This month is Men’s Health Month. It’s supported by a congressional health education program, and celebrated across the country with a number of health fairs, screenings, and activities designed for health education and outreach.
What is the Purpose of Men’s Health Month?
The month is designed to increase awareness of preventable health issues, while also encouraging early detection and treatment for men and boys. Healthcare providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals can come together to speak to men and boys about the importance of regular visits to a doctor, as well as early treatment for injury and disease.
What Can Your Pharmacy Do to Participate?
There are plenty of things your pharmacy can do to participate, including:
- Hosting a Health Fair: Coordinate with local health groups to set up information booths. Include basic health screenings, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat composition, and prostate specific antigen (PSA.) If possible, include fitness demonstrations from local area gyms and yoga studios. Reach out to a local dietician to see if you can have a station for healthy cooking demonstrations with recipe cards to take home.
- Planning a “Wear Blue” Event: Choose any day within the month of June for everyone to wear blue. Include as much blue as you can, from clothing to accessories. Make it an educational event, where you share information about various men’s health issues and what to do about them. Make the event fun with a contest for “best dressed in blue.” Be creative.
- Organize an Awareness Fundraiser: Run a bake sale, a raffle, or sell blue pins. Use the funds raised to help men get the screenings they need to stay healthy, or donate the funds to prostate cancer research. What matters is people get talking about the health issues men face. At the fundraiser, include brochures and flyers with information about those health issues.
- Add Information to Your Pharmacy’s Social Media Channels: Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can be excellent tools to help you promote your events and awareness for the cause. The Men’s Health Month website has a social media toolkit you can use to make the job easier. There are a variety of tweets and Facebook status updates already done for you, and a number of social images, as well as additional content resources you can use.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pass out educational materials at your pharmacy, where you are dealing with patients one-on-one. Make sure both men and women know about potential issues to watch for, as women often help support the men in their lives to make sure they get their medical needs addressed in a timely manner. Make the entire month of June about educating your patients and your local community.