Men: let's start a health conversation

When it comes to health and wellbeing, men can be notoriously bad at looking after themselves - and looking out for their friends. Too often a physical or mental health problem has to become a crisis before it gets the attention it deserves. LiveWell's Steve del Rosa talks about how men can reset their thinking when it comes to taking care of their own physical and mental health 

Men are rubbish. That’s the narrative, isn’t it?  Men don’t speak to doctors, generally haven’t got a clue about their health or how to get it sorted. Might never see a dentist. And talking about mental health is a complete taboo. 

Men use the tactic of waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it instead of planning to prevent things from happening at all. Men also can’t and won’t talk about things that they need to. Are we too busy? Complacent? Unable to put thoughts into words because we’re out of practice? Or is it embarrassment about revealing a weakness or being afraid to be judged? 

We might think it involves speaking to a doctor, having something recorded in black and white that puts a label next to our names - and then the worry that this could count against us in the future. 

So men are rubbish...but doesn’t that label bother you? From what I’m seeing men are doing so much more now to look after themselves and each other. It’s becoming less of a ‘breaking news’ announcement when a bloke answers a straight question about how he feels. 

Talking about things is more normal, asking people how they’re feeling. How they’re actually feeling and not assuming. Finding out. Because you’re genuinely interested to know.  

Turn the conversation around: A lot of the time an easy in is to turn it around and not have the focus on yourself. Do it for someone else’s benefit if you’re reluctant or shy and uncomfortable doing it yourself. 

Be a good listener. Start a conversation and help someone - and allow the chat to go around and come back to you for your take. Your real-life experiences that are as valid and relevant as anyone else’s. No rules or agenda. You make the rules that are best for you. Or wing it. Improvise. What’s worse than can happen? Or what’s the best that can be achieved?  

Ask yourself a question: what would you say to your best friend if he told you he wasn't feeling good? Pressure. Low motivation. Stress. Would you give sound advice, show him where to find help? How good would you be right now at doing that job? 

Don’t underestimate the power of control and influence we have over ourselves. Freedom of choice over our behaviour. Getting back control over thoughts and habits is within your power and could help drive you forward with more positivity and optimism. 

During my time as a LiveWell coach, I met so many people who seem resigned to their fate. Accepting of struggles as ‘that’s life’. I’ve challenged it, and found many cases not as hard as you’d think to begin to develop a more positive outlook when perspective and guidance along a clear route forward has been added.  

Life isn’t the same as it used to be for anybody. Life never stays the same.  

The environment is constantly changing in the world around us. But we never became static, or stuck in a rut, or not able to move forwards and grow as a result. The brain might become clouded every now and again or accidentally put on pause, or the memory might become jaded, but there are so many new paths that we can take when we take time to find out or allow someone to show us. 

Using all our knowledge, experience, and resources this winter, we could get to a much stronger place with the correct guidance. And never underestimate the power of physical activity on mental health. 

We could be doing good things to our bodies to be able to protect ourselves more effectively, to stay strong, and have that time to contribute to others, giving time and the right words or help to someone who really needs it. Someone who might have to rely on you. 

A LiveWell Dorset coach won’t know the ingredients to boosting your health and wellbeing, but will soon find out just by listening and talking and be able to support you in achieving that. 

Repeat to yourself ‘My best days are ahead of me’ and work towards making that true. 

It’s never too late to re-invent yourself.  Even a small bit at a time, to rebrand your existence into the best version of yourself. Don’t wait until the spring. Find the drive and that intent that’s inside you. Let’s plan now. Together. 

What makes you feel good and helps bring out all the best parts of you? What will it take to get more of those building blocks into place to start doing that? What’s going to help you become more resilient? Stronger? Function better? 

What might also help you become a better friend. Physically stronger. A better parent. More productive. Kinder. Smarter. A better communicator. More employable. Calmer. More content. 

So, what’s the catalyst for change? Not reading this. You must do something yourself now. Find out what’s going on around you locally. Get in contact with LWD. Speak to someone and start up a mental health conversation. Give it a go. 

Men might have been seen as being ‘rubbish’ in the past but there’s a movement of change. Gradually, we’re taking back control. Of ourselves, and each other. That movement includes you. 

Find more support and a chance to talk:

For mental wellbeing: Try Light On, for local mental health support specifically for men 

For general health and wellbeing support to: lose weight, get active, reduce drinking or quit smoking, register with us:




How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

Your Favourites?

or register, to favourite activities that you want to try.


Is this the first time that you've used our services, or have you already registered with us? To allow us to best serve you, please confirm whether you're new to LiveWell Dorset, or if you've spoken to us before and may have an existing account.

Welcome back, it's good to hear from you again!

To speak to one of our dedicated team and get the help you require please request a call back. All call backs from this service are free of charge to both landlines and mobile.

Request a Call Back

Do you provide your consent to share your information with the LiveWell Dorset team – part of Public Health Dorset ?

When you register with LiveWell Dorset, we ask you some questions about you and your health (how much you smoke, how active you are, how much you drink and how much you weigh). We store that information and use it to shape our service offer to you – such as the advice we give or the extra services we connect you to. The only people who will see this information will be those involved in the delivery of the service and management of the data. If you would like to use extra services (such as slimming clubs and pharmacies) we have to share this information with them. For us to be able to put you in touch with these services, we must have your consent to share that information with the service (we’ll ask for that later, when if you sign up for extra services).

Before we can sign you up any further, we need to know:

  • You're happy for your personal information to be shared with LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand what information may be shared and why, and that at times, our contact to you may be supported by technology partners, who have the same data protection standards and safeguards as we do
  • You acknowledge that you can withdraw your consent at any time by informing LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand that if you do not give consent or withdraw consent then it could be difficult for us to connect you some of the services we offer.

If you require any more information to help you make your choice then please contact the LiveWell Dorset team on 0800 840 1628. All telephone conversations at LiveWell Dorset are recorded for quality and training purposes, and stored whilst you are registered as active within the service.

Yes I consent

Sorry we can't continue at the moment

Unfortunately we need your permission to store your personal information to help us to assess the best support we could provide or signpost you to. If at any stage you change your mind and are happy to provide your personal information please come back and visit us again.