Did you know that the health status of males in most countries is generally poorer than that of females? Men are less likely to go to the doctor than women are, and the perception is that they don’t care about their health. While this isn’t true for most men, Men’s Health Week remains an important occasion. So, what’s this week all about, and how can you celebrate?
International Men’s Health Week 2018
History and Background
Every year, countries across the globe celebrate Men’s Health Week during the week preceding and including Father’s Day. The week was chosen for this specific time of year to make use of the extra attention paid to male family members near Father’s Day. In 2002, representatives from six leading men’s health organizations around the world met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Vienna, Austria. Together, these men decided to launch International Men’s Health Week to increase awareness of male health issues on a global level. Since then, the overall goals of the week have been the following:
- Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.
- Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices and activities.
- Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
This week gives physicians and individuals alike a chance to encourage males to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
This Year’s Theme
Each year, Men’s Health Week focuses on a different disease affecting men. This year, it’s diabetes, which one in ten men have today. Even worse, thousands of more men aren’t even aware that they have diabetes, or they’re at serious risk for it. This number is expected to increase over the next 20 years, so what can be done? This week especially, all are encouraged to spread awareness about diabetes, who it’s affecting, the signs and symptoms, prevention, and how to healthily manage the disease. If you haven’t already, use this week as a time to ask your male patients questions about diabetes. Explain to them the risks and offer them some preventative strategies.
How Doctors Can Celebrate
There are dozens of different ways for physicians to spread awareness and celebrate during Men’s Health Week. Here are some suggestions to get you started!
Hold a “Wear Blue Day”
This year, the official Wear Blue Day is Friday, June 15th, but you can observe it any other day of the year too. Choose a day that works for you and your coworkers, and get started! It’s an awesome idea to turn this event into a fundraiser. Choose a goal amount of money to raise, and encourage everyone to contribute and strive for the goal. On the day itself, wear the color blue to raise awareness about the importance of male health and health issues.
Plan a Small Health Fair
While it may be too short of notice to plan a health fair this year, keep it in mind for next year! Whether you coordinate with health groups or hold something small at your workplace, a health fair is an awesome way to inform others about male health. Health fairs can include screenings for blood pressure or cholesterol, information tables on male health, a lecture from a doctor or health educator, and more!
Hold a Fundraiser
Another suggestion is to consider planning a fundraiser for the Men’s Health Network. Plan a 5K walk or run in your town to raise money, or place donation jars in your workplace or in surrounding restaurants. No matter how you decide to do it, raising money is a great way to get motivated!
What are some ways that you are celebrating International Men’s Health Week? Let us know in the comments below!