How Men Of The Highlands Can Get Proactive About Their Health
Easy to follow advice from Dr Ono on prioritising your health, gentlemen!
Now, we’re not going to start with a stack of sobering statistics about men’s health. But we are going to shake your tree a little bit, gentlemen!
Plenty of men – and we’re talking across a range of ages – put their health on the back burner. They might ignore a pain in their side or toss aside the niggling concern they have about a strange looking mole that has appeared or just put the fact they’re a bit more tired than normal or not feeling themselves lately into the ‘she’ll be right’ bucket. Sounds like you? Or if you’re a lady reading this.... your significant other? Or Dad? Or brother?
It’s very common, we get it. Life is busy, nobody really has time to be sick, so it definitely IS easier to stick your head in the sand and just get on with things......
Until it’s not.
Now, the wonderful Dr Ono at Walker Street General Practice is a huge advocate of men’s health and the importance of fellas getting proactive about their wellbeing. That’s why he’s one of the GP’s on the team at Walker Street running their Men’s Health Clinic – such a great initiative, guys!
We asked Dr Ono to chat with us about the challenges men face managing their health and tell us a bit more about the Men’s Health Clinic and what’s involved if you book a comprehensive men’s health check.
Here's what he had to say...
1 // Why do a large number of men not prioritise their health?
There can be a few reasons for this. Sometimes it’s fear – they may be scared about what they might find out so choose to ignore it instead. It may be discomfort around having difficult conversations about sensitive subjects. I read a survey recently that said up to 50% of men were not raised to talk about their health, so that’s a lot of guys who are used to keeping health issues to themselves!
It also may be an unwillingness to ‘change’ current lifestyle habits such as excess drinking, smoking or poor nutritional habits. Or it may be that they feel well, so don’t feel the need to proactively manage their health by booking regular check-ups or getting on the front foot with things like skin cancer checks for example.
2 // What common health issues do you come across when treating male patients?
We are seeing an increase in untreated high cholesterol, especially in younger men aged in their early 30’s and up. This can lead to heart disease which unsurprisingly, is the leading cause of death in Australian men. High cholesterol is easy to manage if we know about it and begin taking simple steps to treat it.
Mental health is another major health issue. Men are excellent at putting up a façade and pretending things are fine or that everything is going well, when actually things AREN’T fine and they’re feeling overwhelmed, shame, lost or sad.
3 // Let’s firstly chat a bit more about mental health. What advice would you give to a man who is feeling one, more or all of those emotions you mentioned?
Men’s mental health is something I’ve been passionate about for a long time and it’s so important we keep talking about it, so men understand that they are absolutely not alone if they are feeling this way.
If booking an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist feels a little too confronting, a great place to start is with your trusted doctor. We’re always happy to chat and help you or direct you to the right support service. Starting the conversation about how you’re feeling is the very first step.
It’s brave but it could save your life.
4 // How else can men be proactive about their health?
Begin by booking in a regular health screening with your doctor. A comprehensive men’s health check at the Walker Street General Practice Men’s Health Clinic takes about 30 minutes – easy to fit into your busy schedule!
We’ll chat about your current health and lifestyle elements such as smoking, how much you drink, how much you exercise and discuss family health history too. We’ll do some basic assessments and if we see anything that needs further investigation, we’ll start the process for scheduling that in. A health check is also a good opportunity to bring up any sensitive issues or start a conversation about your mental health.
5 // What is one thing the men of the Highlands can do today to get proactive about their health?
It’s simple, really. Make an appointment for a check-up. Don’t delay making appointments because you’re nervous or feeling uncomfortable or you don’t think you need to see a doctor. Your GP is there to help you manage your health and help you live the best (and longest) life you possibly can. It’s what we do!
Thanks Dr Ono! So gentlemen, let’s get onto this straight away. Give Walker Street General Practice a call on 4861 3855 and specify that you would like a 30-minute appointment for a Comprehensive Men’s Check at their Men’s Health Clinic. This is a fantastic, personalised service for men of all ages and will only cost you $35 thanks to a fixed gap for out-of-pocket expenses.
No more excuses, okay guys? Oh, and ladies.....if your male friends, partner or rello’s are a little hesitant about managing their health, this might be the timely reminder they need...... maybe a delicate push from you will help too.
Walker Street General Practice is a friendly and family-focused general practice located in Bowral. Their team of doctors have extensive medical experience and the passion to provide you with the best possible care. Click here for more information or to book an appointment online. Or give them a call on 02 4861 3855.
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