The Better Hearing Institute is supporting Men’s Health Week (June 13-19) again this year—and with good reason. In the words of Congressman Bill Richardson: “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” (Congressional Record, H3905-H3906, May 24, 1994)
More than 15 million men in the United States suffer from unaddressed hearing loss. In fact, 60 percent of people with hearing loss in the United States are male.
Hearing health not only affects a man’s quality of life, it also affects his relationships and earnings. In a 2010 study, BHI found that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. But the use of hearing aids was shown to dramatically reduce the risk of income loss and unemployment.
Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. It is intended to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. The week gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
While all of June is observed as National Men's Health Month, National Men’s Health Week is a special period recognized by Congress. The Week was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. This year, National Men's Health Week runs from June 13 through June 19.
By participating in National Men's Health Week, we can help improve the quality of life for men and their families. We look forward to raising awareness of how hearing health is linked to other aspects of a man's health; how it affects his quality of life and relationships; and how men can take simple measures to protect their hearing before it becomes a problem.
We encourage hearing health care professionals across the country to join us in our efforts. Here are several ideas for promoting National Men’s Health Week:
- Use BHI developed material for promoting men's health week (available under sub-category 2011 Men's Health Week Campaign). We have included:
Customizable press release to issue locally
Men's health fact sheet
OpEd article: Father's hearing affects family function and fiscal health
OpEd article: Give dad the smallest power tool in the world
OpEd article: Give the gift of hearing for father's day.
- Organize a hearing screening in your community.
- Encourage men to take the BHI online hearing test at www.hearingcheck.org
- Host a health fair. If you find it convenient, use the Men's Health Network's free event planner. Distribute men’s health information, including information on men’s hearing health and BHI’s Men’s Hearing Health Fact Sheet. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional brochures or download them at www.menshealthlibrary.com.
- Set up a table at a store, restaurant, hallway at work, gym, library, community center, etc. with brochures and information on men’s health, hearing health, and National Men’s Health Week.
- Ask local churches and other faith-based organizations to talk about National Men’s Health Week and to include information about it and the importance of hearing health to family life in church flyers/newsletters.
- Send information through listservs (your email lists).
- Hang posters in prominent locations such as your office, library, local mall, or church.
- Encourage hearing checks in your community by advertising a Father’s Day “I Care” gift card with a professional hearing check as a gift.
To download materials on National Men's Health Week, visit http://www.menshealthmonth.org/. If you do organize an event for National Men's Health Week, feel free to let the Men's Health Network know so they can put it on the men's health calendar. Send your event plans to email@example.com or call 202-543-6461 x 101.
Also available for distribution is BHI's Consumer Brochure with Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Loss. This consumer brochure is a "Call to Action" for people to address their hearing loss. It answers basic questions about hearing loss and gives people the information they need to take the first steps in addressing their hearing health.