Health and Wellbeing Hub

Health and wellbeing / Personal wellbeing

Useful Guides

Men's Health Week (MHW) is designed to give all boys and men access to the information, services and treatment they need to live healthier, longer and more fulfilling lives. Last year MHW focused on raising awareness of how men were being impacted by Covid-19 and the aftereffects of the pandemic. This year the theme is to highlight the importance of taking stock of your overall health now that the worst of Covid-19 is over.

While the pandemic has taken so much focus, it is important to be conscious of other serious health conditions, so, for this year's Men's Health Week, which runs 13-19 June it's time for men everywhere, to give themselves an MOT.


To find out more about how to get involved, click here:

At any one time, about 20% women report having a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety disorder.  What is the figure for men? 

At any one time 12.5% of men report having a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety disorder men compared to about 20% women


What percentage of patients using NHS first line talking therapy services are men? 

36% of patients using NHS first line talking therapy services are men.


What percentage of men say it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm for them to seek help? 

40% of men said that it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm for them to seek help.


7% of women say they have no friends. What is the figure for men? 

The figure rises to 11% for men.


80.9 per 100,00 of women are detained under the Mental Health Act (which is  commonly known as being ‘sectioned’). But what’s the figure per 100,000 for men? 

This rises to 88.96 per 100,000 for men.


A large percentage of those sleeping rough have mental health issues. But what percentage of those sleeping rough are men? 

87% rough sleepers are men


What percentage of adults who go missing are men? 

73% of adults who go missing are men.


About half of all prisoners have mental health issues. But what percentage of the prison population are men? 

95% of the prison population are men.


3.3% of women are dependent on alcohol.  But what is the figure for men? 

The figure rises to 8.7% for men.


In 2019, what percentage of suicides in England were men? 

In 2019, 76% of suicides in England and Wales were men (ONS Sept 2020). Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.


Men's Health Forum's message to men is:

  • Take notice of what's going on in your body and mind. 
  • Do the Forum's quick and easy DIY Man MOT
  • Do the CAN DO challenge
  • Dig a bit deeper with their existing Man MOT manuals: Man MOT and Man MOT for the Mind.
  • Get an NHS Health Check
  • Go and see your GP or use NHS 111 if you're concerned about any symptoms


The ‘Can Do’ Challenge

The five ways to wellbeing are five things we can all do that are scientifically proven to help us feel better.

Take part in the CAN DO Challenge by choosing a different way to wellbeing each day of the week.

Every day, a different way

The five ways are:

  • Connect - connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven't since before lockdown) #connectmonday
  • (Be) Active - move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
  • Notice - take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
  • Discover - learn something new (eg. read a book you haven't read before) #discoverthursday
  • Offer (or give) - do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday


Read more about the five ways to wellbeing here.


Tip 1: Just Breathe!

Breathing exercises are a useful technique to help you relax.  The following 4-5-8 method is very simple:

  • The numbers in the name - 4-5-8 - refer to the number of seconds when breathing in, holding your breath, and breathing out.
  • Start by sitting up straight in a comfortable position or lying down.
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds. If you can’t breathe in through your nose, use your mouth.
  • Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
  • Breathe out slowly for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat this cycle 10 times, or as many times as you want. While you do it try to concentrate on your breathing. You can alter the seconds to suit you.


This NHS Trust has more breathing exercises you can try:


Breathing exercises usually benefit wellbeing. But if they aren’t working for you, or are causing you difficulty, stop using them.  You can try other relaxation techniques or contact your GP for advice on managing stress and anxiety.


Tip 2: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being in touch with and noticing the world around you. Try these simple Mindfulness exercises next time you start to feel stressed or anxious.

Mindfulness when brushing your teeth: Concentrate on how the brush feels in your hand, the sensation of it brushing your teeth, the feeling of your feet against your bathroom floor, the smell and taste of the toothpaste. It’s amazing how much we experience in the space of 2 minutes brushing our teeth!

