Think about cars. People consider cars to be valuable possessions.Most people book their car in for a service every year.
For those that don’t, when things go wrong, how often do you hear them say, “really should have booked it in for a service!”.
Why do we book cars in for a service?
To make sure everything is running smoothly and to have small problems fixed before they become big problems.
Now think about your body and health. Let us challenge you to consider your body and health to be the most valuable possession in life.
Our bodies and our health need “services” too. Just as ignoring the service light on the dash board can lead to inconvenient breakdowns or big repair bills, ignoring aches and pains and not having screening health checks can lead to being very unwell or struggling to do what you want to do.
If you are someone who doesn’t see their GP or therapy team or reach out for mental wellbeing support regularly, you are not alone.
Did you know many men across the wider population don’t see health professionals? There are many possible reasons for this and include:
- A cultural attitude of “she’ll be right mate”, “it won’t happen to me”, “real men don’t have problems”, “men are strong”
- Not noticing that something is wrong and thinking it is “normal”
- Not having the confidence to tell someone something is wrong
- Being worried about what people will think
- Not realising that health professionals can screen for health concerns and support a range of health concerns
- Being embarrassed or feeling uncomfortable about some of the physical examinations required
The biggest health concerns men experience are those that are often not talked about:
- Mental health issues
Mental Health Issues
Don't go it alone.
If you feel sad, angry, agitated or fearful, don’t ignore it. This is your mind and body telling you that you are stressed, they are a response to how you are feeling.
It is ok to talk to someone about anything troubling you. Don’t ignore it. Don’t hide it.
Men often express their emotions by:
- Relationship difficulties
Suicide is a major cause of death. It has a profound effect on everyone around the person.
If you or someone you are caring for has these feelings, contact your GP or call these support lines or in case of crisis, attend your closest hospital emergency department.
- Suicide call back
Phone: 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue
Phone: 1300 224 636
- MensLine Australia
Phone: 1300 789 978
- Think Mental Health (WA Government)
Regular screening for common cancers is highly recommended.
- Prostate cancer screening – a blood test and physical examination by a GP
- Testicular cancer check – a physical examination
- Bowel screening – assessment of a stool sample
- Skin cancer –screening check of the entire body by aGP or skin clinic specialist
More information about cancer screening in available from:
- Healthdirect Australia
- Australian Government cancer screening support
Men often ignore aches and pains and try to tough it out. It isn’t until their pain is physically stopping them from doing something that men will tend to ask for help. Even then, the idea of getting help is a big challenge.
Don’t ignore pain.
Find out what is causing your pain and get it treated. Popping pills and pushing through is not going to help you in the long term.
Get yourself a yearly service, otherwise known as an annual medical review and preventative health screening.
Your GP will complete a 100 point check and let you know what extra “repairs” and “services” you need. Just like your trusted mechanic, your GP will let you know when the best time is to have your next “service”.
Seek support for any worries you have.
Get your pain assessed and treated.