As a many of you know, June is Men’s Health Month, the time of year when the country focuses on the health of men and the impact of their health on their families, communities, and social networks. Every year, the Men’s Health Network celebrates Men’s Health Month through the sponsoring of events such as wellness fairs, health conferences, and health screenings. Men’s Health Network also engages in other proactive projects such as health education seminars and media outreach to spread the word about health-related issues facing men in our communities today.
You may ask “Why is Men’s Health important?” Among all races, men face lower life expectancy than women do. Men face worse health outcomes than women do, across the board, as men have higher mortality rates in 9 of the 10 leading causes of death. Some potential reasons for this discrepancy and gap in health outcomes are because men are less likely than women to seek out preventive care, often because men have disproportionately higher uninsured rates as well as other social factors.
The health of men also directly affects their families and communities. That is why it is paramount that we get men educated on their health. Getting men to the doctor for checkups for prostate cancer or even just physicals can be incredibly helpful in terms of providing men with the knowledge of how well their body is functioning. Bettering the health of men can have a profound impact of the well being of their families. If you contact your state’s Men’s Health Network, they will provide you with information on health screenings and wellness fairs near you.
Perhaps the most important week within Men’s Health Month is International Men’s Health Week, occurring from June 10-16, 2019. International Men’s Health Week was created by Congress in 1994 with a specific focus on under-served communities, but is applicable to all men in all communities. Placed right before Father’s Day, International Men’s Health Week is the perfect time for families and communities to put their focus on the health of the men in their lives.
Men’s Health Network asks that everyone plays a key role in promoting positive health behavior and educating men on their health care needs. A first step to promoting men’s health could be to encourage your religious, fraternal, community, other societal organizations, and employers to develop outreach programs, conduct health fairs and screening events to raise awareness. Setting up an appointment with a health care provider for someone you know who needs a check-up is also a great step toward helping men lead healthier lives.
Some general healthy behaviors to share with the men in your lives are as follows:
- Engage in physical activity and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule of 8 hours a night
- Eat a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats
It is our responsibility to make sure that the men in our lives are able to live their lives to the fullest. Making sure that they are healthy is the first step to doing so.
Men’s Health Network is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation.
Written by Rishi Mallipeddi, Tennessee Men’s Health Network’s Project Director
Feature image from www.pexels.com, courtesy of Riccardo Bresciani