June 14th-20th is Men’s Health Week, this is all about bringing awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately. It focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it.
For this week’s #WellnessMatters edition we’ve put together some resources and information that are simple and informative while tackling issues on Men’s Health.
When we talk about men’s health, it’s important to note that it also includes boys, teenagers, and young adults alike, these are our grandads, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons. The earlier we can start on healthy habits and mental health education, the better we are for it.
This year’s Men’s Health Week focuses on what it means to have a team. A team will have your back, they can build you up, they’ll be there for the good times and the tough times, and fill a gap when you need support. Building a strong team is important, the members on your team each play an important role. You’re going to need a healer or medic – this is a healthcare professional, ideally one for your body and one for your mind, as well as trusted friends and family who you can catch up with, whether that be through organised activities or groups and support each other. While the first step of reaching out can be the biggest and hardest, it’s comforting to know that everyone experiences this.
Here are some places to go for mental health support:
- Healthy Gamer – they focus on Mental health for the internet generation, the founder Dr. Alok (a gamer himself) saw a need in the community for a specialised approach. You can watch and listen to his interviews with prominent gamers and people in the community as he discusses mental health for the younger generation.
- MensLine – MensLine Australia is a free online and phone counselling service specifically for men, they provide great resources on different topics like relationships, stress, family violence and being a first time dad amongst many others.
- BeyondBlue – provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. They have a wealth of information for men available on their site, some key resources are the recognising the signs, looking our for your mates, looking out for yourself and a checklist to understand where you’re at and how you’re tracking.
As we know, risks to men’s health can start young, so establishing a routine of regular exercise, a balanced diet, proper sleep, and cutting down smoking, alcohol, and drug use are vital to physical health and mental wellbeing. Despite the health benefits of exercise, only 17% of males aged 18 – 64 meet the national Physical Activity Guidelines. So how much is enough? Every week, Aussie men should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity.
Below is a handy infographic that explains 7 health facts which affect men:
Resources on physical health:
- Healthy Male – they have lots of online and tools information you can use, such as important health checks, the right way to exercise, finding a doctor, and a cover a huge list of health topics.
- AMHF – Australian Men’s Health Forum; a diverse network of individuals and organisations working together to tackle the social factors that shape men and boys’ health. They advocate for men’s health issues, organise events & fundraisers like the #Push4Men 10-day challenge, #Run4MensHealth marathon in the Gold Coast, and other events.
- Exercise Right – they provide information on how to start exercising, why it helps men live longer, how it improves mental health and a list of home workouts for all ages.
Tips to remember
- It’s healthy to talk. Have a conversation with someone you trust.
- You are not alone. There are people out there who are going through or have gone through similar issues, and there are people to connect with and support you.
- Stay informed. Use the tools and information provided to educate, help prevent, manage and support yourself and others.
- Set goals. Plan things to look forward to, even small milestones help to keep our minds and bodies active. Here is our advice on how to smash your 2021 goals out of the park.
- Don’t ignore change. If you are experiencing any of the following: feeling sad or down, confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, extreme mood changes of highs and lows it’s important to talk to a health professional and get checked out. You can also complete this checklist and print your score for your records or to give to your GP or mental health professional.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact one of the many mental health services available in Australia for a confidential chat – it’s important to note that you don’t have to be suicidal to talk to someone. Any time, any day, any mood, there are people out there who can provide support over the phone, email or chat, so please reach out.
BeyondBlue – 1300 22 4636
Lifeline – 13 11 14
As always, please let us know if you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.