In the lead up to Men's Health Week, June 12-18, Liverpool Plains Shire Councillor, Virginia Black, is urging men to make an appointment with their GP for a check-up and to take the time to enjoy the things in life that make them happy. Councillor Black has a long involvement in health issues, including several terms on the local Hunter New England Health committee and she has just been appointed Chair of the Community Drug Action Team.
"Good health happens when we have a sense of balance in our lives and can juggle our obligations, importantly taking time to enjoy family, friends and ourselves. Balancing these challenges means doing things that are nourishing and good. Think about it; your health really is the most important thing in the world. If you don't have your health then the quality and quantity of your life is reduced,” Councillor Black said.
This year’s Men’s Health Week theme HEALTHY BODY – HEALTHY MIND: KEEPING THE BALANCE explores the different ways men and boys are managing to keep healthy, physically and emotionally, in a busy and sometimes challenging world.
“If you take out suicide and reckless death, five men die every hour from a disease that could have been prevented through early detection. Your health not only affects you, but it affects your family, your friends, your work life and an already burdened health care system,” she said.
“Several areas of health continue to be of particular concern for rural men including, mental health management, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, alcohol and other drugs, injury and health literacy. Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women! Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for nearly a third of the elevated male death rates outside major cities. Male death rates from diabetes are 1.3 times as high in regional areas compared to cities. The incidence of head, neck and lip cancers, two groups of cancers associated with increased smoking and alcohol consumption, are higher. Sadly, men in regional/rural areas are 22% less likely than men in major cities to possess an adequate level of health literacy,” she continued.
“Being healthy is more than exercising and eating well. It's also about making the time to pursue the activities you enjoy, whether that's sharing precious time with family, playing and watching sport, connecting with mates or going to the park with the dog. Taking time to pursue simple activities that bring you joy is crucial in modern life, and Men's Health Week 2017 is urging men to take the time to think about how they're managing the different areas of their lives,” she said.
“Although men are getting much better at accessing health services today, there are still many that think that to be male, you wait until an arm or a leg drops off before you go and get medical care,” she continued.
It takes more courage to take ownership of your health than ignoring symptoms and burying your head in the sand. Don't become another statistic, book a check-up with your GP now – it might just save your life,” Councillor Black concluded.