Clinical Skills Development Service

Men’s Health Week at CSDS

Did you know that having no friends can be as harmful to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? This eye-opening fact highlights the critical role social connections play in maintaining men’s health. Isolation not only increases the risk of heart disease but also heightens the likelihood of suicidal thoughts, underscoring the need for strong, supportive relationships.

In recognition of Men’s Health Week (June 10-16), the CSDS team hosted a morning tea which aimed to raise awareness about men’s health, with a particular focus on the importance of strong male friendships, or “mateship,” as a factor contributing to overall well-being. Patrick Guerrera from CSDS delivered a thought-provoking presentation highlighting the significant impact meaningful friendships can have on men’s health.

Key facts about men’s health and mateship

  • Isolation equals health risks: Research indicates that social isolation can be as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The lack of social connections significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease and experiencing suicidal thoughts.
  • Heart disease: Men who are socially isolated have a higher likelihood of developing heart conditions. A strong network of friends provides emotional support, reduces stress, and encourages healthier lifestyles, all contributing to better heart health.
  • Mental health: Loneliness can lead to severe mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Engaging with friends and participating in social activities can help mitigate these risks, providing emotional stability and a sense of belonging.

Solutions: how to help someone who is struggling

  • Reach out regularly
  • Encourage social activities
  • Be a good listener
  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Create a supportive environment

Patrick’s presentation was followed by an open discussion where team members shared their personal experiences and insights on maintaining strong friendships. As the morning tea demonstrated, simple acts of kindness and regular social interactions can have profound impacts on men’s physical and mental health.

Let’s take this week as a reminder to reach out, connect, and support the men in our lives, ensuring that no one feels isolated or alone.