A Men’s Health Month Felt Across the Nation and Around the Globe

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Highlights Include a Congressional Workout, a social media storm, and more.

The U.S Surgeon General and HHS staff wearing blue for Men's Health Week.

The U.S. Surgeon General and HHS staff wearing blue for Men's Health Week.

Men’s Health Month is celebrated each year in June, and during this June, festivities and awareness activities reached new levels.

As June comes to a close, Men’s Health Network (MHN) reflects back on Men’s Health Month (MHM) and the 21st anniversary of the Congressional passage of National Men's Health Week (NMHW).

"National Healthy Start Association excitedly supports Men's Health Week as it is a time when the pulse of the nation is collectively focused on providing education and awareness about the importance of men's health," said Deborah Frazier, CEO of the National Healthy Start Association. "It is also a great way to usher in Fathers Day; helping men establish healthy lifestyles so that the men and fathers in the Healthy Start programs across the country potentially live longer and live stronger in our communities and in our families."

Highlights included:

  •     Wear BLUE day (Friday, June 19) – Individuals from around the country wore blue in solidarity for men’s health.
  •     Online Twitter chats – Focusing on mental health and cardiovascular health.
  •     Congressional Circuit Workout on Capitol Hill – With the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus co-chairs Congressmen Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) and Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10).
  •     Men’s Health Events – In dozens of communities across the nation.

On Friday, June 19 and throughout the month, individuals, families, workplaces, community organizations, and others participated in the #ShowUsYourBlue social media storm with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others participating like the American College of Cardiology. Blue is recognized around the world as signifying the importance of men’s health.

“Wearing blue might seem like a small thing on the surface,” said Brandon Leonard, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Men’s Health Network. “But when you combine what everyone is doing it really makes an impact. When people from around the world all wear blue on a particular day, it sends a powerful message that men’s health is an important issue.”

MHN hosted two Twitter chats during the month. The first was on cardiovascular disease and prevention. Participants were able to ask questions about their risk for stroke and heart attack, and learn how to prevent these events. The second Twitter chat was on men and mental health. This chat addressed the misunderstanding that mental illness is a sign of weakness, and helped participants understand when they should seek help. In total, the two chats garnered over 2,000 tweets, had global participation, and drew over 60,000,000 impressions.

On Thursday, June 25, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2), who co-chairs the Men’s Health Caucus with Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), led a Circuit Workout on Capitol Hill that was open to all Members and staffers. A dozen Members of Congress and over 50 congressional staffers participated in the workout in celebration of Men’s Health Month.

Other highlights during Men’s Health Month included:

  •     Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) introduced a resolution for National Men’s Health Week with over 50 cosponsors.
  •     MHN partnered with American Public Health Association (APHA), National Collaborative for Health Equity, and the APHA Men’s Health Caucus for a Men’s Health Roundtable on Male Preconception Care and Reproductive Life Planning.
  •     The Telsa Drive For Men’s Health was led by Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt and Dr. Sijo Parekattil, and went from Clermont, Florida to New York City to California, with media stops along the way. The purpose of the Drive was to encourage men to make health a priority.
  •     Key thought leaders in public health such as Al Fitzpayne (HHS Chief of Staff), Armin Brott (Mr. Dad), Bryan Luce (Chief Science Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute [PCORI]) and others contributed articles to the popular Talking About Men’s Health blog.
  •      Proclamations from governors and over 90 mayors were issued establishing Men’s Health Week in their jurisdictions. Those can be found at: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/week/proclamation.html
  •     Members of Congress were photographed with proclamations from their districts as seen here http://www.menshealthmonth.org/photo-gallery.html

Men’s Health Month is built around the four pillars of Awareness-Prevention-Education-Family, and has encouraged the development of thousands of health awareness activities throughout the month of June, both in the USA and around the globe. Private companies, hospital systems, clinics, the faith-based community, fraternal organizations, the public sector, and others use the month of June to highlight their services and reach out to men and their families.

We are delighted with the enthusiastic participation as we begin our 3rd decade of Men's Health Week awareness,” said David Gremillion, MD, FACP, member of MHN’s Board of Directors. “This increased awareness will improve the daily lives of men particularly if we carry these values forward throughout the year.”

Because being healthy just one month a year isn’t enough. Men’s Health Network has joined the Pirelli Tire North America, Inc. (#HealthierMan) Twitter campaign encouraging men to be healthier. The #HealthierMan campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and highlights simple daily habits that men can implement for overall health benefits.

The campaign began on June 25 and runs until July 16, 2015. “We see this as a great way to encourage the men who took the initial step during Men's Health Month in June to continue that momentum and show everyone what he has done, or will do, to be a healthier man,” says Ana Fadich Vice President, Men’s Health Network.

2015 Men’s Health Month is sponsored by Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pfizer Inc. among others.

About Men’s Health Network

Men’s Health Month is organized by Men's Health Network (MHN), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. MHN is the promoter of Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week in June. Men can learn more about their health through MHN’s new online resource center, http://www.menshealthresourcecenter.com .

Learn more about MHN at http://www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and Facebook .

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Austin Klise
Men's Health Network
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