The Men’s Health Network (MHN) has called the state of men’s health in the U.S. a “silent health crisis.” According to Dr. David Gremillion, a spokesperson for MHN, “on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.”
Consider these statistics:
- Heart Disease: Men are 1 1/2 times more likely than women to die from heart disease.
- Suicide: Men are 4 to 10 times more likely than women to die by suicide.
- Cancer: Men are 1 1/2 times more likely than woman to die from cancer.
In my work as a men’s health strategist with MenNavigate, I am committed to saving men’s lives from being cut short unnecessarily and achieving lives in which they are thriving. We can all promote optimal health with simple strategies and straightforward support. These are the steps that will ultimately shift the men’s health paradigm from “health crisis” to engaged community consciousness and action.
The reasons men are more affected by certain health issues are varied and complex. It is not simply a matter of blame, fault, neglect, or biology. In fact, I see the primary cause as a social-cultural issue.
For example, most men are not socialized to ask for help. They are not supposed to appear unsure or weak, depend on others, or be out of the loop on relevant information. If this is a man’s social-cultural milieu, it’s tough for him to reach out and ask for guidance on something representing vulnerability, such as getting help for a health issue.
And what do we do about this? Really, it is up to all of us to shift our ideas and behaviors around men’s health. We need more conversations and dialogue about health — physical, mental, and emotional health. We need to provide the space for men and boys to be heard, ask questions, and find support.
To these ends, and in celebration of Men’s Health Month this June, MenNavigate is hosting a free 4-part virtual series, “21st Century Men’s Health & Vitality Round Tables: Every Man’s Solutions to Today’s Men’s Health Crisis.” We will be talking with men about the tips and strategies they use to address key topics affecting men’s health. These are the kinds of conversations I hope to see grow across the country, engaging men and women alike in dialogues that change our paradigms, practices and outcomes concerning men’s health.
Anne Freiwald is the founder of MenNavigate.com. She has over 25 years’ experience in the preventative health and wellness fields and works with men to take the fear out of their current and future health and achieve the lives they want and thrive in.
Portions of this article were originally posted in the ETR Blog, “What Men’s Health Crisis?” Click here to read the entire article “What Men’s Health Crisis?”