It is no secret that your average Kiwi male is not always first in line when it comes to getting regular doctor’s check-ups or even talking about any health worries.
And while awareness of things like stress among farmers is slowly increasing, it often seems that generic diseases or women’s health issues receive more attention and publicity. Everyone is aware of breast cancer campaigns, but prostate cancer? Not so much.
One organisation trying to change that is the Men’s Health Trust New Zealand, a charity set up in 2007 to provide extensive health information and encourage men to open up and talk about their health, and to have regular check-ups. It provides a wide range health information via brochures, a website and social media, runs workplace health talks and acts as an information hub for men’s health services in NZ.
Men’s Health chairman Phil Clemas says the trust wants to give men the means and information to make positive choices around their health and well-being sooner rather than later.
“We want all men to make good health choices, to take action to live healthier every day, and to have easy access to health information that relates directly to them,” he says.
“We want to reduce illness and disease caused by being overweight and making poor diet choices. We want to save our brothers from dying of illnesses that could have been cured if they’d taken action sooner. We’re all about helping men live healthier and happier.”
One example of how the trust does this is via interactive Men’s Health talks in the workplace, which include basic medical health checks and how to spot warning signs of diseases like prostate and bowel cancers, as well as addressing some of New Zealand’s biggest killers – obesity and heart disease.
The Men’s Health website features and extensive list of different health topics and issues that men can face, as well as stories from 30 different men and their experiences. Phil Clemas says that by having access to health information and knowing that, whatever men might be facing, they are not alone, can give men the necessary confidence to take action.
Info: menshealthnz.org.nz or Men’s Health Trust New Zealand on Facebook