Passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994, Awareness Week Charges into Its 25th Year
WASHINGTON – National Men’s Health Week (NMHW) is celebrating 25 years of health awareness and advocacy during Men’s Health Month this June. NMHW is celebrated each year as the week that ends on Father’s Day, June 10-16 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 Men’s Health Month and is recognized by communities and jurisdictions throughout the country. Over 350 Governors, Mayors and Native American communities have issued proclamations in their jurisdictions. Those can be viewed here.
“I know that we all have busy lives. But, too often men, forego routine health screenings. And they are dying from treatable diseases—like colon cancer and heart disease—because of it,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., (D-NJ) co-chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus. “I know firsthand how hard it is to change behaviors and make healthier choices, whether that be improving our diet, exercising—or going to the doctor. But I also know that changing behavior will help men live longer. For the past 25 years, National Men’s Health Week has shined a light on men’s health. As co-chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, I am proud to work with the Men’s Health Network to not only raise awareness of men’s health issues during this week, but more importantly to change behaviors that lead to the overall improvement in men’s health.”
“25 years may seem like a long time—and ground has certainly been gained in making men more aware of their health and wellness—but there is still a lot more than needs to be done to improve the health, wellness, and outcomes for men,” said Ana Fadich-Tomsic, VP of Men’s Health Network (MHN). “As an organization, Men’s Health Network is beyond ecstatic to see National Men’s Health Week turn 25 and that its core purpose of awareness, prevention, and education is now more relevant than ever.”
During this time, health care 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 campaigns, informational articles in corporate newsletters, lunch-n-learns, conferences, bulletin board displays, videos, community health fairs, and more. Many take advantage of the posters and logos available for 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 16 this year. Members of Congress commemorated NMHW’s 25th year during a Congressional Workout event that also encourages our nation’s leaders to be engaged in their health.
“We take things for granted, guys have this perspective about themselves that they’re still strong and they’re still as young as they use to me,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R- OK), co-chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus. “You’ve got to continue moving yourself and pushing yourself forward. If we want to be healthier than our parents, we’ve got to set that bar high.”
A key part of the continued momentum is the annual event and social media campaign, including:
- SaludTues & Men’s Health Network Twitter Chat: “Men’s Health Month” and other partners 1:00 p.m. EDT on June 18
- The “Men & the Opioid Crisis” Twitter Chat with Men’s Health Network and partners is scheduled for June 26 at 2 PM EST
- #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 14 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
Free resources are available in both English and Spanish at 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 Month supporters include Sanofi-Regeneron, Allergan Foundation, and Pfizer Inc.
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 www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and Facebook at www.facebook.com/menshealthnetwork . For more information on MHN’s ongoing Dialogue on Men’s Health series, visit www.dialogueonmenshealth.com
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