Managing men’s health in business

Running a business of any kind, whether a one-man-show, SME or nationally recognised corporation with a multi-million-dollar turnover, can be stressful. And while you may have years of experience, be working with a fully qualified team, or have the support of a board, no one is immune to the demands of running a business. In fact, chances are, the more successful you are, the greater the pressure to perform well.

Furthermore, people tend to judge their successes and performances, both personally and in business on how well things are going at work. When asked “how we are”, most people will respond with something that relates to their working life: e.g. “I’m really good, just received a promotion at work” or, “I’m doing well; work has been busy, but we are working on some pretty exciting projects, so it is okay”. Sound familiar?

We have reached a position where the sustainability and success of our business (whether we work on or in it) is more important than the sustainability of our own health – both physically and mentally. And, the conversations we have with colleagues, staff and even our family and friends often reflect this. In fact, business leaders, especially men, often avoid situations that require them to engage in real or vulnerable conversation out of fear that implies they are underperforming or coping poorly. Whereas, opening up in conversation is empowering and actually a sign of strength and a leadership quality.

For this reason, Andrology Australia is promoting Men’s Health Week 11-17 June 2018, to encourage all men to start a conversation about their health and wellbeing, be it emotional, mental or physical, with someone they trust. And this doesn’t just extend to asking someone if they are okay, it’s about encouraging men to “check-in” with themselves and seek medical advice to prevent and reduce the risk of male-specific diseases.

For example, testicular cancer is not very common, being diagnosed in about 700 Australian men each year; however, in men aged 18-39 years it is the second most common form of cancer. It has about a 95 per cent cure rate. In Additional, some 16,700 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and nearly 3500 men died of prostate cancer last year.

With celebrities and authority figures like Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Warren Buffett and Allan Pease being among those who have survived these diseases, it is a vital reminder that no one is immune to cancer and re-enforces the importance of early detection and treatment.

Simon von Saldern, CEO, Andrology Australia says it is healthy to talk and important to remind men in the community that they are not alone.

“We’re hoping this campaign will raise awareness about the importance of talking to someone around you and the huge benefit this can have on one’s health. We’ve developed a huge amount of free resources which are available now to support the campaign along with information that can be found on our website.”

This Men’s Health Week is all about looking for opportunities to encourage men in your community or business place and engage in healthy conversations. You can start the conversation today by talking with a friend, loved one or workmate.

Jade Bentley, business writer and editor, Smart Solutions

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