Men’s Health Month – let’s talk about it

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What better time to get the men in your life to take action to improve their health. #MenStartTalking is the theme for Men’s Health Month 2016 – and it is happening now.

The goal is to get men to start talking to each other a bit more about their health, both physical and mental. So make an effort to share your stories, ask mates how they’re doing, ask for help when stressed or feeling down, and talk to coaches (health professionals) and doctors when you know something’s up.

Often, when their mates seem down or in trouble, the easiest option is not to talk about it. Men sometimes feel that they don’t know what to say, or think they might say the wrong thing. But, not talking kills hundreds of men every year, and stops many from being as healthy as they could be.

This June the Men’s Health Trust is encouraging men throughout New Zealand to start talking.

“Start asking your mates how they are really doing. Don’t be worried about what they might say. You don’t need to offer advice, just listen, and if you’ve been through something similar, share your experiences.

“When we think something is up with our mates and we think they seem down, worried, or unhappy we often won’t mention it. Instead we talk about sports, cars, or housing prices.

“A problem shared is a problem halved.

Make an effort this month to ask your mate how he really is doing. Don’t be afraid of what he might say – you don’t need to have the answers.

If you have had a similar experience, tell him about it. If you are stuck for what to say next, try something like: “What are we going to do about this?” or “Is there anything I can do to make this better?”

If you think something is up, but you can’t get past the small talk, you can always say “You have my number if you want to talk about it.”

Men’s Health Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness and to share your knowledge and inspiration to improve the health of New Zealand men.

With plenty of information available about men’s health issues, find out more about how you can become involved and make a difference at menshealthmonth.co.nz and menshealthnz.org.nz

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