It’s time we talk about men’s wellness.

June is Men’s Health Month. As Gallatin County and Montana re-open, and people leave their homes for work — and maybe fun — it’s important to take a minute to not only be careful about COVID-19, but overall health and well-being.

Men are, overall, less healthy than women — physically and mentally. As an example, men are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer and heart disease than women because they did not seek care when symptoms first appeared. There are a lot of reasons for this, which is why it’s important to take a moment here in the beginning days of summer and check in with yourself, and the men you know.

1. Check in on your physical health

During the past few months have you had unexplained dizziness? Numbness in a limb? Maybe you’ve had chest pains that quickly passed. It could be a weird growth you’ve been watching grow. These are issues you need to bring to a doctor. Often times these random events can be benign, and you’ll be sent away from your doctor with a clean bill of health. Still, it’s better safe than sorry.

2. Restart healthy behaviors that may have taken a backseat

If you’ve been cooped up since March with a new schedule, and a new “normal,” it might be time to explore getting back into healthy behaviors like walking, running, or biking. Gyms and trails are open (mind social distancing, and other restrictions). The Mayo Clinic recommends 75-150 minutes of exercise per week, and, honestly, how many of us have been able to keep up on that these past few months? So, be safe, but get back into being active. Like, now. Go. The internet will be here when you get back.

If you need some entertainment as you go, you can check out the healthy living podcast American Glutton by actor Ethan Suplee—a guy who weighed over 500 lbs, and now looks like he could bench press his former self.

3. Seek help for mental health concerns

Health is more than our bodies, though, and it’s noting that men are less likely to seek help for depression, a situation the CDC notes has only worsened in the past few months. You can find many places for help online—including help from Dr. Rich Mahogany, a noted fake doctor with information on mental well-being for men (yes, it’s meant to be humorous, but the information is great). If you are experiencing depression, please reach out to others—a friend, a doctor, or others. You’re not alone.

It’s okay to have questions and concerns about the world during the pandemic, from going out among people, to “what else can happen this year?” Doubts and worries are normal in the best of times. Unfortunately, with COVID, we’re going to be living with those for a while longer. But whether it’s you, or a man in your life, take time this month to focus on the things you can control about your health and well-being.

4. Take advantage of community resources

  • For information on COVID-19, please call the COVID hotline at 406-414-2619.
  • If you are experiencing a crisis, please know help is available. Call the Help Center at 406-586-3333.
  • If you are a father needing help, feel free to call or text Patrick Duganz, Father Engagement Specialist, at 406-580-7370.