This week is Men’s Health Week – a week for raising awareness about the state of male health in its many forms across Australia and the world. This year, Men’s Health Week takes place 14-20 June.
While we have made incredible leaps towards equality over the past hundred years or so, the work is not done yet. One of the many ways gender inequality manifests itself in modern Australia is men’s health – more specifically the worse health outcomes men face and the shorter lives they live.
It’s no secret that here at Gro, the majority of our clients are men. The conversations we have with men from all walks of life at consultations, in the procedure room and even post-procedure continuously highlight how important this issue is.
Genetic hair loss is not a health threat in and of itself, but we’ve seen how significantly it can impact men’s emotional well-being. Empowering men to care for themselves better can have drastic effects on not just physical health, but also the mental side.
The history of Men’s Health Week
Men’s Health Week started way back in 1994 as an initiative by the United States Congress. The goal was to build awareness around preventable health conditions to improve the early detection and treatment of diseases in men and boys.
In 2001, Men’s Health Week was launched as an international event as six leading men’s health organisations met at the second Congress of Men’s Health in Vienna.
In 2005, The Vienna Declaration on Men’s Health was created to serve as a plan of action for improving men’s health.
In a nutshell, the Vienna Declaration maps out the following goals:
- Recognizing men’s health is a critical issue and that there are health issues that only affect men
- Promoting awareness of men’s approach to health
- Changing the way health care is provided to be more sensitive towards men’s needs
- Creating school and community programs that target boys and young men
- Connecting health and social policies to better pursue men’s health goals
Source: Men’s Health Week Australia
Here are a few reasons why we need Men’s Health Week
Men are more prone to suffering from various health issues due to not just biology, but also complex cultural and societal factors. Men die younger, take their own lives more often and suffer from more lifestyle-related health conditions than females of the same age.
- Men are more likely to die from heart disease at earlier ages
- Men are at a significantly higher risk of dying from liver disease
- Men are at an increased risk of dying from diabetes
- 80% of spinal cord injuries occur in men
- 70% of developmental and learning disabilities affect boys
- Men live 4.4 years less than women, 11 of which are in poor health
- Globally, alcohol kills 6 times more men than women
Source: About Men’s Health and Canadian Men’s Health Foundation via Men’s Health Week Australia
The good news is that only 30% of men’s overall health is determined by genetics – the rest is controllable through lifestyle. That means being a man does not doom one to a life of poor health, and neither does it excuse unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Men’s health matters to everyone
Men’s Health Week is all about empowering men to look after themselves and their health without stigma. But, it’s also about highlighting the contributions men make to society.
It’s time to start a conversation and act on the health challenges men face. We want to be a part of that change because we believe society as a whole will benefit from men taking better care of themselves. Not just by cutting the costs to our health system, but by men being able to live up to their full potential and give back to their communities.
Mental heath is just as important as physical heath
Physical health, mental health and self-confidence intersect in a variety of complex ways, which is why we want to unravel the stigma around men looking after themselves. Whether men are taking steps to tangibly improve their physical health or simply wanting to feel better about themselves, we’re here to support those choices.
At Gro, we know that mental health is just as important as physical health. Because mental health issues specifically have a huge impact on our community, we’ve partnered with Beyond Blue, a mental health organisation supporting people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide. We’ve pledged to donate $1 from every single Everyday Product sold online or at our clinics.
Find out more about Men’s Health Week on their website.