Interesting fact: The average life expectancy for Canadian men is 80 – while for women it’s 84. And there’s more….avoidable mortality accounts for 74% of premature deaths among men. What’s going on with men’s health in this country, and how can we raise some awareness?
As one of the leading Canadian healthcare staffing agencies, Advanced Home Care Solutions (AHCS) has a stake and a keen interest in shedding some light on wellness issues that affect Canadian males. These are complex circumstances that need to be understood and acted on – especially when we factor in that so many men’s health problems are preventable. In honour of International Men’s Health Month, let’s address some of the components that impact men’s health and shorten their lifespan.
Men tend to avoid talking about their feelings. But not being able to discuss your health, or how you’re feeling, doesn’t make the problems go away. It only leaves them unresolved, and when it comes to health, that can be devastating. We are also familiar with that male dynamic – he doesn’t feel good…but there’s no way he’s going to get it checked out. We all know that guy. And when it comes to mental health, it’s even more of an off-limits topic. A lot of males have a hard time breaking through the stigmas surrounding mental health.
So how do we bring about meaningful change that can improve men’s lives worldwide? There are a number of ways to move that dial, but at the end of the day, most of them involve awareness, education and advocacy. Some of the significant real-world threats to men’s health today – prostate, testicular cancer, and suicide – need to be addressed from a multi-platform approach. And some of the strategies are simply common sense:
- Stay connected and spend time with people who make you feel good. Your support network is important. Check in and make time.
- Talk more. It’s not on you to fix everything, but sometimes just listening and giving your time can be a life-saver.
- Know the numbers and risk factors that affect you. Make that appointment if you think it might be time to talk to your doctor – about anything. Early detection and treatment of diseases that commonly impact males – including cancer, heart disease, and depression – can be life-changing. Literally.
- Make this month about implementing changes that you know you can manage. Increase your intake of foods that nourish your body and mind, and remember that it’s often the small choices we make day-to-day that can have the biggest impact on our health long term.
- Set some goals. It’s your life – own it. Take stock of your health – physically and mentally – and decide where you want it to be and how you want to feel five, ten, or even twenty years from now. Nothing is out of reach.
During International Men’s Health Month, let’s all take steps to better support each other and challenge those stigmas that are detrimental to our health. We’ve got this!