Men’s Health – Is More Than Growing a ‘Mo!

I don’t know about you, but I always have a hard time deciding how to acknowledge Father’s Day properly, both for my husband and my own dad. Neither of them are traditional ‘guy’ guys, so golf clubs and soap-on-a-rope don’t appeal. But in another way they both fit into a male stereotype that might have some truth to it.

Like many men, they avoid seeing the doctor unless something is broken, bleeding or seriously wrong. My husband sees chips as a food group (something he’s passed onto our son) and he grew a ‘mo for two years before he figured he needed to take a look at his own health.

His choices as an individual are reflective of men in general. And unfortunately, when it comes to expecting a healthy long life, men are falling behind women. There are many reasons for this. In health promotion we do a better job of reaching women than men but this is a gap we’re trying to bridge.

Northern Health, PowerPlay and the Working on Wellness project are trying to reach men before they hit the ER, in communities and workplaces.

BC is leading the charge on men’s health promotion. Perhaps because of the work of former Chief Medical Health Officer David Bowering, who asked Northern Health “Where are the Men?” which really started conversations in communities.

The BC Alliance for Healthy Living, along with the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention want to share the successes and challenges in reaching out to men. They are hosting a workshop series entitled Men’s Health Works in Prince George on June 8th (just ahead of Father’s Day!) – and there are still a few spaces available.

But if you’re not in Prince George, live webcasts will be available as well. If men aren’t heading to their doctors before they experience health problems, then we need to go where they are. Whether in the community or the workplace our health matters, men’s health matters.

So, maybe a more valuable gift for the men in our lives is good health rather than another soap-on-a-rope. This Father’s Day, I’m planning salmon and grilled veggies on the BBQ after an afternoon at the park. How would you start the conversation on health with the men in your life?

 

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