As men, some of us may find it harder than others to talk openly about our physical or mental health concerns, wellbeing or seeking support when we need it.
As a society this is something we need to work to overcome, and also teach our sons that as men, it’s normal to express our concerns; after all – it’s our health we are talking about!
Unfortunately, the research finds men to be falling behind when it comes to looking after their health. Heart disease is the leading killer of Aussie men, with four in five heart deaths under 65 being men.
Devastatingly, men also take their own lives at four times the rate of women (that’s five men a day, on average) and is the leading killer of men under 55 in Australia.
We need to encourage men to look after their health, for themselves, families and children. Ensuring we create an environment that feels secure to talk openly, whether it’s a workplace, in the home, school or in a social setting is key.
Top tips to support men and boy’s health
- Talk openly. If something is concerning you, even if it’s minor, talk about it with a mate, your partner or health professional. Whether it’s your physical health, mental health or something going on in your life. Too often men seem let things slide until the last minute and only seek help when it becomes urgent.
- Be a role model. If you have a son, teach him it’s not weak for men to speak up about mental health, wellbeing, or physical health. It shows strength and empowerment for your own health.
- Keep your health in check for your kids. Stay up to date with your doctor’s appointments, keep fit, eat healthy and look after yourself, because your kids and family need your best self!
- Get moving. With the busy lives we lead, it can be difficult to make exercise a priority, especially heading into the colder months! Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, try to get out and move your body. Take the dog for a walk, kick the footy around with the kids, go for a run, or even do some laps up and down the stairs!
- If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked. Even if it’s something minor, it’s better to get it checked than to let it go. Setting this standard for your sons is also important so they grow up knowing they don’t need to feel embarrassed.
- Make time to do the things you love. Is there a hobby you’ve let go because ‘life’. We encourage you to make the time to pick it back up and do the things you love. It is key to your own wellbeing.
If you require further support check out Australian Men’s Health Forum https://www.amhf.org.au or Mensline https://mensline.org.au