June 23, 2022
MCHD recognizes June at Men’s Health Month
MOBILE, Alabama — The Mobile County Health Department’s Health Equity Office is recognizing June as Men’s Health Month. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to raise awareness around men’s health issues and encourage men to implement healthy living decisions.
Men on average die 5 years earlier than woman and die at higher rates from heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries than woman. As a result, it is important for men to take control of their health not only by implementing healthy choices but also by routinely going to their doctor. In addition, young boys need to be taught healthy habits throughout their childhood.
Gender-based inequality between men and women’s health are related to factors such as levels of occupational exposure to chemical and physical hazards, male norms related to masculinity, and that men are less likely to visit a doctor when they are ill. Fighting for gender equality so that health services are designed to meet the needs of both sexes and reducing gender stereotypes can help tackle inequalities.
Health disparities also exist within men based on race/ethnicity. Black and Hispanic men when compared to white men are disadvantaged in terms of educational attainment, socioeconomic status, chronic stressors, and neighborhood conditions which are all factors that are linked to health outcomes. Racism underlies all these factors and has shown to be a persistent issue at the individual, institutional, and structural levels.
Men’s Health Month is also the time to recognize the importance of men’s mental health as significant component of their overall well-being. Men’s mental health issues are often silenced or ignored in society. This is highlighted by the high rates of suicide and substance abuse among the male population but the low rates of diagnosed depression.
Depression often goes undiagnosed in men because they can be reluctant to talk about their problems or they minimize the signs and symptoms of depression when they recognize them. Some ways that we can all contribute to improving men’s mental health is to create environments that normalize seeking professional help and encourage men to discuss their problems. It is also necessary to start early so that boys are encouraged to have open dialogues about their mental health.
Other ways to promote men’s health during this month include reminding men to:
• Seek medical advice when ill and to get regular checkups
• Make healthy food choices
• Stay physically active
• Quit smoking
• Prioritize their mental health
• Get vaccinated
This media product was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00. The content of this media product is that of the authors and does not necessarily stand for the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.