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Men’s Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diseases and illnesses that are most prevalent among American men and to reiterate the importance of early detection and preventative health practices.  During this week, I encourage all men to evaluate both their mental and physical health and to focus on living a healthy lifestyle.

While there are many factors that contribute to a healthy life—including diet, exercise, stress management, and mental and emotional wellness—one of the most important practices is to regularly visit the doctor and the dentist.  Men are less likely than women to visit their healthcare providers, often missing out on critical treatments that can protect their overall health and wellbeing.  Individuals who have routine check-ups better understand the association between a healthy lifestyle and a greater quality of life.

Although Americans are living longer, healthier lives, we cannot ignore emotional and mental health, or the stigmas that prevent individuals from seeking treatment and recovery support services as part of their overall welfare.  Serious mental illness, such as major depressive disorder, has robbed too many of fathers, brothers, and sons of their potential, and has contributed to rising suicide and drug overdose rates.  For these reasons, my fiscal year 2019 Budget request to Congress includes $10 billion in new funding to address the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic and mental health.  This funding will improve access to evidence-based treatment services to support those suffering from mental disorders and substance use disorders.

As a Nation, we lift up those struggling with these disorders.  We pray for every family member or friend who has been touched by the grief and heartbreak of a loved one with a mental disorder or addiction.  They are not alone.  Each of us has a responsibility to encourage them to contact the National Helpline or to make contact ourselves by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).  The National Helpline is a free service offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that can make confidential referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.  It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

As we observe Men’s Health Week, we celebrate the advances we have made in improving men’s healthcare, while recognizing the importance of prioritizing both physical and mental health in men of all ages.