By: Lebohang Maluke

Maseru – Every June, men around the globe are encouraged to shed light on their health and well-being, bringing to the forefront the often – overlooking issues they face.  

The goal is to empower men to take charge of their health by adopting healthier habits.

It is during Men’s Health Month, a time of introspection and conversation, that we are reminded that men’s health is not a topic to hide.

Often, men are told to “man up” and suck it up” when it comes to their health.

Since its establishment, it has aimed to address health disparities among men and encourage preventive measures. It aims to promote early detection and treatment of health conditions that disproportionately affect men. By focusing on physical and mental health, Men’s Health Month encourages men to prioritize self-care.

This month’s awareness is raising unique health challenges that men face in the form of heart, prostate cancer, and mental health issues. It also encourages them to seek help and preventive care. Men often socialize to avoid seeking help, leading to delays in diagnoses and treatment.

Mr. Moorosi Matela, a mental and marriage counsellor states that men escape their problems by the usage of drugs and develop anxiety that leads to divorce and low self-esteem.

Fear of being seen as a burden, men worry that they are a burden to their loved ones if they seek help. Lack of role models leads to men having negative role models to look to for guidance in seeking help. Stereotypes of masculinity also make them feel pressure to conform to stereotypes, which prevents cure.

Matela says the culture has impacted men’s lives, since the previous year society’s expectation to men is not to express their feelings. He suggests that during men’s gatherings either psychologists or counsellors should be given 30 minutes before activities continue so that they can advise men to express themselves to professionals.

June is selected as Men’s Health Month because of its association with the history of the LGBTQ+ community. A variety of events, including health screenings, awareness campaigns, and community gatherings, are held during Men’s Health Month.

Healthcare providers and organizations work together to increase public knowledge of health issues that can be prevented by being aware of the particular health issues that men face and by fostering an atmosphere that is conducive to their well-being.

Mr. Masopha Masopha says, “Growing up in a small community, the stigma around men who seek help on health issues sounds like admitting weakness. Now, people talk about mental health and I think it is important from us as men to ask for help and take care of our health.”

Men’s Health Month serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of men’s health and well-being.

By raising awareness, offering resources and support, and encouraging open communication, men are enabled to overcome fears or misconceptions they might have when seeking help on health issues.

Men’s health is not just a monthly celebration – it is an ongoing commitment to physical priority, mental and emotional well-being.