Article by Plabita Chakraborty, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visuals by: Aslam Siddique
Men’s health many a time goes unnoticed or one can say neglected. There are taboos like men cannot cry, or “mard ko dard nahi hota” or some say men cannot wear pink! These are some illogical sayings of the society which really have a very vast impact on their lives. Everybody has the right to express their feelings or anybody can go through acute pain that can be unbearable at some point which can lead to outbursts. Then why it is only said that men cannot cry?
Men’s health day is celebrated each year during the month of June, to create awareness of the health issues faced by men. It is hosted by a men’s health network since 1992 and health month is an annual observance aimed at raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys.
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During this month, care providers take the opportunity to encourage men to seek necessary medical treatment and advice. Wellness through national screening and education campaigns is promoted as men have their own challenges and difficulties that they usually don’t show or portray.
Men are not always superheroes or tend to show themselves to be the strongest and at the same time, they think going for treatment to a doctor is a sign of weakness. So in terms of healthcare men are less likely to seek assistance than women. According to surveys, only 40% of men goes to the doctor only when they have serious health issues, which is a very low percentage.
What does statistic show about Men’s mental health?
Mental health is a very big concern as men don’t tend to share things affecting them and hence goes through depression. According to reports, 30.6 % of men suffer from depression in their lifetime. Men don’t talk about their feelings and for some discussing emotions can be a form of vulnerability that might as well lead to discomfort. It is very much important to be open about the thoughts and pressure they feel or go through.
Some at an early age have to take up family responsibility and also have the thoughts and pressure to give importance to work more than studies. These kinds of things take a toll on their mental health which very much affects them and their health as well. Family-related problems can also lead to emotional breakdown and problems which can also lead to suicides.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in males in the age group of 10- 34 years and it can be due to any factor or problems associated with their lives. It is very much important to think about the struggle men faces and the stigmas which affect or takes a great toll on their mental health.
Now let’s talk about how social media plays an important role in spreading media awareness regarding men’s health. The use of hashtag like #Menshealthmonth and #showusyourblue is given preference.
Now, why #showusyourblue? Wear BLUE was created by the men’s health network to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to live longer and healthier lives. It also raises awareness and money for men’s educational needs and to seek regular checkups, or testicular cancer education, or other health issues that affect men.
The statistics also show that men deal with more illness than women and die younger. #Showusyourblue or ‘wear blue day’ helps spread the knowledge of men’s health month through the social media platforms in every way possible.
In an overall manner, men’s health matters and no one knows what a person is suffering or going through in their everyday lives. Everyone should be heard and talked about irrespective of men and women. It’s not like men are strong or they don’t have emotions, every man needs to be taken care of and should be valued mentally as well as emotionally.