Raising awareness of men’s issues
Many in our Caribbean community may not even be aware of it. Or they may have forgotten all about it.
But today in many countries around the world International Men’s Day is celebrated and various activities have been organized in observance of this event which unfortunately has not been receiving a great deal of publicity – certainly not as much as International Women ‘s Day.
According to the organizers, the aim of International Men’s Day is to raise awareness of men’s issues which are often overlooked such as mental health, toxic masculinity and the prevalence of male suicide.
International Men’s Day coincides with November, when men grow their facial hair in an effort to promote conversations about men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
On the official International Men’s Day website, it says that the day is a “focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models”.
These, of course, are important issues and we hope that people in our own community give them the attention they deserve.
According to the World Health Organization, men’s health is worse then women’s around the world. Men live, on average, five years less women.
And the Canadian Mental Health Assocation tells us that Canadian men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women and that every day seven men die by suicide.
Dissturbing statistics indeed
We are aware that in own Caribbean community there are many men who do not look after their own health. Quite a large number of them are “too macho” to visit the doctor when there are early signs that something is wrong.They may eventually end up in the hospital when things have reached a critical stage in their lives.
And as a result of the lack of timely medical attention, many may die prematurely.
Take, for example, a simple digital test for prostate problems. Many Caribbean men will tell you that they will not allow any doctor to push his or her fingers in a certain part of their anatomy.
Many of these ignorant ” macho men” may not realize that prostate cancer may take them to an early grave,.
It is quite clear that many wives in the Caribbean community have a major job educating their men about health matters and encouraging them to visit the doctor regularly. As we grow older, many of us may need to visit the doctor for more than just an annual checkup.
Let us hope that these important messages on International Men’s Day create greater awareness of some of the major issues in our community.
And let us thank all the men who are positive role models. We need them.