Men’s Health Week Celebrates 26th Anniversary, Promotes COVID-19 Awareness

Passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994

WASHINGTON – National Men’s Health Week (NMHW) is celebrating the 26th anniversary of health awareness and advocacy during Men’s Health Month(www.MensHealthMonth.org) this June. NMHW is celebrated each year as the week that ends on Father’s Day, June 15-21 this year. The Week is celebrated around the globe as International Men’s Health Week.

 The legislation creating NMHW was sponsored by Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Bill Richardson and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on May 31, 1994. Since then, the Week has grown to include all of June as Men’s Health Month and is recognized by communities and jurisdictions throughout the country. Approximately 400 Governors, Mayors and Native American communities have issued proclamations in their jurisdictions. Those can be viewed at the Men’s Health Month website here.

 The President issues a statement in honor of Men’s Health Week and the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus passes a resolution honoring the passage of National Men’s Health Week, encouraging prevention and healthy behaviors.

  “With this being the start of a new decade, this Men’s Health Month we encourage men to challenge themselves by looking ahead to their future health and well-being. Where do you want to see yourself in 10 years? What will your health look like?” said Ana Fadich-Tomsic, VP of Men’s Health Network (MHN). “What you do today will affect you tomorrow and beyond, so go to your annual wellness check-ups, and be your own champion for good health!”

 During June each year, healthcare professionals, private corporations, faith-based community organizations, and government agencies plan activities that focus on the health and well-being of boys, men, and their families. These activities take the form of Wear Blue (www.WearBlueForMen.com) campaigns, informational articles in corporate newsletters, lunch-n-learns, conferences, bulletin board displays, social media campaigns, videos, community health fairs, and more.

 Many take advantage of the posters, logos, and comprehensive social media tool-kit available for free download on the Men’s Health Month web site. A national focus is Wear Blue Friday, celebrated yearly as the Friday before Father’s Day, which is June 19 this year.

 “In light of all of the events that have occupied our lives this year, it is no wonder that the mental health of men should be highlighted during Men’s Health Week and Men’s Health Month. When you consider the stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting unprecedented unemployment, children being kept home from school, stock market fluctuations, and multiple deaths of African Americans being reported almost daily, many men’s  physical and mental health have taken a direct hit!,” cautions Alphonso Gibbs, Jr., LCSW-C, Men’s Health Network Advisor. “During this year’s Men’s Health Month, it is extremely important to acknowledge all of the issues already listed and identify warning signs and resources to address the needs of men struggling with their mental health, to prevent them from worsening.”

 “I look forward to Men’s Health Week each year, as it is not only a time to celebrate and highlight the work that has been accomplished in terms of improving men’s health, it is also an opportunity to continue the conversations that are focused on the many health challenges and disparities that remain for all men,” stated Anthony “Tony” Roberson, PhD, PMHNP-BC, RN, FAANP, Visiting Professor at The George Washington University School of Nursing, and Advisor to Men’s Health Network.

 A key part of the continued momentum is the annual social media campaign, even more important this year with social distancing discouraging in-person events, which includes:

   #ShowUsYourBlue campaign: People all over the world take pictures of themselves and others wearing blue to increase awareness for men’s health and posting the photos on social media with the #ShowUsYourBlue hashtag

  June 19 this year is Wear Blue Friday, the #ShowUsYourBlue social media storm where individuals are encouraged to take selfies of themselves wearing blue during the day and post to social media using the hashtag #ShowUsYourBlue

 Free resources, including images for use in social media campaigns, are available in both English and Spanish at http://www.MensHealthMonth.com

 Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week are sponsored by Men’s Health Network (MHN), which maintains a list of experts and spokespersons on all areas of male health and wellness, including fatherhood issues.

 Men’s Health Network (MHN) is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at http://www.MensHealthNetwork.org and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/menshealthnetwork . For more information on MHN’s ongoing Dialogue on Men’s Health series, visitwww.DialogueOnMensHealth.com

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