Helping get the man in your life to visit a GP
By nature, men are generally a pretty stoic bunch. They don’t often like to admit weakness or deal with the idea that there may be something wrong with them. Consequently, it can be difficult to get them to see a doctor when something isn’t quite right.
According to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the Health of Australian Males (2011), males make up a smaller proportion of GP appointments per year than females, with 16% of males not using any Medicare services in a year (2008-9).
This is despite the evidence that Australian men are more likely to suffer from some serious health problems than women, and that men die in greater numbers than women from almost every non-gender-specific health problem.
Whether it’s a physical or emotional issue, we need to help the men in our lives to be proactive about their health and wellbeing. Here a few tips to help encourage your man to seek a professional opinion when you suspect something may not be right:
1. Talk about the pros and cons of getting a check up. Yes, it may be a little bit embarrassing but getting help and getting better is a big pro!
Discuss the facts. Men are generally logical thinkers who like to fix things. Highlight statistics such as the benefits of early detection and intervention.
2. Find a relatable example. Maybe a sporting hero or actor he admires who has had a similar experience. Social media is a great source of inspiration in these instances.
3. Ask them to do it for you.
Let them know you are worried and that it would also set your mind at ease if they got checked out. This may be bordering a little on emotional blackmail but it is the undeniable truth!
4. Schedule it in. Everyone is busy and life is full of competing priorities, especially if you have a family. If you are the keeper of the social calendar, block out a time and make his appointment to eliminate any “I’m too busy” excuses.
5. Don’t nag. Let’s face it, no one likes being harped at and it may very well have the opposite effect, with your man digging in his heels and refusing to go to the doctor on principle.
It’s important to recognise that it can be tough for men to acknowledge, accept and act on the signs that something may not be right. With love and unconditional support, hopefully the man in your life feels equipped to be proactive about his health and wellbeing so you can enjoy a long and happy life together.
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