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June Is Men’s Health Month!
- Have you heard of Men’s Health Month? June is Men’s Health Month. There are many health issues affecting men. Mental health and sexual health to name a few.
- The purpose of the month is to raise awareness about men’s health and the issues men face.
- Let’s go over three top health issues affecting men presently.
MPH, MSN, WHNP-BC
June is Men’s Health Month.
When I first heard of the term Men’s Health Month, I really didn’t know what to think. I wondered why men needed their own month devoted to health concerns.
First, I looked at how men live their lives.
Second, I spent time online and talked with some friends.
After this, I noticed something.
For this Men’s Health Month, I will highlight three health issues affecting men presently.
Men’s Health Month and Mental Health
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, COVID has influenced your life in some way. Your mental health is no exception.
Whether your relationships changed, your work conditions altered, or something similar, this pandemic has taken a serious toll on everyone. In particular, mental health concerns exploded over the past year.
Several mental health telehealth companies emerged. Many therapists and counselors report longer than usual wait times because of the increased demand for their services. Recreational drug and alcohol use increased.
In addition, people report feeling fatigue at much higher rates.
Impact on Men
Historically, men have sought mental health services and counseling at lower rates than women. Also, social norms often dictate that men are strong and do not need to talk about their feelings or show emotions.
This has left many men emotionally shut down, burnt out, and mentally exhausted. Add a pandemic to this, and navigating mental health becomes an extremely big mess.
This men’s health month, it is time to reflect on your honest feelings and thoughts. Have you ever considered talking about your emotions with a trained professional? Does your employer offer mental health services? What are some things you can do to work on your mental health?
Make a list. Be realistic, and take care of your mental health.
Men’s Health Month and Sexual Health
As with mental health, sexual health is another major health concern. I have overheard guys talking about how they never wear a condom or get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) since “men don’t get diseases.”
Once again, social norms really hurt men regarding their sexual health.
Impact on Men
If you’re having sex, you are at risk for STIs. It is important to note that you cannot simply look at someone and know if that person has an STI.
The most common STI symptom is no symptom. Often times, men are taught sexual health does not need to include them, which can lead to high rates of under-reporting STIs.
STI rates are soaring over the past year as a result of more people being sexually active and delayed STI testing as a result of COVID. Taking care of your sexual health is essential to overall men’s health.
It’s time to ask yourself. When was the last time you were tested for STIs? How often do you use a condom when you have sex? What sorts of conversations are you having with your partner(s) around sexual health and wellness?
If you’re having sex, your task is to find a local STI testing center in your area. Tip: you can also request STI testing from your primary care provider!
Men’s Health Month, COVID-19, and Respiratory Infections
Living in a COVID world has changed everything.
Masks can also help prevent the spread of respiratory infections. Vaccines can help prevent death from COVID. And at-home COVID tests are great for those who cannot find in-person testing sites or cannot leave their home.
Impact on Men
In order to avoid death and long-term complications from COVID, you need to be aware of risk mitigation strategies. COVID has killed over a million people in America and continues to do so, especially among the unvaccinated population.
Other respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and influenza, have vaccines as well. Especially if you have any underlying conditions, such as asthma, cancer, or diabetes, consider staying up to date with your vaccines and wearing a mask.
You can still live safely in a COVID world!
Ask yourself. Have you thought about getting the COVID-19 vaccine or a booster? Do you regularly wear a mask? Do you have any at-home rapid or PCR COVID tests? USPS is giving out free at-home COVID tests! How often do you wash your hands?
Men’s Health Month-Moving Forward
These are just three general health topics that affect men. I know there are several other issues to consider, such as prostate health, fitness, and oral health. I would highly recommend reading up on other men’s health issues over on Mayo Clinic or
Often times, men are taught to disregard their health needs until it is too late. The best type of health is preventive health. Being prepared and knowledgeable can make you more aware, more confident, and more secure in your health.
What are some trends or topics in men’s health you’d like to see more awareness of?
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