Last month, we observed National Women’s Health Week. For the month of June there is Men’s Health Week, held each year to encourage men to make their health a priority. There are many tips for men to improve their health, and we at NeedyMeds have resources for a number of conditions that predominantly affect men.

There are many ways to observe National Men’s Health Week such as taking a bike ride, committing to eat healthier, quitting unhealthy habits, or getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Men can improve their health by getting a good night’s sleep, quitting tobacco and avoiding second-hand smoke, being more active in daily life, and managing stress. Being aware of your own health is important as well. Be sure to see your doctor for regular check-ups and get tested for diseases and conditions that may not have symptoms until there is an imminent health risk. Testicular and prostate cancers are easily detected with regular checks. Men are encouraged to begin yearly screenings at 40-50 years of age, especially if you have a family history.

For men over 45 years of age, the most

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In 2020, there were 19,402 people killed with guns in the United States — not including 24,156 suicides. This is an increase of 25% more homicide victims killed with guns than the previous year and is the highest death toll since gun mortality data was first recorded in 1979. Mass shootings, incidents where four or more people are shot, increased nearly 50% year over year.

Gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States. The price of lives lost and the consequences for the victims’ loved ones and communities is truly immeasurable. The economic cost, however, can be measured: $229 billion every year; $12.8 million every day. These costs include medical treatment, long-term medical and disability expenses, mental health care, emergency services, legal fees, long-term prison costs, police investigations, and security enhancements. Even students and teachers who participate in active shooter drills can experience profound mental or emotional distress.

Gun violence is a unique problem to the United States among nations not in open warfare or deeply corrupted by criminal organizations.

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Photo by Katherine Hanlon

This past Mother’s Day launched the 22st annual National Women’s Health Week. Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health, the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and raise awareness of the steps one can take to improve their health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends many common measures such as proper health screenings, staying physically active, eating healthy, and promoting other healthy behaviors. Healthy behaviors include getting enough sleep, being tobacco-free, washing your hands, not texting while driving, and wearing a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet, sunscreen when appropriate, and masks when social distancing isn’t possible. The Office on Women’s Health website has specific suggestions for women through their 20s to their 90s.

Women can face difficulty accessing healthcare depending on where

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Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Everyone’s well-being can be tested at times, their abilities to cope challenged, times when being productive can feel impossible. Mental health is equally important to maintain as our physical health, though often goes untreated to a degree than can manifest as a mental illness. Mental illness can range from anxiety to mood disorders like depression, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, eating disorders, or addictive behaviors.

Studies have shown the economic costs of untreated mood and anxiety disorders among mothers exceeds $14 billion dollars through the first five years of a child’s life alone, and fewer adults experiencing

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Who decides what months/weeks/days are health awareness dates? It’s often nonprofit or public health organizations, but sometimes states or the federal government can name an observance period. The month of May is observed as over a dozen awareness months, overlapping awareness weeks, and several awareness days. Several of our own partners are observing awareness months.

ALS Awareness Month

May was named ALS Awareness Month in the United States by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the function of nerves and muscles that eventually leads to wasting paralysis. It affects as many as 30,000 in the U.S., with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Estimates suggest that ALS is responsible for as many as five of every 100,000 deaths. There is no cure for ALS.

The NeedyMeds website features a Diagnosis Information Page for ALS that links to

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