Movember

November 2019

Movember is a campaign aimed at tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention in men. It helps to raise awareness of the importance of getting health checks and to get men talking about their mental health to reduce the stigma.

Movember’s aim ‘BY 2030, WE AIM TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MEN DYING PREMATURELY BY 25%.”

Why not join in with the Movember movement and grow a moustache to raise awareness this November? It’s a fun way to raise money and awareness for this amazing charity. Find out more on their website: uk.movember.com.

If you are worried about someone or need some advice yourself, take a look at these helpful websites:

Can reading improve your mental health?

Statistics shown by The Reading Agency say:

  • Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression, and about 1.3 million people in the UK say they rarely read because of depression. (27)
  • Proven power of reading. An online poll of over 4000 people from a representative sample in the UK revealed that regular readers for pleasure reported fewer feelings of stress & depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology intensive activities. (28)
  • Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self esteem & a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns. (29)
  • Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction. (30)

(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 5-6]↩28 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩29 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩30 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 7]↩

Libraries have a wealth of material on many topics and can be a great way to get started in talking about men’s health. You can even read books from home using the BorrowBox app. This is free to use using your library card number and PIN. Find out more about Borrowbox here: Hampshire Libraries BorrowBox

Libraries also host different groups such as knit and natter, reading groups and many others. Most you can drop in to, just ask at your local library to find out what is on offer.

Books On Prescription: The Reading Well books on prescription is a national scheme by The Reading Agency. This has recommended books from a range of self-help books which have proven value in helping people who suffer from common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anger and panic attacks. Find the list here: Books on Prescription List

Hampshire Library Movember Booklist

The essential guide to prostate cancer / David Loshak

This text provides straightforward information on prostate cancer: from what the prostate is and how to recognise the symptoms of the condition, to what happens during screening and diagnosis, and the treatments available. All the medical issues are covered with sections that deal with the emotional effects of the disease.

This book could help : the men’s head space manual / Rotimi Akinsete.

Your body needs maintaining to keep it healthy. So does your mind. Sounds simple, but tired and outdated ideas that tell men how they ought to be, mean the message gets lost. And the results speak for themselves: suicide is the biggest killer of men under fifty. ‘This Book Could Help’ is filled with straightforward expert advice and simple techniques to help you shake off what other people say you ought to be, prioritize yourself, meet challenges and develop new strengths, in areas such as dealing with stress, motivation, work and life goals.

The essential guide to testicular cancer

This title has been written with the average reader in mind, all the information compiled is easy to understand and directed to a public that may be diagnosed with or fear the diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Suicide prevention techniques : how a suicide crisis centre saves lives / Joy Hibbins.

Focusing on the methods used at a ground-breaking Suicide Crisis Centre which has a zero suicide achievement, this guide offers strategies to help people in suicidal crisis. Founded after the author’s own suicidal experience, it challenges the established ways of working in mental health and sets out a new way to provide crisis care.

Reasons to stay alive / Matt Haig.

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.

Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2019

Samaritans say: “Every year organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. 

In 2017, in the UK and Ireland alone, over 6,000 people died of suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. 

And we know that suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable.” 

Suicide rates for men and women

In the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. In the Republic of Ireland, the rate is four times higher among men than women.

Suicide rates by age and gender

In the UK, the highest suicide rate is among men aged 45-49. In the Republic of Ireland, the highest rate is among men aged 55-65.

UK: rising suicide rates in middle-aged men

Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides. The suicide rate increased for this group in 2018.

Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free.

Hampshire Libraries Booklist

Man Up, Man Down – Standing Up to Suicide by Paul McGregor

When Paul McGregor’s dad tried to take his own life, it changed Paul’s worldview forever. Of course he hadn’t seen it coming, and so all his old certainties dissolved and he struggled to cope. Paul’s dad eventually recovered in hospital and went home, and it seemed as though things could now finally start to improve. But then a few weeks later, tragedy struck. Paul’s dad made a second attempt on his life, walking in front of a lorry. He died instantly. In order to distract himself from his grief, Paul began to overwork himself and chase ‘success’. He found himself in a dark place, suffering from depression and fearing that he’d follow in his dad’s footsteps. How could he, as a man, show his vulnerability? ‘Man Up, Man Down’ is Paul’s tale of recovery. It also explores what it means to be a man in today’s society.

The Stranger on the Bridge: My Journey From Suicide Despair to Hope by Jonny Benjamin

In 2008, 20 year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny’s life. Fast forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness launch a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV’s breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found and – in an emotional and touching moment – the pair reunited and have remained firm friends ever since. ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder

On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.

Pure by Andrew Miller

About the book

A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests. A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love… A year unlike any other he has lived. Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it.

At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

Reviewed by The Olive Tree

“A very good read and liked by all the group. A very well written account of a little known event, intriguing, and an evocative picture of 18th Century characters

star rating ****

 

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Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

About the book

Veronika has everything she could wish for. She is young and pretty, has plenty of boyfriends, a steady job, a loving family. Yet she is not happy; something is lacking in her life, and one morning she decides to die. She takes an overdose of sleeping pills, only to wake up some time later in the local hospital. There she is told that her heart is damaged and she has only a few days to live. The story follows Veronika through these intense days as to her surprise she finds herself experiencing feelings she has never really felt before. Against all odds she finds herself falling in love and even wanting to live again…

 

Reviewed by Bookworms

“It reached out to all of us at different levels. Thought provoking. We would read more of his books”

star rating ***

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

About the book

‘The Bell Jar‘ is Sylvia Plath‘s account of a young woman’s breakdown. Renowned for its intensity and its vivid prose, the novel follows her attempted suicide, hospitalisation and recovery.

Reviewed by Boater’s Book Club

All found it an easy quick read and considered it autobiographical, sensitively and well written and interesting with more to it than the first read highlighted. However all thought it would be difficult to recommend. We all liked the information on New York, the characters especially Ester (her intelligence, new awareness of life, how she described her thoughts, her usage of the fig tree) and we liked the title The Bell Jar and how that was represented in the book. All commented on the aspects of depression, its treatment, how it had come about and why she was depressed, her searching for self, the ordeal it created for her mother and the suicide attempts. It was considered good that the book was published when it was considering how suicide was viewed at that time.

Star rating: ***

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