It’s no big secret that many Kiwi men are reluctant to talk about their health. Instead you guys may ignore signs that something is wrong or take on a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.
It’s often only the insistence of the women in your lives that gets you to the doctor. Or you may not go at all. But the fact is that you (husbands, brothers, fathers and sons) often struggle with your physical and mental wellbeing but are too afraid to speak up or seek help.
Is it time to start looking after yourself? Try to talk about your feelings and find the support you need to live well and live long. It’s better for you, and it’s better for the people who depend on you and that you love.
Here are our top tips for you to start talking about your health:
1. Enrol with a GP
If you aren’t currently enrolled with a GP, find yourself one. Ask your friends and family for a recommendation, or go to Healthpoint and search for a local GP. Make an appointment to get an overall health check-up.
2. Know your family history
Know what conditions run in your family and be familiar with the warning signs. Often you can help prevent a medical condition by early intervention. Talk to your family about ways to stay healthy.
3. Be a champion and start a conversation
Take time out to talk to your friends about more than the usual man stuff. Tell them about your health fears and ask about theirs. Go to a movie with a mate or to a café or pub. Be a champion – tell your friends about how you are feeling (good and bad) and listen when others need to talk. If you think someone is struggling, be direct and ask them “are you okay?” or “do you need any help?”.
4. Walk the talk
Making good lifestyle choices and looking after yourself are the best examples for your friends and family.
5. Ask for help
Have the confidence to ask for help if things aren’t going well. If you’re concerned with any symptoms you have or if you’re worried about any feelings you’re having, find someone to talk to. This might be a close friend, family member, health professional or anyone you trust that can listen and help.