Mindfulness with a piece of chocolate or a sweet: Put it on the back of your hand. Concentrate on how it feels against your skin. Pick it up and feel its texture. Look at its colour. Smell it. Put it in your mouth and let it dissolve without you biting into it. Experience how that feels. This also has the added benefit of making chocolate and sweets last longer!

Mindfulness usually benefits wellbeing. But if it isn’t working for you, or is causing you difficulty, stop doing it.  You can try other relaxation techniques, or contact your GP for advice on managing stress and anxiety.

There is more information about getting started with mindfulness of the website:



Tip 3: What keeps you up at night?

Problems with sleep can affect how you feel physically and mentally, and how you feel can also affect how you sleep. An August 2020 study from the University of Southampton showed that the number of people experiencing insomnia increased from one in six to one in four compared to 2018/19, with more sleep problems affecting young people, mothers, essential workers and BAME groups.

Problems with sleep are often caused by:

  • Life events: You may feel distracted, stressed or worried about something going on in your life while you’re trying to go to sleep, which can affect your ability to relax.
  • Thinking cycle: Anxious thoughts about not getting enough sleep can cause distress, which can prevent you from relaxing and falling asleep.
  • Lifestyle: Developing poor habits around sleep, such as not having a regular routine.


It’s common to experience periods of poor sleep, and this doesn’t usually point to a serious mental health problem. However, here some tips on how to improve your sleep:

  1. Create a regular sleeping pattern: Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better.
  2. Create a restful environment: Your bedroom should be a peaceful place for rest and sleep. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool when you’re trying to sleep.
  3. Exercise regularly: Moderate exercise, such as walking, can help relieve some of the tension built up over the day. Try not to take part in vigorous exercise too close to bedtime, as it could keep you awake.
  4. Watch what you’re eating and drinking: Cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or sugary drinks, especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep and prevents deep sleep. Instead, have a warm drink such as herbal tea. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.
  5. Keep a sleep diary: If you’re worried about your sleep why not keep track of how many hours you’re sleeping and the kind of sleep you’re getting– you may see patterns of behaviour which you can address. You can download the sleep tracker from our partner Mental Health UK here.
  6. Wind down routine: Learning how to relax both your body and mind will help you to get to sleep more easily. Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body.
  7. Write down your thoughts: If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time before bedtime to make plans for the next day. Avoid thinking of plans when you’re in bed, trying to sleep.
  8. If you can’t sleep, get up: If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.


Tip 4: The Stress Bucket

Imagine there’s a bucket you carry with you which slowly fills up when you experience different types of stress.

Sometimes you feel strong enough to carry a lot of stress, but it’s important to find activities which help you lighten the load.

What helps you reduce stress?

How can you keep those activities going when other pressures build up?

Think about the “Stress Bucket” together to prompt you and your colleagues to take action to build your resilience.


Download the stress bucket here.



Worried about someone’s mental health?


This factsheet explains what you can do if you are worried about someone’s mental health and explains how to get them help and support they need. Download the full factsheet from our partners, Rethink Mental Illness here.

Register for your free Whelthy plan

As a member of the NHS you are entitled to free unlimited access to Whelthy.

With Whelthy you will gain unlimited access to an online platform packed with exclusive recipes, nutritional advice, workouts, mindfulness, videos, blogs and even a lifestyle journal, all geared towards educating, motivating and inspiring you to smash your health and fitness goals.

To subscribe today, simply follow the instructions below and use the code HEROES100 when prompted.

  • Visit and click ‘subscribe now.’
  • Click ‘buy now’ then enter your free access code in the discount code box and click ‘apply.’
  • Click ‘checkout’ then fill in your details and click ‘continue.’
  • Click ‘return to homepage’ and then ‘my Whelthy’ in the top right corner of the screen.

This will take you to your personal Whelthy dashboard. You will now have been sent a welcome email with info of what the site includes (check your junk folder if it isn’t in your inbox).