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Movember Aims to Highlight the State of Men’s Health in Canada

Stats show that men are increasingly caring for their health — but that they could still use support with their mental health concerns.

Chances are, most of us have a man in our life who’s notorious for saying, “I’ll get to it” — particularly when it comes to their health. Men are infamous for putting their health on the backburner, commonly avoiding concerning signs or issues that arise. A new 2023 global survey conducted by Movember and Ipsos that included over 2,000 Canadians, suggests this trend may be moving in the right direction. Findings showed men are not only becoming more aware of their health but acting on these concerns.

A positive shift

Seventy per cent of Canadian men surveyed felt their health could be classified as either good or very good. In fact, when compared to female respondents, slightly more men surveyed agreed that they would see a health care practitioner as soon as they noticed a health issue, and nearly half noted they tend to book a health care appointment with little to no prompting from anyone else, including their partner.

These statistics suggest the start of a positive shift in what has been a long-standing negative mindset — one that leading men’s health charity Movember understands better than most. Founded in Australia, for nearly 17 years Movember has been working to raise awareness of men’s health across Canada, encouraging men to better prioritize their physical and mental health. While this new research suggests positive changes, the team at Movember notes that there’s clearly still work to be done.

The power of a conversation

In a survey commissioned by Movember Canada and executed by Ipsos in 2021, 75 per cent of Canadians felt the men in their lives were less likely than the women to share mental health concerns, and men noted being more likely to chat about their physical health than their mental health. In the 2023 survey, results still showed that one in five Canadian men wouldn’t make an appointment with their health care practitioner if they noticed feeling down or agitated more often than usual — both of which are common early indicators for mental health concerns like anxiety and depression.

While physical and mental health remain paralleled in their importance, the struggle to understand and consider mental health in the same way we might our physical health — particularly for men — remains a challenge.

Luckily, a simple conversation can be one of the most effective ways to get men to open up — and it’s something anyone can do. For those who suspect a man in their life may be struggling with their mental health, Movember suggests following the acronym ALEC, which is a four-step guide to starting important conversations. It’s pretty straightforward:

A — Ask them how they’re feeling and what’s been happening

L — Listen and give them your full attention

E — Encourage them to take action to feel better

C — Check in often

While the stats suggest improvement, progress can’t stop here. ALEC is a great first step for kickstarting important mental health conversations, but it’s important to remember that physical health can’t be left by the wayside either. So, with that said, it’s time to book that check-up you’ve been putting off!

To learn more about Movember or ALEC, visit movember.com.

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