The goal of Movember as far as men’s health goes is to spread awareness on conditions that are exclusive to or more prevalent among men.
Health should be one’s priority every day, and yet it often never is! Caught up in daily struggles at work and home, most of us tend to neglect our health until it is too late. This holds good for both men and women. However, in November we place full focus on men and common health issues that attack their well-being.
The goal of Movember as far as men’s health goes is to spread awareness on conditions that are exclusive to or more prevalent among men. Poor lifestyle choices and increased levels of stress have seen a rise in diseases such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer, while also causing more instances of suicides and a decline in mental health.
These alarming statistics underline the need to bring men’s health into focus.
How to join the Movember Movement
The Movember Foundation encourages people to join the Movember Movement which emphasises creating awareness of men’s health issues. Mo Bros and Mo Sistas are the people who sign up officially with the foundation and endeavour to create awareness and raise funds as well towards better health care for men across the globe. The main goal of the movement is to reduce premature death among men by 25% by 2030. However, you do not have to sign up, you can do your bit on the quiet as well.
Visit your parents regularly.
Whether they live in the next street or on another continent, you need to plan visits as often as possible. Video calls can never replace interacting in person. If your parents are able enough to travel, invite them over. A change of scenery and the prospect of spending time with their children and grandchildren will get their spirits up. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is particularly special and mutually beneficial. Regular meetings will ease the growth of this bond.
1. Grow a moustache.
This is the most common way of showing support for the Movember Movement. It may seem like a silly step, but in its own way it helps remind people that men’s health matters. Ladies can encourage the men in their families to grow a moustache and join the campaign as well.
2. Talk about men’s health.
There continues to be a stigma when it comes to a man discussing his health issues. For centuries men have been expected to grin and bear pain or brush aside health issues, in the name of being manly and macho. This has only increased the rate of premature deaths among men. Men should talk freely about their health, address any health concerns, and share their learnings with other men as well.
3. Get screened for cancer.
Testicular cancer and prostate cancer are exclusive to men. Over the last few decades, the number of men battling these two cancers has increased manifold. Early detection can help treat these cancers successfully. Talk to your doctor about available cancer screening tests and when you should take them, to stay ahead of the disease. Encourage the men in your friends’ groups and family circles, to do the same.
4. Create awareness of heart disease.
Due to their genetic make-up men are more prone to developing heart diseases, than women. Hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart attacks are common in both sexes, but men are more likely to be fatally impacted by these conditions. Use Movember to get started on keeping track of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and general heart health.
5. Address mental health issues.
Globally three-quarters of suicide deaths are among men. Suicide is a direct outcome of poor mental health and elevated levels of stress. Be alert to your own mental health as well as that of the men in your family. Watch out for tell-tale signs such as anxiety, social withdrawal, spurts of aggressive behaviour, dwindling interest in everything, poor or no appetite, insomnia, and depression. Get professional help immediately. There is no shame in talking to a psychologist.
6. Move for Movember.
Walk or run 60km this month. It represents 60 men whose lives are lost every hour due to suicide. It is also a way to get active and improve your own health through proper exercise. Make it a routine even after November. Track your progress and share it in your social circles, to bring create awareness of mental health, while also encouraging others to join the cause as well.
Just because it is Men’s Health Month, it does not mean women cannot get involved. Women can show their support by just being there and encouraging the men in their life to take better care of themselves. Keep this simple acronym in mind: A. L. E. C.
A stands for ASK.
Ask them how they feel – not just when they look ill or upset, but in general too.
L stands for LISTEN.
Pay attention to their health needs.
E stand for ENCOURAGE action.
Sometimes talking helps, but some problems call for more than just a sympathetic ear. Encourage them to see a medical professional to get their health sorted.
C stands for CHECK-IN.
It is not enough to ask once, listen for a while and then point them in the direction of the nearest hospital. Show that you really care by checking in on them and making sure they are doing something about their health issues.
CONSULTANT – GENERAL PHYSICIAN
MBBS, MD (GENERAL MEDICINE)