As Men’s Health Week 2022 wraps up, we explore why men need to pull up their socks and take better care of themselves.
According to Dr Lucas de Toca, from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, men are not very good at seeking medical care. And I couldn’t agree more.
As an overly cautious person when it comes to health, I will happily go to my GP about even the most minor of issues. But my partner, on the other hand, rarely goes to see doctors – he literally shattered his knee cap and waited six days before seeing a doctor, which he only did because his mother insisted. Opposites attract, right?
In a Department of Health mini-series for Men’s Health Week, Dr de Toca outlined the multiple health issues men face; one of which is that accidental injuries and injuries resulting from risky behaviour are more prevalent in men.
Now, I regularly make the joke ‘this is why women live longer than men’ to my partner when he tells me something dumb he’s done – he once stood on multiple chairs precariously stacked on each other rather than getting a ladder, for instance.
But moving forward, I won’t be making that joke and will be encouraging my man to take fewer risks because as Dr de Toca revealed, accidental and ‘risky’ injuries are actually “a significant cause of disease and death among men”. Ooft.
Another major issue men face is mental health, which Dr de Toca highlighted with a tragic statistic.
“Unfortunately, men are three times more likely to die of suicide than women are. And sadly, this week alone, 45 men will die from suicide.”Dr Luca de Toca
To be selfish for a moment, I would be absolutely devastated and heartbroken if my partner took his life, as would his family and friends.
So, to those men out there who think it’s ‘not masculine’ to seek help for mental health issues – our 2022 DMARGE Men’s Matters Study found that 33% of men think that talking about personal issues is weak and men should figure out their problems without any help – I say, take a moment and think about your loved ones.
How saddened they’d be if you were driven to suicide because you never sought help for mental health issues – whether it be depression, anxiety, burnout or something else entirely.
Overall, – and I apologise, I’m about to get a bit sappy – I can’t bear the thought of my partner getting ill or, God forbid, dying. So, on behalf of all girlfriends, wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, I have to say: men, please take better care of yourselves.
Go to the GP if you’re sick or injured, make sure you get regular checkups (especially cardiac health checks – coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality among males) and seek help from a professional if you’re suffering from mental health issues; even minor ones.
And this isn’t just my advice. As Dr de Toca says,
“Men generally tend to seek medical help less than women and wait longer to get a checkup. So, a big recommendation for all of us men, young men, and boys, is to make sure that you engage with a health service; that you have a regular GP…”Dr Luca de Toca
Seriously men, take this as a sign to book an appointment for that issue you’ve been putting off…