Men’s Health Month: A Fresh Start

Men’s Health Month: A Fresh Start

The month of June is recognized as Men’s Health Month. This month raises awareness for men’s health problems and encourages initial treatment among men and boys. The Men’s Health Network (MHN) selects a new theme each year. This year’s theme focuses on the concept of a fresh start. 

The theme encourages men and their loved ones to reflect on the past but also look forward to what is to come. This time of reflection allows us to take a step back and evaluate our health, both physical and mental. 

So, why is it important to recognize and bring awareness to men’s health? Keep reading to learn more! 

Why Men Don’t Seek Healthcare  

Women are more likely to seek out healthcare than men are, especially when it comes to mental health. A large part of this is driven by social norms.  

From birth, boys are raised to be strong, independent, and should never show their emotions. A recent survey found that 40 percent of men go to the doctor only when they have a serious health issue. They typically never go for a routine checkup. They often feel pressure to keep their “weakness” hidden and downplay their symptoms.  

Men cited embarrassment, lack of convenience, not wanting to hear a bad diagnosis, and being told as children not to complain about medical problems, as reasons for pushing off a visit to their health care provider (Wheeler, 2019). Partly as a result of dedicating less time to their personal health, male life expectancy is about five years less than women (Brott). 

It is time for this to change. Men of every age need to be taking the time to focus on their mental and physical well-being. 

Get Your Checkups! 

There are several times in a man’s life when he should be getting routine appointments with his health care provider to ensure he is maintaining good health. Men are not invincible and should be engaging with their providers on a regular basis. Regular check-ups and appointments mean taking responsibility for your health and well-being. 

Here is a breakdown when those checkups should occur:  

In your 20s:  
  • Every year: a physical exam, blood pressure, blood pressure analysis, blood test and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam.  
  • Every 5 years: TB skin test 
  • Every 10 years: Tetanus booster  
In your 30s:  
  • Every year: a physical exam, blood pressure, blood pressure analysis, blood test and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities. 
  • Every 5 years: TB skin test 
  • Every 10 years: Tetanus booster 
In your 40s: 
  • Every year: a physical exam, blood pressure, blood pressure analysis, blood test and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test. 
  • Every 5 years: TB skin test 
  • Every 10 years: Tetanus booster with physician’s discretion, chest x-ray, testosterone screening 
In your 50s:  
  • Every year: a physical exam, blood pressure, blood pressure analysis, blood test and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test. 
  • Every 5 years: TB skin test 
  • Every 10 years: Tetanus booster with physician’s discretion, chest x-ray, testosterone screening, bone density screening 

This month while we focus on men’s health, it is important to highlight the importance of each of these screenings and checkups. Each screening is necessary to help maintain the health and well-being of your body.  

Creating Healthy Habits 

While these regular and yearly checkups are good habits to maintain, there are other tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the CDC, 12 percent of men aged 18 and over are in fair or poor health.  

Here are some healthy habits that you can work on to better your health:  

  • Eat healthy – include fruits and vegetables in your diet. 
  • Get regular exercise – adults need two and a half hours of physical activity each week. 
  • Don’t smoke or quit smoking – quitting has immediate and long-term benefits. There are plenty of approved tobacco cessation programs. 
  • Reduce stress – self-care is the best way to reduce and manage stress; find support, avoid alcohol and drugs, connect socially. 
  • Seek help for depression / mental health – according to the Men’s Health Resource Center, depression is underdiagnosed in men, and men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women are. 
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in males. Major signs of a heart attack include: 
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back 
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint 
  • Chest pain or discomfort 
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders 
  • Shortness of breath 

Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health 

Although maintaining the focus on the physical health is very important, your mental health is also important to keep up with. The five major mental health problems that affect men are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Never be afraid to speak up or ask for help. For resources on mental health, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website here

Men’s Health Month is a good time to reflect on the things that matter most. Take the time for yourself and do the yearly checkups on your health. In the end, it could be a lifesaver. For more resources on men’s physical and mental health, visit the Men’s Health Resource Center’s website

To learn more about Favorite Healthcare Staffing, stay up to date with our healthcare blog and follow us on our social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.  

References: 

mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men 

purdue.edu/hr/CHL/healthyboiler/news/newsletter/2019-06/mens_health.php 

healthymindsphilly.org/blog/fast-facts-mens-health-month/ 

lumahealth.io/blog/four-things-to-know-about-mens-health-month/ 

menshealthmonth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/MHM-Media-Toolkit-1.pdf 

menshealthresourcecenter.com/?_ga=2.45526061.860231826.1622753492-1903003189.1621024344 

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