Raise Awareness for National Men’s Health Week with These 3 Tips

National Men’s Health Week is a time to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection of disease among men and boys. This year from June 11 – 17, healthcare providers, policy makers, media outlets around the country have the opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.

Ready to raise awareness in your family? Here are some ideas to get you going.

1. Talk with your loved ones about common men’s health concerns.

This includes prostate cancer, blood pressure, and lung and heart health per the Men’s Health Network. See their timeline of recommendations below:

If you have men in your circle who are ages 20-39, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every 3 years
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every 3 years
  • Have a baseline EKG at age 30
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Be screened for sexually transmitted diseases every year

If you have men in your circle who are ages 40-49, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every 2 years
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every 2 years
  • Have an EKG every 2 years
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Have a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test*
  • Have a hemoccult exam every year
  • Discuss having a chest x-ray with a physician
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Discuss having testosterone screening with a physician
  • Discuss having screenings for sexually transmitted diseases with a physician

*African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer may opt to have PSA blood tests at 40 years of age or earlier.

If you have men in your circle who are age 50+, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every year
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every year
  • Have an EKG every year
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Have a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test
  • Have a hemoccult exam every year
  • Have a colorectal exam every 3-4 years
  • Discuss having a chest x-ray with a physician
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Discuss having bone health screening with a physician
  • Discuss having testosterone screening with a physician
  • Discuss having screenings for sexually transmitted diseases with a physician

2. Talk to your loved ones about the importance of having some type of healthcare coverage.

They may find health benefits insurance (otherwise known as limited medical coverage) to fit their needs and budget. These plans can cover a wide variety of expenses for accidental injuries, sickness, inpatient surgical care, outpatient care, and even pre-existing conditions. They may also provide little to no waiting periods, which may be useful for a loved one who is in need of benefits sooner rather than later. Typically, these plans will pay out a pre-determined cash benefit based on a covered service. They are not comprehensive medical plans and are not intended to replace a major medical plan.

Or they may find short-term medical coverage to be a better fit. These plans are offered at any time in the year and are typically used during times of transition, so your loved ones who are graduating from college, waiting for employer insurance to begin, or waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective may find it useful.

If they are interested in major medical coverage that offers benefits for minimum essential health benefits, they may want to consider ACA coverage. These plans provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and preventive care and can offer subsidies to help lower costs.

* Note: Health benefit insurance plans (limited benefit insurance) and short-term medical plans of coverage do not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage. They are not sufficient forms of coverage to avoid facing a tax penalty.

3. Celebrate awareness with fun office activities.

Organize a Wear Blue Day.

  • Pose with your coworkers for photos in all blue – the signature color of the initiative – and post them to your company’s social media with the hashtags #MensHealthWeek, #WearBlueDay, and/or #ShowUsYourBlue.
  • Create a fundraising challenge for your office and donate the proceeds to heart disease or cancer research organizations (those diseases are the #1 and #2 fatal diseases for men in the United States respectively).

Work with your company’s events committee to provide coworkers with local health resources.

  • Ask a local doctor or nutritionist to make a presentation on common men’s health concerns and everyday ways they can improve their health.
  • Organize a health fair complete with health screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol levels and opportunities to speak with advocates of wellness care, doctors/nurses, dentists, fitness instructors, etc.

Challenge your coworkers to some physical activities.

  • Hold a 5K near your office and ask nearby businesses to join.
  • Bring in a fitness instructor to lead fun activities/classes for your team. Consider inviting your team’s loved ones as well.

Provide encouragement and resources to the men in your circle for National Men’s Health Week – and every week – and contribute to the growing awareness of prevention, early detection, and treatment of disease.

Click here to learn more about men’s health concerns.

Click here to see National Men’s Health Week activities across the country.

 

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