“Hey bro, how’s your health? Are you feeling well?” Men checking in on their fellow brothers, fathers, sons and colleagues to see how their health is tracking isn’t a common catch-up conversation one can expect amongst Kiwi blokes. Men’s Health Month this June is a chance to change that, and hopefully continue to encourage men to speak about their health concerns and support their peers to do the same. It is a cause aimed at raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging the early detection and treatment of them among Kiwi men and boys. Throughout the month (and hopefully beyond!), Kiwi men are encouraged to increase their conversations around their health and wellbeing and that of their mates.
So, let’s talk men’s health. Or more specifically: where to turn for help, where to get advice on health and wellbeing, who you can talk to and what alternative therapies may be able to help. Below is a summary of three vital New Zealand websites that help support the initiatives of Men’s Health Month.
Men’s Health New Zealand – These guys are the home of Men’s Health Month in NZ. They are a small charity dedicated to making a big difference. Here you can learn about men’s health topics, do a free online health check, be inspired by local ambassadors, find out ways to get your workplace on the wellness bandwagon and much more. Follow their social media hashtag #menstarttalking to keep up with the latest conversations. menshealthnz.org.nz
Get the Tools – “Discussing the nuts and bolts of men’s health.” These blokes provide an A-Z for men’s health related issues and provide the cutting edge tools and resources for blokes to be able to take control of their health. A great one-stop-shop for resources and informative articles on the latest research and news around men’s health. www.getthetools.org.nz
Mental Health Organisation – This website is a guide to all of the mental health services available in NZ, whether it be for addiction, family violence, depression, anxiety, gambling or other areas pertaining to wellbeing. It has a great guide to crisis helplines and where to get immediate help 24/7. mentalhealth.org.nz
In general, men are less likely than women to visit doctors regularly, take symptoms seriously or live a health-conscious lifestyle. Maybe that’s one reason why women have a seven-year average life expectancy advantage? Life is busy, but good health is vital to keeping up and charging on all cylinders. It’s imperative for a man’s focus on health and wellbeing to begin as early as possible. Diet and nutrition are important for the prevention of many male health concerns. Of course, food can’t do the job alone either. This means taking optimal nutrition and high quality supplements geared directly towards the concerns that men have, as well as getting exercise, reducing stress, minimising alcohol intake, eating a good diet, not smoking and avoiding toxins. For more advice and guidance on nutrition and wellbeing initiatives, see the Men’s health NZ website or speak to a health professional.
“I’m all good” or the “she’ll be right, mate” attitude around discussions about health don’t always cut it guys. Hopefully some of these resource can assist you and your loved ones.