Canadian Men’s Health Foundation encourages early intervention with Men’s Health Check tool

The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation is bringing awareness to many issues men face ahead of International Men’s Day on Sunday and is hoping to spur some early intervention.

The organization says, on average, men die four years younger than women, have a higher rate of many serious medical conditions and are much more likely to die by suicide.

TC Carling, president and CEO of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, said there are a number of reasons why we are seeing these stats with men.

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“It starts probably with a generational behaviour of de-prioritizing health and men not wanting to know sometimes,” Carling said.

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He said men will prioritize other parts of their life and many young men feel invincible.

“And as they get older the pressures of family and career makes making health a priority something that goes to the backburner.”

He said there is often a stigma that prioritizing health can be a sign of weakness.

Statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada say there are roughly 4,500 deaths by suicide per year and suicide rates are three times higher among men than women.

It added that suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults between the ages of 15 to 34.

“I think it comes down to early intervention. I think it comes down to the fact that men often suffer in silence. They are not comfortable speaking with their peers or health-care professionals, and as a result it just gets progressively worse and worse and worse,” Carling said.

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He said it was that very circumstance that got him into this kind of work, noting he worked for the Vancouver Canucks until former player Rick Rypien died.

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“He was very committed prior to passing to helping young people understand that what he was suffering from was normal and wanting to get them help.”

He said organizations like the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation are out to help men like Rypien.

He said the Men’s Health Check on their website can help educate men and drive action.

“The Men’s Health Check tool is there, our MindFit Toolkit is there all year long for mental health, support and counselling services as well as a variety of other informative tools around healthy eating and getting more physically active.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 — all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Learn more about how to help someone in crisis on the Government of Canada website.

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