June 11-17 is Men's Health Week a part of Men's Health Month, dedicated to education and activities on the health and wellness of men and boys.

Communities around the globe are recognizing June as Men’s Health Month, an annual awareness period solely dedicated to education and activities on the health and wellness of men and boys. Men’s Health Week, a special awareness period recognized by Congress, is also celebrated. Men’s Health Week June 11-17, concludes on Father’s Day this year and is celebrated as International Men’s Health Week around the globe.

During this time, health care professionals, private corporations, faith-based organizations, government agencies, and groups plan activities that focus on the health and well-being of boys, men, and their families. Men’s Health Month is built on the pillars of Awareness–Prevention–Education–Family. Congress joins the celebration with a Congressional Workout, planned for late June.

Men’s Health Month, now in its 24th year, is credited with the increase in awareness and wellness activities for boys and men in all areas of the public and private sectors, resulting in better health outcomes and longer life expectancy. “Men’s Health Month is an essential component in helping to educate the public in health disparities between men and women. Men continue to have fewer regular doctor visits than women, and are less likely to have health insurance,” said Ana Fadich, VP of Men’s Health Network. “It is exciting to see the continued support of Men’s Health Month from policymakers, state and federal legislators, the media, and our private and non-profit partners who help spread the word about the month.”

“Men's Health Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of preventative screenings. “HealthyWomen is pleased to continue our support of the Men's Health Network and their great efforts in preventative health education and resources for both men and boys,” said Beth Battaglino, CEO HealthyWomen. “Together, our organizations have created unique opportunities to engage, educate and empower men and the women who care for them on the importance of preventative screening tests and regular checkups.”

“As we know from our online screening program, many men seek help online for mental health concerns—often for the first time. However, too often, men avoid the topic of mental health due to the conflicting viewpoints about masculinity, sensitivity, and emotional health,” said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America. ”This month and every month, it's important for men of all ages to address their mental health before crisis stage.”

The last year has been pivotal in health issues impacting men. Earlier this spring, a federal health task force released new recommendations impacting prostate cancer screenings for men. And new data from the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the life expectancy for certain segments of men has declined.

“You can’t address a health issue without knowing it exists. Almost all of the health problems facing men are preventable. Problems stemming from health have a negative impact on the community as a whole—it causes the destruction of families,” said Jean Bonhomme, MD, Founder of the Black Men’s Health Network. “Education and awareness through efforts like Men’s Health Month are essential in getting men to be more engaged in their health.”

Mayors and governors across the country recognize June as Men's Health Month with official proclamations. For a link to MHN go to www.chcneo.com/education. People everywhere are participating in Wear Blue Friday, June 15, the Friday of Men's Health Week to show their support, including all CHCNEO staff.

Locally, Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma, Inc., dba Afton, Grove and Welch Community Health Centers continue to serve the area with the finest in personalized health care. For details or to schedule an appointment contact (918) 257-8029, (918) 801-7504 or (918) 788-3918 or check us out on the web at www.chcneo.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @chcneo. A sliding payment scale is available for patients based on family size and income.

Lee Hilliard, D.Min., Th.D., FIC, is the Outreach Specialist at the Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma. Follow him on Twitter @chcneo, Instagram @Community Health Center NEOK and Facebook at Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma, Inc. Email to lhilliard@chcneo.org or direct cell 918-219-4486.