June is Men’s Health Month: What Can I Do?

Jake Newby

| 4 min read

Research shows that men generally take their health less seriously than women. Nearly half of the men polled (44%) in a 2023 Cleveland Clinic study stated they do not attend their annual wellness visits.
One of the many ways to engage in Men’s Health Month in June is to empower the men in your life – whether it be your father, husband, partner, brother, son, grandfather, etc. – to take control of their health. Because men’s health isn’t just a man’s issue; it’s a family issue that affects everyone.
With that in mind, here are a few important ways you can observe and actively engage in Men’s Health Month. 

Encourage healthy habits.

Take control of your health by eating a healthier diet, cutting down on alcohol, caffeine and sugary sweets, and getting plenty of exercise. These are great places to start. Significant others, siblings or children can play a role by engaging in these healthy activities with the men in their life. This can include starting a healthy meal plan together or going on daily walks or gym trips together. Staying motivated is easier when someone is making those same efforts alongside you. 
Additionally, preventive care is key. It’s important for men to recognize that health screenings can detect diseases or chronic conditions in their earliest stages when treatment plans are most successful. Here are the recommended screenings and tests for men from age 30 to 60 and up:
Men in their 30s:
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar (starting at age 35)
  • Cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Full body skin check
  • Vaccines for COVID-19 and influenza, and review need for other immunizations
  • Weight
Men in their 40s:
  • All of the above
  • Colonoscopy (screening starting at age 45)
Men in their 50s:
  • All of the above
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Shingles vaccine
Men 60+:
  • All of the above
  • Bone density test
  • Pneumonia vaccine

Focus on mental health.

Six million men per year are affected by depression, according to Mental Health America (MHA). Though mental illnesses are more prevalent in women than men, research has repeatedly shown that men suffering from mental illnesses are less likely to pursue treatment. There is a stigma that if men speak out about their mental health, they are weak or not "manly.”
Recognizing symptoms of mental health disorders in men can make a life-changing difference. Here are what mental health disorder symptoms in males might look like, according to the Mayo Clinic:
  • Problems getting along with others, including your spouse or partner and other family members.
  • Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports.
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive problems and pain.
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use.
  • Controlling, violent or abusive behavior.
  • Irritability or anger that gets out of control.
  • Risky behavior, such as reckless driving.
Mental health disorders can be effectively treated. Asking for help may be difficult for men, but avoiding treatment can make a possible undiagnosed condition worse. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, talk with your primary care provider (PCP) or a mental health professional. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network (BCN) members can find mental health resources at this link.

Educate, spread awareness and attend events.

Raise awareness for Men’s Health Month by wearing blue, having conversations about physical and mental health, participating in Men’s Health Month events near you and sharing educational information online.
Websites like MHA and MensHealthMonth.org have released key facts, social media toolkits and have even shared stories of shared stories of celebrities who have addressed their health.
The Michigan Institute of Urology Men’s Health Foundation makes a strong push to promote International Men’s Health Week each June. This year, it falls between June 10-16. Click here to learn about and register for virtual men’s health awareness events, the annual Cogs & Kegs bike ride and the annual Run for the Ribbon Father’s Day 5K at the Detroit Zoo.
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Photo credit: Getty Images
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association