The Power of Prevention
Talk to your co-workers, friends, brothers, fathers, and the other men in your life about preventative care. Encourage them to get a check-up, to exercise, to lead a healthier lifestyle. And tell them that it is because you want them around for a long time.
The summer solstice approaches on June 20th, the longest period of daylight recognized across time and culture as a time for rebirth. Rather than lounging in the extra bit of sunshine, we must harness that added bit of light to capture a stronger reflection of the needs of our communities, our overarching goals to address, remedy, and mitigate the impact of the health disparities that diminish us all.
For example, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 19th, punctuating International Men’s Health Week, a day to consider whether our friends, brothers, husbands, and fathers are paying adequate attention to their own health as they worry about ours. It is important to highlight the fact that men often don’t engage in preventative health screenings and behaviors that might catch problems or extend their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a staggering 12.2% of men are in fair or poor health (34.5% of men over 20 years old are obese and their leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, and accidents). As such, as we bask in the summer sun reading the latest novels, we need to engage men in their own health care and increase their health literacy so that they can be their own agents of change.
We cannot let the summer doldrums, the halcyon days of our year temper our awareness and desire to care for our families, friends, and communities. This is the time of year when we must struggle to heighten our awareness and look beyond both the popular politics of the day, as well as the areas of public health that we are often content to overlook. Talk to your co-workers, friends, brothers, fathers, and the other men in your life about preventative care. Encourage them to get a check-up, to exercise, to lead a healthier lifestyle. And tell them that it is because you want them around for a long time.