Men's Health Week - Why Raising Awareness is Important to Angus

4-minute read | Rewards and benefits

This Men's Health Week, we asked Angus why raising awareness of men's mental health it's so important to him, how he looks after his own wellbeing, and how Bupa Dental Care supports its employees.

Angus Pringle is a Specialist Orthodontist working at the Wessex Dental Specialist Centre, Fareham and Bupa Dental Care, Winchester. He has worked at Bupa Dental Care for ten years and the Wessex Dental Specialist Centre for five years.

Angus is an advocate for raising awareness of mental health, particularly amongst men. We asked why he thinks Men’s Health Week is so important. He says:

“This is important to me as my brother, Andy died by suicide having suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression. We don’t want sympathy for our loss, we want change. Andy sadly experienced the stigma associated with suffering mental illness. My family and I are shocked and saddened by the stigma we continue to experience as a result of losing a loved one to suicide.

“Mental health awareness – particularly amongst men – and suicide prevention are topics that we should all be discussing. The stigma surrounding mental health and suicide has, for a long time, isolated those who experience mental health problems, and their families. This has to stop.”

According to The Office for National Statistics, Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50, and around three quarters of deaths from suicides each year are men. This follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.* Societal expectations mean that in general, men aren’t as open about their mental health, while stereotypes create barriers and make it harder for them to reach out for help. Statistics also show that men who don’t speak openly about their emotions find it harder to recognise symptoms, and may be more likely to use potentially harmful coping methods.**

Men’s health, and specifically men’s mental health, is not something that we as society talk about enough. Life is full of ups and downs. We cannot change that, but what we can do is help everyone at Bupa feel supported every step of the way. The Bupa Dental Care mental health approach brings together a wide range of support initiatives, one of which is Personal Energy, Bupa’s own wellbeing programme. It’s about taking good care of a few important things in life that are key to personal wellbeing, and providing simple tools and techniques for good self-awareness, helping colleagues to manage energy levels and build resilience, whatever the demands are that they have to meet.

Angus Pringle

“You’re never alone, even in the darkest moments there is always hope. In my darkest hours after my brother died, the nicest thing someone said to me was, surprisingly, ‘hang in there, tomorrow you may feel better.’

A glimmer of hope can save a life.”

We asked Angus how he prioritises his physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in his daily routine. He says:

“For us all, it’s really challenging to balance the priorities of our work, family and personal wellbeing. For several years I’ve focused on having a healthy, mainly plant-based diet, sensible alcohol consumption, and regular physical exercise – especially outdoors. Key things for my mental and emotional wellbeing have been sleep hygiene, and an emotional support network, both at work and in my personal life. Self-awareness of my emotional state has helped me to understand how work and life stressors affect me and then find techniques to manage that stress.”

The culture at Bupa Dental Care is centred around going above and beyond for patients, but our caring approach extends to our employees too. Angus talks about how Bupa Dental Care has supported him with his health. He says:

“We now have a culture that exists within our work environments to discuss our concerns, which is so important to our mental wellbeing. The ability to listen to others and be listened to is critical to the wellbeing of all individuals within Bupa Dental Care. By far, this is one of the most underrated but important areas an organisation must have.”

We asked what advice Angus would give to male colleagues to take better care of their health. He says:

“Learn to listen to your feelings and what your body is telling you. You’ll then realise what you need more of and more importantly, what you need less of. Don’t hesitate to have a conversation with someone you trust, it might feel tough, but you’ll be surprised how helpful this will be. If someone confides in you, listening is the most important skill, you don’t have to have answers.”

And finally, one last piece of advice from Angus:

“You’re never alone, even in the darkest moments there is always hope. In my darkest hours after my brother died, the nicest thing someone said to me was, surprisingly, ‘hang in there, tomorrow you may feel better.’

A glimmer of hope can save a life.”

Since his brother died, Angus’ passion for change in attitude towards mental health encouraged him to find out how he could do more. Along with assisting other charities, he became involved in The Baton of Hope UK, a Suicide awareness and prevention initiative created to start conversations, reduce the stigma, provide support, and promote action.

Throughout June and July 2023, The Baton of Hope will be completing a tour from Glasgow to London, and on 6th July, Angus will be one of the Baton Bearers as they walk through London. He is taking part not only in memory of his brother, Andy, but also to represent everyone who has lost loved ones to suicide.





Register for job alerts

Want to keep updated with the latest roles at Bupa Dental Care?

Register for job alerts