November is the month to shine a light on men’s health here in Saskatchewan. You can join in the conversation by participating in initiatives like Movember and talking to your friends about mental health.
Did you know that men die an average of 5 years earlier than women? It’s true, and many causes of death are largely preventable. Learn more below.
What is Movember, and how can you get involved?
Movember is a campaign developed to raise funds for prostate cancer research. This Canada-wide event is about growing your best ‘stache and raising funds for research that can help save a brother, father, or friend. There’s a great crew of folks who are already donning their mustaches that you can support by checking out all the great events on the Movember website.
Many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer after it has already progressed. The earlier you can detect prostate cancer, the better your outcomes will be. Men are less likely to visit their doctor than women; the dangerous stigma and procrastination around seeking medical care prevent many men from early diagnosis. It’s important to be familiar with your body and if you notice anything changing, visit your doctor.
Here’s how you can tackle prostate cancer this November.
- Get familiar & check regularly: Know what’s normal for you so you can detect any changes early. Many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer after it has already progressed. By getting familiar with your body, you can know if anything is changing, and you can visit your doctor.
- 45 and older? It’s time for regular prostate exams: The recommended age for your first exam is around 45-50 years, but your genetics may put you at higher risk––making this age earlier. The test might be a little awkward, but putting aside the stigma can save your life––check out your options for cancer screening.
- Know your family history: If your family members have had prostate cancer, that puts you at an increased risk––especially if it was your father or grandfather. Knowing your risks can help you get preventative care.
- Encourage your mates to talk about their health: Talking to your friends about the serious stuff is hard, but building a culture of open conversation around men’s health is essential. It just takes one conversation to begin the dialogue. Encourage your crew to get checked and self-checking!
- Inclusive Conversations: Including all people in the conversation about health is important. Non-binary people and trans women who have a prostate are also at risk for developing prostate cancer. Queer people are the least likely group to seek medical care due to discrimination, making it all the more important to encourage and support our queer friends and family.
Men’s mental health awareness should be at the forefront of our conversations this November.
Masculinity can be a serious barrier to mental health care. With men making up almost 75% of people who commit suicide each year in Canada, there is a serious need to normalize conversations around mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, anger, and trauma. Having conversations with our friends, family members, and co-workers about their mental health can save a life. Encouraging the men in our lives to seek support rather than shame them is critical.
Many men report feeling like their problems or struggles are burdens or that their ideas around masculinity mean that therapy is viewed as a weakness. This isolation can be prevented by learning how to support your friends openly. Set the example for your friend group by giving your pals the space they need to feel supported. If you don’t know where to start, there are some great resources for supporting your guys in need. Check out Men’s Minds Matter for some great resources to help you start the conversation. Checking in on your pals can make all the difference.
Get moving with your crew.
Many serious health concerns result from diet, exercise, and habits in tandem with your genetics. One way to prevent negative health outcomes like heart disease, diabetes, and strokes, is to join a social sport together. Socializing is an important factor in long-term health; combine it with exercise, and you can bolster your brain and body.
Ways you can encourage your friends to get active:
- Suggest training for an event together: Setting a goal and holding each other accountable is a great way for everyone to incorporate more fitness into their lives. Training for a 10k, strongman competition, or ninja warrior match is a great way to get into a new habit and reach a clear goal.
- Join a rec league: Adult leagues are a great way to play a sport with lower stakes. From basketball and floor hockey to baseball and soccer – and everything in between, there is sure to be a local rec league looking for a new team.
- Try something new: Get together and try something you haven’t done before. Check out the local climbing gym, try out a ballroom dancing double date, rent some cross-country skis, or learn to skateboard. There’s no shortage of new activities to get excited about, and you might find yourself doing them regularly.
This November, get your health in check!
Men’s health month is a great time to get active, check in with your body, and talk to your pals. There are a ton of local initiatives to support and many ways to get involved, from building a Movember crew to encouraging your friends to get out and try something new.