In the third week of June, the world celebrates Men’s Health Week with Awareness and Early detection of preventable diseases in men as this year’s theme. It can be hard to start a conversation with your mates, relatives or even friends regarding their health. It’s more important than ever to check on each other especially with the numerous changes Covid- 19 has brought in each person’s life. We shall share a few ways to look out for your father, nephew, brother, uncle, cousin or even colleagues.
1. Make an observation
If you are around someone often enough, you are able to know their mannerisms and behaviors, that is if you pay enough attention. Observing that man, is the beginning of assisting him. You may not know what the problem is but it can help to make an observation so that you forge a way forward.
2. Share your experience
One significant hindrance to seeking help, especially for men, is the fear of being singled out for being different. This step will specially work between men. Sharing your own experience helps get rid of the myths about being tough. It helps share message that we all have mental health to take care of and helps them feel safe and understood.
3. Acknowledge any difficulties you know about
This step works for people close enough to have some awareness of their situation or problem. In being direct, it can help showing you care and are concerned for them. It eases the pressure from men’s shoulders and is an invitation to talk. E.g.; “I know you have been having difficulty with your business recently, how are things? “
4. Ask twice
This may or may not work and it is absolutely fine. For example, if you’ve observed a change in their behavior, and they respond with “I’m fine”, change tact and ask again. This shows that you have genuine worry or concern and it’s more likely you’ll have a meaningful conversation.
5. Walk and talk
More often than not, doing an activity like going for a walk, jog or cycle can ease awkwardness. Being engaged in an activity in a neutral environment they would be interested can be a great way to enable conversational flow
In conclusion, for one to be a wholly healthy being, every aspect of their life needs to be taken care of, tended to and fed. Normalizing conversations clears the stigma around addressing matters that affect men’s mental health. If there are mental problems, it is important to pinpoint which factors cause issues and address them or help the involved persons get assistance. Let us be kind to the men in our society and create awareness on holistic health wellness.