June is National Men’s Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of men’s health and encourage men to prioritize their wellness.
Why Do Men Neglect Their Health?
Several factors may influence men’s attitudes and behaviors toward health care:
Social norms and expectations around masculinity can sometimes discourage men from seeking help or showing vulnerability.
Pressure to be self-sufficient and strong may prevent some men from seeking medical care or openly discussing their health problems.
Lack of Awareness:
Men may not be aware of the specific health problems affecting them or the importance of preventive care.
There may not be enough education and awareness campaigns aimed at men’s health to empower men to prioritize their well-being.
Fear or Denial:
Men may have concerns about potential health problems, but fear or denial may prevent them from taking action.
They often ignore symptoms or delay seeking medical care, with negative consequences on their health outcomes.
Cultural beliefs and practices can also influence men’s health behaviors.
In some cultures, seeking medical care may be seen as a sign of weakness or may not align with traditional gender roles.
Men’s Health Month: What’s the Situation in the U.S.?
- The percentage of men in the U.S. over the age of 18 in fair or poor health is 13.2% (2021).
- 30.9% of men over 18 have five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year.
- Only 28.3 % of men over 18 met the 2018 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
- 13.1 % of men over 18 smoke cigarettes.
- 40.5 % of men in their 20s are obese.
- 51.9 % of men aged 20 years suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure measured and/or taking antihypertensive medication).
- 11.5% of men under 65 do not have health insurance coverage.
A Focus on Latino Men in Massachusetts
National Men’s Health Month is an opportune time to highlight the unique health challenges facing Latino men in Massachusetts:
It is one of the leading causes of death among Latino men in Massachusetts.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity are prevalent in this population, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Impactfully affects Latino men in Massachusetts.
Factors such as genetic predisposition, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and limited access to medical care contribute to this health problem.
This is an area that is often overlooked among Latino men in Massachusetts.
Cultural stigmas, limited access to mental health resources, and language barriers can prevent individuals from seeking help.
A major health problem among Latino men in Massachusetts.
Late stage diagnosis and low participation in early screening contribute to negative health outcomes.
Substance Abuse and Addiction:
Affect many Latino men in Massachusetts, leading to a variety of health problems and negative social consequences.
Language barriers, lack of culturally sensitive treatment options, and limited knowledge of available resources contribute to this problem.
How to Celebrate National Men’s Health Month?
This month is all about encouraging men to take care of their health by improving their eating habits, exercising and working to prevent disease.
The official symbol of the month is a blue ribbon.
Men’s Health Month aims to raise awareness about preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and depression.
This promotes among other aspects:
- Adjusting diet and reducing alcohol consumption.
- Establish some goals and set small, achievable objectives and work with a professional to reach them.
- Learn about common health problems that are specific to men and how you can avoid or prevent them.
Men’s Health Summit – 2023 Whittier Street Health Center
Whittier Street Health Center is hosting the Men’s Health Summit next Saturday, June 24 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 1290 Tremont Street, Roxbury.
The event will provide valuable information, access to resources and the opportunity to network with health professionals and community members who share a common interest in improving men’s health.
This year’s Men’s Health Summit will also serve as an occasion to recognize several men’s health champions from diverse backgrounds during the annual Men’s Health Champion Award presentation.
For more information visit our table at My Health Fair.
Whittier Street Health Center is a community health center that provides comprehensive health care services to individuals and families.
Their commitment to men’s health highlights the importance of addressing the unique health needs of men and promoting wellness within the community.
Men’s Health Month: Resources
In Massachusetts, several organizations and institutions are actively participating in the commemoration of National Men’s Health Month by hosting events, providing resources and promoting awareness:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH):
Plays a vital role in promoting men’s health in the state.
They collaborate with local health departments, community organizations and health care providers to raise awareness of men’s health issues.
They also seek to provide educational resources and organize events during National Men’s Health Month.
Men’s Health Network (MHN):
A national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of men and their families.
They work with various partners and stakeholders in Massachusetts to support initiatives during Men’s Health Month.
MHN provides educational materials, conducts screenings and organizes events to raise awareness of men’s health issues.
Hospitals and Health Care Institutions:
Many hospitals and health care institutions in Massachusetts actively participate in Men’s Health Month.
They host health fairs, screenings, workshops and seminars focused on men’s health.
Notable institutions include Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center.
Local Non-Profit Organizations:
Several local nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts are dedicated to men’s health and wellness.
For example, Men’s Health League at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center focuses on providing comprehensive health care services for men, including health screenings, counseling and education.
How to Promote Men’s Health Care?
There is a need to promote education and awareness campaigns specifically targeting men, providing information about common health problems and the importance of preventive care.
One action lies in the hands of health care providers to create supportive environments that are sensitive to men’s health concerns and address barriers to seeking care.
Foster open conversations about masculinity, break down stereotypes, and encourage men to prioritize their health without feeling stigmatized.
Improve access to health care through expanded insurance coverage, community health centers, and telehealth services.
Engage men through community outreach programs, support groups and peer networks to provide social support and encourage healthy behaviors.
Addressing these factors can encourage men to take an active role in caring for their well-being and ultimately improve overall health outcomes.
Our sources: https://menshealthnetwork.org/, https://www.cdc.gov/, https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/ https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-public-health
The information contained on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.
Readers should direct any questions regarding their personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health care professionals.