Every important social issue seems to have its day, week or month for raising awareness these days. But even if you’ve become immune to them, or found yourself feeling a certain ‘worthy cause malaise’, perhaps Men’s Health Week is one marker in the calendar that demands you sit up and take notice - especially if you’re a male.
Men’s Health Week (12th – 18th June 2023) aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems, and encourage the early detection of disease among men and boys. Part of a wider global campaign that is marked in the US, Europe and Australia, it’s all about getting men talking about their health concerns, and asking their mates how they are doing.
Why is this important? Because compared to females, males in general – and Kiwi blokes especially - are known to be much more backwards in coming forwards for talking about their physical and mental health. And that’s a problem, because when it comes to male health, the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude just isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Why the focus on Men’s Health?
Take a look at some of the statistics and you’ll soon see why men’s health is a topic well worth discussing.
A male born today is likely to live around four years less than his female counterparts. Not only this, he will also be 20% more likely to die of a heart attack, and almost 30% more likely to develop diabetes.
And then, the real kicker: he is three times more likely to die by suicide or in a motor vehicle crash.1
In fact, around 8 Kiwi families lose a loving partner, father or tupuna to a preventable illness every day, with Māori and Pasifika men particularly at risk.
Even more alarmingly, almost one in four Kiwi men will die before they reach retirement age. One in four, let that sink in. A quarter of New Zealand men die before they’re 65 years old and start receiving their super.
Some sobering facts there, all of which would suggest that action needs to be taken. And that’s exactly where Men’s Health Week comes in.
What’s going on in June
As well as providing information on a wide variety of health topics, the Men’s Health Week website offers tips, advice and simple steps men can take to live healthier.
To help you on your way there’s also a short survey you can complete to find your health ‘score’, a collection of videos with celebrity ambassadors and everyday kiwis discussing their own health issues and experiences, plus a whole heap of links to support groups just for men. Not to mention plenty of other ways for loved ones, whānau and businesses to get involved and fly the flag for men’s health.
In short, Men’s Health Week is here to give everyone – individuals, workplaces, healthcare providers and more – the opportunity to encourage men and boys to overcome their hang-ups. And encourage them to seek regular medical advice and early preventative treatment for any type of disease or injury they may be experiencing. Plus, importantly, the means to start a conversation about whatever might already be affecting them.
So be sure to swallow your pride, take a deep breath and jump into Men’s Health Week this June. Because who knows, it could just save your life, or the life of someone you love.
To find out more about Men’s Health Week, visit menshealthweek.co.nz