National Men’s Health Week is observed every year beginning the week leading up to Father’s Day, with this year’s observance occurring June 15-21. This time is important, serving as a reminder to take care of one’s health, increase awareness of preventable health issues, and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases and injuries. Participating in this observance to increase awareness can also be done by taking part in Wear Blue Day , which occurs on June 19.
Awareness for men’s health encompasses multiple facets of health and well-being. Unfortunately, seeking help is not always easy as many men have been raised with the belief that asking for help or giving into pain is a sign of weakness and takes away from their role and status as men. We have to do our part to reverse this thinking and show that seeking help makes men stronger to take better care of their families.
American Indian and Alaska Native men generally face greater health disparities and mortality rates than American Indian and Alaska Native women as well as men in other populations. Some of these health disparities include suicide, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
Key components to prioritizing health revolve around taking preventive measure against disease and illness as well as early detection to stop health issues from potentially becoming worse, including:
- Eating a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Reducing or quitting commercial tobacco use
- Stress management and limiting use of alcohol and dependence on drugs
- Attending regular health checkups
Men’s Health and COVID-19
The current COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly placed an additional burden on men’s health including increased levels of stress. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, it is important to continue to take care of one’s well-being as much as possible. Everyone should be following CDC guidelines to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
There are many ways to help protect your health and the health of your family during this time. Staying informed and understanding ways to cope with the effects of COVID-19 can help with your overall physical, mental, and spiritual health. For additional information, please visit the John Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Indian Health Service COVID-19 resources pages.
National Men’s Health Week is not just a time to encourage men to find strength in their own health, but is also a time to encourage providing support to the men in our lives, tribes, and communities.
A man’s health impacts his whole family, and is a reminder of the importance of creating a supportive network and environment. To find the strength in your health, please visit the resources listed below for additional support.
IHS Men’s Health Month
CDC: National Men’s Health Week
Men’s Health Network: A Vision for Wellness and Health Equity for American Indian and Alaska Native Boys and Men [PDF]
Office of Minority Health: Men’s Health Month