Hamilton wants to recognize June being Men’s Health Month. Men’s Health Month started back in 1994 when congress passed a bill declaring the week before Father’s Day as Men’s Health Week fueled by a Congressional health education program to bring awareness to the need for men to seek medical attention for the early detection and treatment for many preventable health problems. Encourage everyone you know to implement healthy living decisions, such as exercising and eating healthy.
Though we may automatically start thinking about physical health, let’s focus on men’s behavioral or emotional health today. Did you know that men have higher rates of suicide? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found in 2017 36,782 men died by suicide as opposed to 10,391 women – a rate of 3.5 percent higher than women. Plus, more than 6 million men are affected by depression every year in the United States according to Mental Health America.
While speaking with Albert Ujkaj a social worker here at Hamilton, he explained that men tend to self-isolate and self-medicate so those statics are probably actually lower than the actual number of men who are struggling with their mental health.
“Men don’t want to ask for help. We’re the ones who always need to be the helpers. We’re raised to be the strong, helpful ones, but no matter your gender you can have stress, depression, anxiety, and daily struggles,” said Ujkaj.
Those daily struggles are often meant with dismissal or even embarrassment for men. The stigma around mental health and men is sometimes hard to deal with and can even prevent men from getting the help or resources they need.
Ujkaj explained there is a very large need in our community for behavioral and mental health services. Just in the last 6 months, he has seen a significant rise in drug related overdose and death and huge disparities in social determinants of health. He says the community is struggling with anxiety, depression and a sense of hopelessness.
Don’t let that anxiety, depression or sense of hopelessness define you. There is help. And right now, with all the stress and challenges around COVID-19, it is more important than ever to recognize the importance of our mental health.
Hamilton Community Health Network has dedicated staff dedicated to help. From counselors or therapists to staff that can help in attaining health insurance as well helping with other barriers. Visit HamiltonCHN.org to learn more about our behavioral health services or call 810-406-4246 and schedule yourself an appointment today.