Studies by the Cleveland Clinic have shown that 40% of men won’t go to the doctor if they suspect something is wrong unless his symptoms are too severe to ignore, and only three in five men get regular annual wellness checks.
In that same study, 53% of the men surveyed reported they didn’t talk about their health, and 19% said they go only because their loved ones, significant other, or all of the above nagged them into going. (Hey, whatever works…)
In conjunction with the Men’s Health Network, Men’s Health Month unites health care providers, mental illness experts, and public policymakers who specialize in men’s healthcare to spread awareness about the health of men and boys.
When men and boys take a more active role in their health, the likelihood of early detection of potentially life-threatening issues or injuries increases. For the women in their lives, this is everything.
For you guys, that means visits to a primary care physician for regular wellness exams, going to the doc when you’re not feeling well in between, and speaking up truthfully about any troubling physical or mental symptoms you may be having. Remember- men’s health isn’t limited to physical health, so if you’re depressed or have anxiety issues, please, please talk to someone about it who can help.
Due largely to cultural stigma, men are far less likely to visit a mental health professional, and as a result, men’s mental health issues are often swept under the rug.
Men suffer from higher rates of suicide (3.54%), alcoholism (as of 2018, 7.6%), and drug abuse (men are 2-3X more likely to abuse drugs) than those of your female counterparts. And don’t even get us started on untreated depression.
Please take the month of June to honor and support the men around you by raising awareness about the unique health challenges they face.
Menshealthmonth.org has a fantastic list of activities to get you involved. Plan a fundraiser to raise money for prostate cancer research and treatment, or host a health fair- they even have a link to a free event planner on the site to help you get it together! Solicit your local community leaders to speak out about men’s health in a public forum, or participate in wear blue day to show your support.
There are just a few of the things you can do to get involved and help make a difference in the life of the dudes you love- but encouraging him to get out to the doc for a checkup is an excellent first step. (Maybe keep that in mind when picking out a Father’s Day gift…)
Take care of yourselves, gentlemen!