesn’t take much to stay healthy and stay connected.”
Here are more significant findings from the report:
  • Men aged 35 - 54 are at the greatest risk of isolation
  • Nearly 1 in 4 men experience low levels of social support and may be at-risk of isolation
  • 25% of men have no one outside of their immediate family that they can rely on
  • More than 1 in 3 men are not satisfied with the quality of their relationships, mainly because they do not feel emotionally connected or supported
  • Up to 59% are not satisfied with how much they feel like a member of the community
  • Up to 45% are not satisfied with the number of friends and acquaintances they have

The majority of men surveyed did not realize the importance and impact that a lack of social support or loneliness can have on their lives. 70% of men believed that problems were part of life and were something you just have to deal with. However, many men want to open up to their friends but find it difficult to start the conversation, or they don’t know how to respond when friends open up to them.
 
Here are some ways you can connect today:
  • Text an old buddy. Just reach out and say hey, you might be just the friend they were hoping to hear from
  • In a group email with friends? Share around a funny video and start up a new conversation
  • When was the last time you talked to your Movember team? Why not reach out today and find out what they’re up to outside of moustache season 
  • Share this article, it’s the perfect chance to let someone know how you are feeling or simply that you are thinking of them