International Men’s Health Week runs each year in the middle of June. It is an important opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health, and to promote and support the health and wellbeing of men and boys in our communities. This year’s theme of healthy habits invites us to look at the many ways we can support men’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to live happier, healthier lives.
“I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realise is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it.” – The Rock
Men’s mental health matters. Having a support network can make a difference. Men’s groups at haemophilia Foundations can be a great way to share experiences. You may also enjoy connecting to others who share your interests. Looking for ways to connect? Here are some ideas from the Australian Centre for Male Health.
- The Man Walk: https://themanwalk.com.au/
- Men’s Shed: https://mensshed.org/
- Australian Men’s Health Forum: https://www.amhf.org.au/
- Healthy Male: https://www.healthymale.org.au/
Following the covid pandemic, many people are experiencing loneliness, noticing that they seem to have less friends and activities in their life. If this is you, then you aren’t alone. Social Worker Jane Portnoy gives some excellent advice: Getting back into hobbies and socialising.
Sport and Exercise
“My haemophilia has had virtually no impact on my weights training, yet my weights training has significantly improved my haemophilia.” – Tim Demos
Exercise is a way of working with the body so that you have to have the best chance of achieving what you want with your life. It is important to take on exercise that you would like to do, rather than trying to commit to something that you will never enjoy or feel motivated about. The following articles are great examples of difference experiences of exercising with a bleeding disorder:
- Getting older and exercising – Abi Polus, Megan Walsh and Zev, who has severe haemophilia, share their advice.
- Feeling passionate about physical exercise – Tim Demos talks about weight lifting and working as a paramedic with a bleeding disorder.
“Boys will be boys, so keeping him cotton-balled was never something we wanted to do.” – Ben
Ben is father to Ryder, who has haemophilia A. In this personal story Ben speaks about the importance of being a good role model and building a caring and supportive relationship, both as a dad and with his partner, Kylie. Ben – a father’s perspective.
Living with a bleeding disorder
“Try something at least once. If it doesn’t work out, then at least you can say you tried. You only live once, and you’d rather feel fulfilled in your life than regret something for not giving it a go.” – Dale
Dale, Willem and Gavin share their personal experience of living with a bleeding disorder – how they keep active, connect with mates, learn about new treatments, enjoy their work and in general live the life they want.
- Dale’s Story – Dale has severe haemophilia A. He shares what he has learned about life, work, and everything in between.
- Willem’s Story – Willem shares how participating in camps, men’s breakfasts and other Foundation activities has helped him to stay connected and keep informed of new treatments.
- Gavin’s Story – Gavin talks about managing the challenges of a severe bleeding disorder while off-grid camping on a roadtrip from Perth to Darwin.