It’s mid-November and most people are thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday—a few days off from work and time with family and friends. At HealthEd, we are also thinking about "Movember" and supporting this global initiative to increase awareness of prostate and testicular cancer and other men’s health issues. It is our second year of participation in this mustache-growing event, and we have 12 men who have agreed to sport the new look. We know that for our staff, the conversations around the Thanksgiving table this week will go beyond the usual discussion of football games and politics. We anticipate that our 12 "Mo Bros" will explain the new mustache. Our staff of Mo Sistas and Mo Bros will also talk about the importance of men’s health.
As noted on the Movember Web site: “Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.”
In addition to the men growing mustaches and some healthy competition we have set up, HealthEd has developed a series of newsletters to educate staff and their family and friends about 6 health issues of serious concern to men. The newsletters define the health topic and highlight who may be at risk and what steps one may take to mitigate the risk. Information about screenings and additional resources is provided in each newsletter. Short and to the point. Isn’t that what we are looking for today—sounds bites of information?
Taking action for better health
Knowing is one step, but taking the action is the next step. And HealthEd staff took action. Last year, we measured the impact of our educational interventions for Movember. We aimed to improve our staff’s awareness of the issues, the ability to have these health discussions, and knowledge of when to seek appropriate examinations. Among our staff members, 83% of women reported having discussed Movember with family, friends, and/or colleagues, and compared with the previous year, 20% more of our female staff reported having encouraged a male to get screened for prostate cancer. We measured a definite increase in awareness and self-efficacy for men’s health discussions and examinations in the offices.
As for HealthEd's men, the data show that there was a 15% increase in the number of them who had been screened for prostate cancer and that 60% of men felt confident in their ability to get a complete health checkup within the 3 months after Movember. These numbers show that both men and women in the office began taking more active roles in men’s health, which coincides with an increased awareness and self-efficacy regarding men’s health discussions and examinations.
We anticipate another successful Movember—spreading the word about men’s health issues.
And Happy Thanksgiving!