June 1 kicks off the 2020 Men’s Health Month (www.MensHealthMonth.org), an annual awareness period solely dedicated to education and activities on the health and wellness of men and boys. Communities around the nation are recognizing Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week (www.MensHealthWeek.org), a special awareness period recognized by Congress.
The global activities associated with this month-long celebration this year are more important than ever, and now include encouraging men to fight the spread of COVID-19 by seeking early treatment for symptoms, practicing safe distancing, and being a role model for their children.
This year, Men’s Health Week will be celebrated June 15-21 ending on Father’s Day. The week is celebrated as International Men’s Health Week (www.IMHW.org) around the globe and Friday, June 19, 2020 is Wear Blue Day (www.wearBlueForMen.com).
During this time, health care professionals, private corporations, faith-based and community organizations, and government agencies plan activities that focus on the health and well-being of boys, men, and their families. Men’s Health Month is built on the pillars of Awareness–Prevention–Education–Family.
“Awareness periods like Men’s Health Month are crucial in helping to educate the public on health issues and health disparities impacting men,” said Ana Fadich-Tomsic, VP of Men’s Health Network. “Men continue to suffer from chronic illness and lower insurance rates than women. Men are also less likely to seek out mental health services than women. Support for Men’s Health Month from policymakers, state and federal legislators, the media, and our private and non-profit partners can help fight these systemic issues and save lives.”
Dr. Salvatore J. Giorgianni Jr., PharmD, Senior Science Advisor to Men’s Health Network (MHN) explained, “This Men’s Health Month poses many unique challenges associated with Coronavirus. We at MHN are concerned about the higher death rate among men, and recognize the need for men to ‘Man Up to Coronavirus (or COVID) by practicing hand washing, wearing masks, and social distancing.”
“This Men’s Health Month should be taken as a time to recognize the fact that men have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, suicide and mental health issues, and other comorbidities that may contribute to poorer health among men,” added Dr. Tony Roberson, PhD, PMHNP-BC, RN, FAANP, Visiting Professor at the George Washington University School of Nursing and advisor to MHN. “We must always be looking at the bigger picture of men’s health.”
Dr. Jean Bonhomme, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman, National Black Men’s Health Network, stated, “There needs to be greater recognition of the fact that the health of men and boys is not exclusively a men’s issue. Unfortunately men’s health outcomes negatively impact the stability of entire families as well as the economic productivity of society as a whole.” He continued, “Men’s health, women’s, children’s health and minority health need to be viewed as coequal partners in optimizing the health of communities as well as the overall health of the nation as a whole.”
Over 350 mayors and governors across the country recognize June as Men’s Health Month with official proclamations www.menshealthmonth.org/week/proclamation.html The proclamations are displayed in Congress http://www.menshealthmonth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Proc-display2.jpg and report cards on the status of the health and well-being of boys and men in each state are available at the State of Men’s Health www.StateOfMensHealth.com web site. Free resources are available in both English and Spanish at www.MensHealthMonth.com A comprehensive social media resources page with a toolkit, images to use, logos, and short video messages can be found at www.menshealthmonth.org/mens-health-month-toolkit.html
A key part of the continued momentum is the social media campaign, including:
· #ShowUsYourBlue campaign: People all over the world take pictures of themselves and others wearing blue to increase awareness for men’s health.
· The #ShowUsYourBlue social media storm is on Wear Blue Friday, June 19, the Friday of Men’s Health Week