It’s a jungle out there for men as far as health is concerned but Northern Health has ideas it wants to share to help lighten the load. We are at the Canadian North Resources Expo with the men’s health survival guide (the MANual) and golf balls in a bag, ahem!
Men and woman are engaging and there is some humour too but the message is getting out that Northern Health cares about its men. The day starts with a presentation regarding World No Tobacco Day and then the booths are manned.
The MANual is proving to be popular and the golf balls are a real winner and the object of much mirth; however, there is a serious side as testicular cancer is no laughing matter. Here is a useful but humorous video on testicular cancer from UBC students – definitely worth a watch!
Speaking of equipment, the machinery here at the Expo is awesome. One funny story that emerged from the Expo was the connection of one of the men with the female exhibition board. I have to say I feel for him because she may look attractive but she is almost paper thin and shallow. Not to mention that one of her lungs are quite gruesome.
It emerged that he was looking out of the executive box window at the CNRE and was amused that this lady would continue to stare at him. All day! His buddy took a photograph of the display and said he would put it on the notice board as a joke. Not the kind of attention our display intended but we’ll take it anyway.
The level of engagement with the public was very high and the display concerning “chew” tobacco and its dangers drew a lot of conversation, which surprised me. I tend not to go too much for the gruesome aspects of health messaging, but the public appeared to like it and surprisingly some mothers brought their children over to see it. For me it was a lesson learned – don’t write that kind of messaging off too quickly. You can soften the impact on follow up conversation and I think it was balanced by a great deal of positive messages on the other displays.
Overall, I take from the Expo the great opportunity to engage men and women regarding men’s health and the candidness of those who approached the stall (who were chew and spit users) and engaged in conversations about gradually replacing the habit and left taking referrals to Quitnow.
It’s a small and perhaps even symbolic gesture but thankfully Northern Health is taking the message regarding healthy living right out to where the men are and I consider myself lucky to have played a part in that.
About Jim Coyle
Jim is a tobacco reduction coordinator with the men’s health program, and has a background in psychiatry and care of the elderly. In former times, Jim was director of care at Simon Fraser Lodge and clinical coordinator at the Brain Injury Group. He came to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland 20 years ago and, when not at work, Jim plays in the band Out of Alba and spends time with his family.