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Save the male!

Corwall Council News - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 10:42

This year for Men’s Health Week, from 9 to 15 June, Public Mental Health Cornwall & Isles of Scilly focuses on work and health, including stress and unemployment.

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health, explains why they’re looking at mental health.  She says: “One in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives - we need to talk openly about this and support each other. A healthy workplace can be a great way to do that, especially for men who are less likely to seek outside help than women. Everyday positive actions like walking or cycling to work, providing and sharing good quality food and plenty of social events can all help to make us feel better and stay connected with our colleagues. It makes good sense for both the employees and the success of the business."

Male identity is strongly tied up with work and earning a living. This means that health at work is doubly important for men. Men are still nearly twice as likely as women to be in full-time work. In general, work is good for health, but studies have suggested that longer working hours lead to:

  • Greater risk of anxiety and depression,
  • Increased risk of coronary heart disease
  • Higher premature mortality.  

A recent report placed the impact of mental health on businesses at approximately £26 billion each year – approximately £1,000 per employee.

Yet with fears over job security and the wider recession, these issues have been repressed and long-ignored.

Whilst often ignored as a health issue, unemployment has dramatic consequences for male health.

Unemployed men are more likely to:

  • Suffer from mental health issues
  • Be concerned about depression and relationship issues.
  • Be at risk from heart attack.
  • Be at risk from two or more health risk factors.

Jim McKenna, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, is keen to promote this issue.  He says: “From my own experience I know that it can be difficult to take the first step and visit the doctor to discuss any health concerns.  It can be a humorous stereotype, until it becomes a serious issue.  Raising awareness of the issues around men’s health, and encouraging men to seek medical advice sooner rather than later, could literally save lives in some cases, so this is an important area to discuss.”

If you are worried about your health make an appointment to see your GP. To maintain positive wellbeing by a daily dose of self-help, check out the following five ways to wellbeing.

Connect - Do I need to improve any relationships?

  • When was the last time I made my colleague a cup of tea?
  • When did we last have a team activity, or lunch or barbecue?
  • Could I speak to my colleagues down the corridor rather than email?
  • Can I organise a walking meeting rather than an email conversation?

Be active - Am I stuck with choices I made in the past?  Do I have enough fun?

  • Shall we book on to the Cornwall Beach Games next year?
  • Would our local leisure centre offer us a free taster session?
  • Can I organise a lunchtime walk, a five-a-side football game or a pedometer challenge for me and my colleagues?
  • Shall we contact the Cornwall Sports Partnership to hire some equipment like ping pong?

Take notice - Do I feel free and have choice over my life?

  • Say thank you to my colleague for a good job or for their help
  • Do I notice if I am not taking a lunch break?
  • Do I work too many hours?
  • Do I need to take a break? Or a holiday?
  • Do I need to talk to my manager or colleague?

Keep learning -How can I improve my sense of self worth?

  • When was the last time I booked on a course at work?
  • Try something that I have always wanted to do.
  • Learn something new about my friends or colleagues.

Give - Do I feel valued?

  • Can I do some volunteering?
  • I will contact Volunteer Cornwall to ask about opportunities.
  • Does my workplace offer any volunteering opportunities?

Do I smile enough?  A smile is free to give.

Useful websites:


Story posted 05 June 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Fire course aims to help improve job prospects of Liskeard group

Corwall Council News - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 14:07

A group of people referred by Liskeard Job Centre will be celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Works team at a presentation event at Liskeard Community Fire Station on Friday 06 June.

The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and funded by Jobcentre Plus Devon Cornwall and Somerset, aims to provide support and training to increase the employment opportunities of those who take part.

Referred by the local job centre, all participants were given the opportunity to gain an ASDAN level one qualification in Improving Own Learning and Performance together with the HeartStart accreditation in emergency life support techniques. The group also took part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills, raise confidence and aspirations. Alongside this, the course includes fire and road safety advice, as well as train the trainer and presentation skills.

Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities. These skills can then be taken forward and put into practice when the group members meet local employers, support agencies and community groups to help the individuals to identify future employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

CFRS Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said: “I am encouraged to see how Phoenix Works team has been able to use the work and reputation of the fire and rescue service to help this group of people develop useful new skills.”

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities said:  “These courses are an excellent example of how, by working with partners such as Jobcentre Plus, we can really make a difference to the lives of these individuals. I am delighted to celebrate the people who have embraced this opportunity to learn from the best.”


Story posted 04 June 2014

Categories: Cornwall


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