Free laptops to get isolated men online, shopkeepers giving health advice to their male customers, and a new Leeds-based men’s magazine, are just some of the aspects of an exciting city-wide men’s health project starting this month in Leeds, coordinated by Forum Central.
“Men’s Health Unlocked”, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, promises to keep Leeds at the forefront of Men’s health nationwide by uniting the different strands of men’s work and creating a city-wide network for men’s health.
In Leeds, men are more likely to get the severe form of Covid-19 and to die from the virus than women, are five times more likely than women to take their own lives, die on average three years younger, and are more likely to die prematurely from nearly every major disease that are common to all genders.
Professor Alan White, patron of the national Men’s Health Forum and who has helped to develop the project, states “We know that there are many men across Leeds who have significant health and social care needs. Leeds has been at the forefront of developing community outreach services, but demand is now critical. This funding will provide targeted support and guidance to men of all ages at this unprecedented and challenging time.”
To meet the challenge of getting advice, guidance and support to these men, key figures in men’s health will now be able to link up, share ideas, learn about Covid and other health challenges specific to men, to make their work even more powerful and far-reaching, and explore ways to take a more gendered approach to men’s health at all levels.
“Men’s Health Unlocked will be a central meeting point for men, and anyone looking to support men, in the city. A place where they can get up-to-the-minute information on men’s health and activities, a place where they can volunteer to play a role in supporting other men, and a place where their voice can be heard and represented to decision-makers at the highest level.”, says Damian Dawtry, Project Coordinator.